“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with
yesterday’s logic.” – Peter Drucker
The coronavirus health threat and the resulting economic fallout have required member companies to restrict travel and non-essential expenses. That means a traditional association model built around conferences and in-person networking faces an existential threat. Like the local retailer that quickly built an e-commerce site to serve its customers during the lock down, trade associations must re-imagine their business model.
The pandemic just kicked it into overdrive. Our mantra as we move forward should be content is king and delivery is virtual. If we cannot bring our members together for Region events and/or product show cases we will need to find new, relevant, and interactive ways to deliver education and networking opportunities, industry insight, and data.
This modern model will cost less but it will provide more value. And, importantly, it will bring more individuals into our community of plumbing and heating companies At least in the near term, where COVID is the world’s primary disruptor, CIPH events are bringing audiences right where they sit, whether that’s in Victoria or St. John’s. As a result, CIPH’s outreach now is limitless.
Broadly, this shift will benefit the industry by making our sector more inclusive and by enhancing its already formidable knowledge base. Our educational and webinar offerings are more affordable in a virtual setting and they will continue to help member companies build a workforce that is more informed and therefore more productive.
Michael Hansen, CEO of Cengage, a digital learning and online textbook company, has said, “You’ve got to get ahead of the curve, don’t try to deny it or put your head in the sand, and wish for the best.” Over the past several years, we have talked about the five disruptive forces facing our industry. These forces required CIPH to start thinking about how to modernize its operations as it enters its 87th year of existence. We already were making changes but the coronavirus pandemic cemented our efforts.
When this pandemic is over and hopefully that will be soon, many of our society’s institutions will be forever altered. The small retail business that started as an e-commerce site will not abandon it. It will open its physical doors, but still will meet consumers where they are … online. CIPH will do the same. We need to continue to foster an engaged, inclusive community of plumbing and heating companies. Our tactics have shifted. At CIPH, we are not standing still. And the way we will transform will allow us to bring more value to more companies than we ever have before and our focus today is to determine how we continue to maintain relevancy in the absence of traditional revenues .