memcom: the journey so far

By Anna Rivers, Marketing Manager for The I Am Group


As we look forward to the biggest conference memcom has ever hosted in its twenty-year history – including a new, larger venue and a programme extended out to a full-day event – it’s also a time to look back and reflect upon the journey of the last two years of our memcom guardianship.


It’s been almost two years to the day in fact that The I Am Group acquired the highly successful memcom brand from The Membership Organisation back in 2017. Our business owners and founders, Debbie Hockham and Julian Smith attended the 2016 memcom conference and, after seeing the value it brought to membership professionals, agreed to become involved in planning and running the 2017 event as Strategic Partners. A bold move which eventually led to the acquisition of the memcom brand itself following the success of that year’s event.


Both the conference and awards events have evolved over the last two years to ensure that memcom remains relevant to the ever-changing landscape of membership organisations. We have refreshed the brand identity, rebuilt the website, improved our database and CRM processes, enhanced our email and social marketing channels and widened our offering to sponsors and partners.


We have also worked hard to ensure that memcom is a year-round service, with various networking and learning events and informative blogs for the sector. And watch this space, we’ll be launching some brand new memcom services for the membership sector on 20th June at the conference: memcom consulting, memcom jobs, memcom networking and memcom future leaders’ academy. A summary of the services is included at the footer of this article but do visit our stand at memcom and sign up to our ebulletin to hear more.


“memcom” was originally a portmanteau for “membership communications” as the memcom audience at this time was limited to marketing and communication professionals only. As a marketer myself, I’m fully plugged in to how a communication team’s collaborative, inclusive and strategic approach can transform an organisation. Many of the memcom awards and conference sessions are specifically designed with this key department in mind and always will be.


However, as the detail within our award submissions consistently shows, the success of membership organisations relies on employing the right talent across all functions as well as strong marketing skills. It’s important to recognise the hard work across the board, from HR departments, to IT functions, to governance and finance teams.


Building on feedback from all areas of the membership sector, we have also chosen to broaden out our offering even more to trade associations and membership charities. There has always been a presence of these organisations at memcom, but the more the merrier as there are so many shared experiences, insights and opportunities to learn from one another.


For this reason, our portmanteau now represents “membership community”, with our awards celebrating, and our conference sessions inspiring, all the teams, across all varieties of membership organisations which collaborate and work hard to support and drive success.


Indeed, our mission statement going forward is: “To bring together and support a trusted community of senior leaders within professional organisations, membership associations, membership charities and the wider not-for-profit sector. We want to spread the power of collaboration – making the sector more connected and therefore more informed. And we encourage the sector to share and celebrate success.”


Going forward, as ever, we hugely value your feedback, your ideas and your input, and we want to maintain memcom’s pole position as the go-to event for leaders in membership organisations to learn, to network and to plan for the future.


A thank you to everyone who has been part of the journey. It’s with hope and enthusiasm that you continue to support memcom as it evolves to meet your needs over the years ahead. Here’s to another 20 years, and beyond!


“memcom is the social network for membership professionals. All that learning, community and passion in one place, it is always one of the highlights of my year,” Lee Davies, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys


“Looking forward to learning about the latest developments in membership best practice and technology that are being adopted across the sector, coupled with building upon my professional networks,” Tajinder Panesor, Head of Membership, Institute of Physics


“memcom is a great opportunity to stop, take stock and listen to new ideas and the access to different thinking that’s invaluable for a forward-looking institute like ours,”  Suzanne Peck, President, Institute of Internal Communication


“I am excited to see that there is a stream about people and also that we will be moving beyond the buzz words around ‘digital transformation’ to hearing practical examples from those who have lived the journey,” Steve Othen, Head of HR & OD, Recruitment & Employment Confederation


“The memcom conference is a great place to meet senior leaders from the membership sector, exchange ideas and learn about new technology which can improve the way we interact with our members,” Jane Ashton, Executive Director, Association of Taxation Technicians


“The exchange of ideas and ‘best practice’ is so valuable to membership associations as we work in isolation most of the time. I always come away with a positive change in my approach to my role or in the way that the association operates,” Maria Iredale, Executive Director, Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain


We are proud to announce a new suite of soon to be launched, year-round services from the team at memcom:


memcom academy

  • From HR to membership, marketing and communications, the academy brings together the leaders of tomorrow with the experts of today, to ensure that your workforce is prepared, and that talent stays in the sector
  • Personal development & CPD training/courses with a focus on future leaders


memcom consultancy

  • Membership and marketing reviews, new service development
  • Career coaching, outplacement, motivation maps and psychometric testing
  • Board reviews and Senior Management/Team away days
  • HR services from restructures to redundancies, job needs analysis, salary surveys and benefits reviews


memcom events

  • A range of learning, sharing and networking events throughout the year, encouraging relationships to flourish, partnerships to build, and peer-to-peer development opportunities


memcom executive

  • Senior appointments and high-profile search and selection service
  • Job design, assessment centres, psychometric testing and candidate profiling
  • Interim and permanent appointments


memcom recruitment

  • Retained and contingency recruitment for all temporary and permanent posts
  • Single roles, multiple-post campaigns
  • Recruitment advertising, response handling, shortlisting and interviewing services


Interest piqued? Be sure to enquire at the memcom stand during the conference on 20th June, or email Julian Smith,, for more details.


memcom is dedicated to serving professional associations, membership organisations and the wider not-for-profit sector. Our mission is to connect senior leaders to collaborate and to harness best practice – helping to drive the sector forward and celebrate its success. Our flagship events, the memcom conference and awards, takes place once a year. Please save the date for the 2019 conference and awards event which will be taking place in Bishopsgate, London on Thursday 20th June. The day conference will feature over 50 high-profile speakers and the most cutting-edge suppliers of the moment, all sharing their insight and expertise. memcom, as ever, will be stimulating a lively debate as well as providing real thought leadership. We also run many ‘memcom mini’ events throughout the year – upcoming events can be viewed on our events page.