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You asked, we listened: 2014 member benefit survey results

2014 member benefit survey results

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Last fall, OWAA distributed a new 23-question member benefit survey to all its members in an effort to collect feedback on topics like how member benefits are used, challenges faced in the outdoor communication industry and our annual conference.
We received insightful feedback on expectations and interests from the 213 members who returned surveys. The data will help guide OWAA’s continued efforts to improve and deliver the most valuable services for our members.
Here’s a little about that we learned from the survey participants:

  • 93 percent believe OWAA is either exceeding or meeting their expectations.
  •  94 percent said they read the print edition of Outdoors Unlimited — by far the most used service OWAA offers. Outdoor Market listings, at 52 percent ranked second in services and OWAA’s annual conference and EIC Contests came in tied for third at 44 percent.
  • 69 percent said they attended an OWAA conference. Cost, travel distance and timing factored equally as reasons why members do not attend the annual event.
  • 60 percent of those completing the survey expressed interest in serving as a mentor, mentee, or both, in a potential new mentoring program.
  • 49 percent of respondents sought webinars and 48 percent wanted field workshops for continuing education.

As we meticulously reviewed the data roll-up and perceptive comments earlier this year, two key themes emerged:
1. Members seek networking opportunities outside of conference.
2. Members look to OWAA to help connect them with markets and outlets for their work. To address these two critical areas moving ahead, we plan to focus on the following five priority action items:
1. To increase communication between members, we are exploring offering online webinars and round table discussions throughout the year.
2. We will re-energize the sections to facilitate networking among colleagues outside of conference. To accomplish this, we will review and refine the section chair roles and responsibilities in the section guidelines.
3. To promote continuing education activities, we plan to upload OWAA conference videos to the organization’s website so members can review a wide variety of informative sessions at their leisure. In addition, those who have not yet attended conference can get a taste of how valuable this event is for establishing connections in the industry, developing new skills and getting new ideas for your work.
4. To help our members find more work, we plan to create a listing of submission guidelines and contact information for a broad set of outdoor outlets. This will supplement the existing Outdoor Market where jobs and immediate content needs will still be posted.
5. We will begin researching the best methods for developing a new mentoring program where a member seeking skills development or advice for projects would be paired with an expert member for a specified time. While our organization features many well established professionals in their field, continuous improvement and diversifying skills can bring increased business opportunities and income.
We plan to regularly conduct a membership benefit survey, but we also welcome your thoughts and ideas for improving member services at any time. Please contact Executive Director, Tom Sadler at tsadler@owaa.org; Membership Services Director, Jessica Seitz at jseitz@owaa.org; or myself and let us know what OWAA can do for you.
If you speak, we will listen. ♦
—— Member Services Chair, Colleen Miniuk-Sperry, cms@cms-photo.com
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