A group of Taylor & Francis colleagues recently attended STM Society Day, a conference whose mission was to bring Scholarly Society Publishers together to discuss common opportunities and challenges. The sessions covered a range of topics, from using data to understand society members and their needs to the role of societies and scholarly research in the age of fake news.
Teri Carden, the Keynote Speaker, kicked off the event with an overview of the ways societies can use data to better understand and serve the needs of their members. She particularly called out the necessity of being mobile-friendly, and the importance of using society members’ needs to create services that cultivate member loyalty.
Member retention & growth
Michael Cannon, Director of Serial Publications and Editorial Services at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), discussed how his organization aggregates society content to support member retention and growth. At ASHA, this is done by creating collections of content on key topics, which allows the society to make connections between journals, magazines, and Special Interest publications.
In a panel discussion on Societies, Scholarly Research & the Public, representatives from several societies discussed the role of scholarship in an era of fake news and how scholars can influence policy and policymakers. Some of the panelists advocated for societies providing resources and training to their members, so that they are better able to speak to non-academic audiences. They also encouraged scholars to engage in public discourse and build relationships with policymakers as a means of fighting the trend of rising anti-intellectualism. A second panel discussion, led by The Sheridan Group, delved into Lean Six Sigma, a systematic approach to reducing waste as means of achieving Operational Excellence.
The final panel of the day, led by Cara Rivera of KWF Consulting, focused on building effective partnerships between societies and vendors. At a time when societies are turning to outside providers more and more, the panelists stressed that both societies and vendors play a role in making partnerships successful. This panel emphasized that the best partnerships are relationships rather than merely business transactions.
The STM Society Day Conference helped us to better understand the needs of our society customers: to adapt to each society’s mission, to understand and engage with their constituents, and build a lasting partnership.