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From Site Selection magazine, March 2024

Augmenting Intelligence Requires Strategic Vision First

Betsy K. Power


IAMC members are preparing to gather in April for our next Forum in Greenville, South Carolina. If you loved the live-work-play vibe in Boise last fall (and I heard many of you did), you are in for a delightful follow-up in vibrant downtown Greenville. A number of my colleagues at PepsiCo and I look forward to seeing you there.

Among the topics we’ll visit at the Forum is artificial intelligence. While many of our employers aren’t ready to talk about their plans in this arena just yet, there’s no denying everyone is talking about how AI is going to transform how we think about our supply chain challenges. Erica Orange, executive vice president and COO of The Future Hunters, isn’t afraid to talk about it. Her keynote in Greenville is titled “Moving from AI to Augmented Intelligence.”

That area of Upstate South Carolina is in the heart of what some now call the “Charlanta” corridor. Before we get there, however, it’s worth noting what we accomplished at one end of that corridor early this year during the IAMC Board meetings in Atlanta.

The major focus? Updating our strategic plan. First things first: It’s truly amazing how many things IAMC has achieved from the last strategic plan we formulated in 2019. Now we’re moving into a future sustained by that momentum. Among the themes carrying forward:

  • New written value propositions created for Corporate, Economic Developer, and Service Provider members have been kept up to date and in service for four years.
  • An emphasis on Corporate member retention and engagement has resulted in our Corporate member retention rate going from 68% in 2019 to 82% in 2023.
  • A renewed emphasis on Corporate recruitment allowed IAMC to reach its highest-ever number of corporate members in 2023 with 261.
  • Recognizing the importance of sponsorships and their impact on association revenues, IAMC has attained a very balanced revenue stream with 23.7% of IAMC Revenue from Membership Dues, 30.4% from Event Registration Fees and 43.7% from Sponsorships.
  • Emphasizing transparency as a key to good governance, IAMC created an Annual Report to the Membership, and conducted a complete overhaul of the IAMC By-Laws and IAMC Policy Manual.

Among the statistics found in the 2023 Annual Report was the delivery of more than 94 professional development hours (almost four solid days!) across IAMC’s live and web-based events in 2023. The business intelligence gained must be valuable, because IAMC gained 70 new Corporate members last year, more than one-third of them from already established member companies.

As IAMC President and CEO Tate Godfrey has said, “We achieved a great deal and returned a great deal of value to our members” last year. The upcoming Forum and the upcoming five-year strategic plan both will continue to deliver on the unique value and values IAMC and its members embody.

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