Technology Trends in 2017

Technology Trends in 2017

Advances in technology can often seem bewildering and even a little scary, especially since it can be hard to predict what the next big tech innovations will be and how they might impact our lives and organizations. How do you know, for example, whether or not it’s worth adopting the latest hot tech into your association’s business and financial plans? Will your members use it? Will it become outdated tomorrow? How might laws, regulations, and issues of security impact implementation, use, and internal policy? There’s a lot to consider and, due to the ever-changing nature of technology, association managers need to remain in-the-know.

Here are three big tech trends in 2017 and some ways in which you might consider using them.

Big Data and Business Intelligence.

We’ll see a continued focus on Big Data, or business analytics, in 2017, with a strong emphasis on real-time, actionable data analysis. For example, the David Nour of the Huffington Post reports that the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) has started using beacons, small enough to be embedded in name badges, to understand traffic flow at large conferences and events (like what booths are getting the most traction). Self-service Big Data platforms like Hadoop and Apache Spark allow organizations to store and process data affordably and efficiently, but unless you have staff members who are skilled at analyzing Big Data and using it (that’s Business Intelligence), you might get bogged down in things like housekeeping. The bottom line is that collecting data is only useful if you know what to do with it afterward.

Live Streaming.

Facebook and Twitter, two social media juggernauts, have helped make live streaming, or live video or audio coverage of an event, increasing relevant. Associations can take advantage of this ever-popular tech trend by live broadcasting speakers, interviews, and presentations on social media feeds and websites. If you do live stream, make sure your production value is flawless and that you have a good connection so that you avoid dropped feeds. Know, too, that your live stream can later be edited, polished, and distributed to further support your organization’s goals and messaging.


eLearning, or the use of technologies to access learning materials outside the classroom, is increasingly significant in 2017, as it allows your membership base to engage with and share content, reports, presentations, and trainings regardless of location. As with all things tech-related, the key to a successful eLearning program is that it should function in an “on-demand” basis. Users want access to up-to-date content immediately and they want learning tools organized thoughtfully. Content should be highly curated and immersive. Interactive videos, gamification, and mobile learning apps might provide your association with innovative eLearning capabilities.

What technology trends are your associations leveraging?