An AR association will be hard work

ARmadgeddon’s post about the development of an AR association not only cited this blog (and neutrally, for once) but also got me thinking about the initiatives that are springing up here and there for bringing AR professionals together. There’s some something close to paranoia in some of these discussions, but also some flecks of wisdom too.

It also made me think about Forrester’s Analyst Relations and Marketing (ARM) Council. It’s a good example of what an AR association could aim to do. It has the sort of activity that you’d expect: bi-annual face-to-face neetings, a programme of conference calls, a newsletter and a crusade to find already-existing information inside Forrester that is of particular value to AR professionals.

The ARM Council has over a hundred members, principally in the US, and a team of staff to support it. It’s funded by something like a 20 percent premium on members’ Forrester subscriptions. Replicating this for a wider AR audience is, I would guess, a $250,000 project.

I think this issue of resourcing is the key issue and, indeed, other people have flagged up that this lack of an organisational infrastructure is what defeated previous projects. That’s why it’s great news that the circle in California is discussing with the AMA and PRSA.

Admittedly, these organisations are American in name and appetite. They will struggle to serve a community that is as international as ours. However, they are real organisations with exisiting memberships, transparent functioning and support for special interest groups. I am sure they would also accept membership applications from abroad, if accompanied by a US dollar check drawn on a US bank.

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