Platform business model can help associations keep up with the times

Cerezales: advises associations to take up a platform business model

Some 100 ICCA association representatives from 60 countries are attending this year’s congress and those who attended the Redefining Association Business Models: A Blueprint for Transformation Part 1, on Sunday, were given a lesson on “accessing the level of readiness to become platform business models”.

The 75-minute interactive session, conducted by Oscar Cerezales, global executive vice president, MCI Group, defined a platform business model as one that “generates value by enabling interaction between people, groups and users by leveraging network effects – boosting interaction between supply and demand is crucial”.

Cerezales: advises associations to take up a platform business model

He said platform business models of high-performing corporations included Facebook, the App Store, Airbnb, and PayPal, and placed dating-for-mature-singles Tinder app in the top spot.

In his presentation, Cerezales addressed the concept of what the business model is and how associations were facing market maturity, hyper-abundance of choice, lack of differentiation, the need for technical adoption, lower margins, having to create new value for employees and stakeholders, the battle for share and position, and the need to become high-performance organisations.

Associations were facing complexity, he continued, and should learn from sports and retail organisations to monetise data.

In table discussions, participants shared the need to attract younger audiences and that becoming a platform business model was not easy.

Dimensions such as the financial health of associations, risk reduction and the streamlining of data were also discussed, as well as the industry not “monetising non-members and non-members in adjacent industries”, which was a rising trend.

Cerezales also compared the past and now, noting that there were very few B2B high-performance companies compared to B2C ones, and that it was even harder transforming into B2B2C entities.

In closing Part 1, Cerezales advised associations cannot be “everything for everyone” and need to be “laser-focused”.

Redefining Association Business Models: A blueprint for Transformation Part 2, on Wednesday, November 15, will take participants through benchmarking and execution.