Thoughts about the future relevance of professional societies and trade associations

Following is the orignal scope of the project when I started off on January 1st of 2010. Meanwhile things have changed, a lot. Read all about it in this 2011-post !

“Will the Internet replace Associations ?”

My mission: I give myself one year (2010) to find an answer to the Big Question.  I shall be doing desktop research, talking to people, reading books and blogs, analyzing best practices and real life cases,  and foremost engaging people to interact and collaborate. This site/blog is therefore the core of the project.  I don’t know if I have a lot to tell, but I shall tell what I know.

My tools: These are the tools that I can rely on at this moment (1st of January 2010) and hopefully they will give me a headstart. I will be returning in a more elaborate fashion to these tools during my journey.

–         2Mpact: I am the CEO of a small Belgian company dedicated to rendering premium internet and association management services

– a website, powered by 2Mpact,  that enables more than 400 Belgian professional and trade associations to share and distribute content to a niche public of information professionals

–         Belgische Verenigingsmanagers: a LinkedIn Group of Belgian association managers that I started in 2009

–         FeWeb: I am the Chairman and CEO of the Belgian Association of Webdevelopers, representing more than 500 providers of professional internet services (webdesign, SEO, hosting,…)

–         Other mandates: as a result of my professional activities, but out of pure interest as well, I hold  several Board-mandates in very differing associations

–         The Internet: last but not least, I hope I can use the Internet in all its means and ways for this endeavour.  I’m passionate about the Internet, not so much from a technical point of view – you hardly can call me a geek – but rather form a sociological angle, i.e. where is all this going to ?

In order to be able to assess what my undertakings during 2010 have led to, I found it useful to write down some kind of ‘zero-vision’,  how I would answer the Big Question today. You can read more about this in post #O.

Marc Mestdagh (LinkedIn :


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