Globalization of Associations – The Need of the Hour

By: Dr. Kalyan Goswami – CIMGlobal Head – Association Consulting

World population has just exceeded 7.6 Billion. India, China, and African Countries now represent almost 70% of the world’s population. It means, in a very near future the businesses will steadily expand into these regions. As such, we are seeing these economies growing very fast.

Globalization is used as a general term for a series of socioeconomic, technological, cultural and political interdependence, integration and interaction between people and companies in disparate locations. Globalization is the growing interdependence of countries worldwide, in terms of business, tie-ups, free movement of funds and more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology.

Globalization is a long-term process, the result of human innovation and technological progress. Globalization promotes efficiency through competition and division of labor.

As markets grow, businesses will increasingly need the services that the associations provide, such as professional development, knowledge, networking, education and professional certifications.

The fact remains, that even very good associations which have a strong national network could not yet attract many international members. According to a recent report, 30 percent of the larger associations have less than 4-5 percent or fewer international members. But the percentage of international attendees are much more, which shows that industry players residing in different countries are very much keen to know about international developments, which in turn show their keenness to do cross-border business.

For associations with a high number of international members, the opportunities to market their events internationally are much better. On the other hand, associations with a high number of international event participants but a low number of members may consider improving membership deliverables for the international members. So in this case also, they have to market themselves through international programs.

Presently, North America is the most popular location in the world for global expansion among the associations. India, China, and African Countries are the future locations to expand. Associations need to follow the solid business strategy in foreign turf having the focus on publications, training, certification, conference & events.

It won’t be possible to identify an association or organization that is not affected, in some significant manner, by the impact of globalization. Before the impact of globalization gets severe, the Associations should strategize their future course of action.  associations that don’t look overseas are often missing an opportunity to promote their certifications, standards, credentials to communities that are hungry for it.

It’s the time to go global.

By the way, associations are too diverse, they have different services, they cater to definite industry segments. It is impossible to work out a sure business strategy which would be suitable for all. Among the challenge’s associations will have to identify the markets that can yield the most for them, creating business models to address the specific markets.

Willing to know more? Please contact Dr. Kalyan Goswami, Head – Association Management at or by phone: +91 124 461 7700.