If your organization is nearing a big milestone, such as a 25th, 50th, 75th, or 100th anniversary, planning for a large-scale celebration can be daunting. You want to hit all of the right notes and make sure to recognize the invaluable contributions of leaders and volunteer members. You also want to take the opportunity to communicate the strides your association has made in your industry and put a forward-spin on the celebration, looking to the future.
To make your celebration a success, pay attention to these Five A’s that will make your celebration truly memorable.
The Five A’s for Association Anniversary Planning
Anticipate. For a memorable anniversary, you cannot begin planning too soon! If it’s an important milestone, like a 100th anniversary, your planning should begin two or three years in advance. Consider how wide you want to share your story and start building up the event well in advance. If you have annual or bi-annual conferences, start promoting the upcoming celebration there. Create anticipation and full participation. Make sure that your commemoration offers something of value for your members.
Amplify. You want to market your event. But more than that, you want your anniversary to amplify the importance of your association. What part of your story isn’t well known? Who founded your association? Who are your longtime members? What has your organization accomplished? What are the benefits of membership? Consider creating a lasting tribute to your cumulative story, history, and vision for the future. One way to amplify your association’s legacy is by commissioning a One Of A Kind 3-dimensional commemorative lobby art, to display at events and install as a lasting legacy in your headquarters.
The Risk Management Association commissioned One of a Kind commemorative art for their 100th anniversary. In our client’s words, the result was beyond all expectations!
Allocate. Anniversary planning is exceptionally involved. To launch a successful yearlong acknowledgment, get input from all of the relevant departments and select a committee to delegate responsibilities and build consensus for a more organized, seamless approach. You’ll also want to allocate an overall budget. Planning ahead, the investment can be spread over several years. Some associations find sponsors to underwrite expense. They can be honored with a plaque within commemorative art and in print reproductions.
The Association of Corporate Counsel installed their 25th anniversary art in their lobby, serving as an overview to ACC’s story for visitors
Advocate. Your anniversary isn’t just about celebrating your history. Use this milestone to propel excitement for new developments in your organization, increasing membership and advocating for important issues that lie ahead. You can also underscore your brand in anniversary art, sharing it globally through your website and in posters.
Centennial artwork served as the centerpiece for the American National Standards Institute during their 100th Anniversary Celebration and Gala.
Applaud. This is easy and gratifying. Use your anniversary to applaud the contributions of members and memorialize the advances your association has brought to your industry. A dedication message is a perfect way within the art to express thanks in a lasting way.
Your association anniversary event should be a major milestone that your organization will remember for the next 10-25 years, and beyond. It’s a unique opportunity not only to acknowledge the brilliant work countless members have done in the past, but also to educate and inspire future efforts for the advancement of your association.