Upload & Sell: On
Hey Guys and Gals,
I've been asked, due to the collective stature, and the obvious cohesiveness of our group here, to post a couple of questions relating to ISAP. Feel free to answer them in a pm if you'd like. First, know that you're not going to hurt my feelings, this is purely objective, informational stuff and your opinions and suggestions are valued.
ISAP membership continues to grow at a steady pace. Candidly, symposium attendance has been down for the last couple of years. They are extremely expensive to organize and pull off, and it's always a gamble, unless we have something like a Red Flag, then it's an overload. There will be more Red Flags, there will be more El Centro's, but obviously we can't pull those off every year. Personally, I believe that the symposiums offer much more in the way of education and inspiration than they ever have, not to mention the opportunity to get into the air and photograph. Based upon those factors, I would think attendance would continue to grow. The question in here is, why do you think we face diminished attendance? Is it economic factors, is it lack of interest in the general speaker line up? Is it the fact that tutorials can be had online for a lot less than the cost of attending a symposium?
I've been co chair for over two years, it's no secret that they have been tumultuous years in the history of ISAP. Larry Grace's vision of ISAP has always been one of education, networking, and giving members the opportunity to go wherever in the craft they want to go. I've said it many times before, Larry has a heart for ISAP and it's membership and I've watched him work tirelessly on behalf of both. I know well that life pulls us all many different directions, demands on our time, our financial commitments, our attention, are legion. That being said, in my opinion, ISAP experiences one of the lowest member participation, loyalty rates of any organization I've been involved in. Yes people join, people renew, but when our members capture outstanding imagery, even from an ISAP event, they are much more prone to scramble and post it somewhere other than the ISAP website, or to even mention ISAP. Please don't take this in an accusatory vein, it's not that at all. We just have not been able to gin up a spirit of pride of membership, pride of association, to the extent that our members are motivated to jump in and participate, and promote the organization, why do you think that is?
You all know that I'm a guy with lots of irons in the fire, and that is more true now than ever before. The commitment for a board member is generally two years, so my tenure is getting long in the tooth. I think each of us on the board would like to exit thinking that our efforts contributed to creating the organization that the members desire. While on the surface, our growing membership numbers would indicate we've been successful, all of the factors above make me wonder. I think we here at MA2A are much more committed to our family within, as compared to how the average ISAP member feels about his or her organization. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to why that might be? We have long said that MA2A is what it is and that it can't be deliberately duplicated, but why do you suppose ISAP can't seem to fire up at least a small flicker of that spirit and loyalty?
PM me with your thoughts and I'll formulate them into an anonymous, generic treatise on ISAP as it stands today.