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 a quarter century, 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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