Small, medium, large? Depends who you ask.

I recently read on an association forum the following phrase: “We have a mid-sized meeting with around 7,000 attendees…”

What caught my attention was the characterization “mid-sized.” For many of my clients (in fact, for MOST of them), a 7,000 attendee meeting would be HUGE. Not “mid-sized” but monstrous.

Having worked with several hundred associations over the years, I always chuckle when an association exec starts the conversation by saying “We’re a small association…” Almost every association exec I meet thinks they’re from a small association. Even when they have 50 or 100 staff, they still think they’re “small.”

So whenever I hear someone say “We’re a [small, medium, large, you choose] association…” I always stop them and say “How do you define [small, medium, large]?” You should, too. What’s small to them may be large to you, or vice versa.

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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