Wrapping up 2021 with new benefits, connections

By Chris Dix posted 12-10-2021 10:44

Wow, what a journey we have had these last two years. I can honestly say that the pandemic and its impact on the association has been profound. We struggled, we pivoted and pivoted again. We pushed forward, and we made hard choices. And amazingly, we are stronger and more resilient than we even knew. We are moving forward in new ways, and I wanted to share some of those membership-focused initiatives with you.

Membership growth
SIMA is owned by its members, and the best way to build influence in the industry is to grow the number of engaged members. Guided by our Board of Directors, the staff is kicking off a hyper-focus on growing a quality membership base. You’ll see a lot to be excited about in 2022, as we continue our mission to enable snow and ice professionals for success.

Increasing Accessibility
Everyone is busy and has to prioritize their time. In the past, the need for our members to meet face to face created a natural barrier to engaging more with industry stakeholders. Last year, SIMA hosted five successful Member Connect virtual events, including multiple Coffee Time/Product Showcases and a Volunteer Focus Group. These tools will help us widen our footprint and give snow professionals across the United States and Canada the opportunity to meet, connect, share ideas, and continue the hard work of fighting for the respect the profession deserves. More than 150 people engaged online during one or more of these events in 2021, and we have more to come in 2022. I encourage you to make the time, be accessible to our industry, and help each other.

Reinventing Peer Education
The road map for success sometimes needs experimentation. In March, SIMA launched the Compass Network, a peer education forum for high-powered snow companies. Thirty-two companies, representing a staggering $57 million-plus in combined snow revenues, signed up for the pilot program. More than 100 industry professionals interacted, shared and learned together during 20-plus hours of training and networking. Year 2 of the Compass Network will feature five virtual events. We’re mixing up the format based on feedback from this year’s participants, including adding an in-person event for those attending the 25th Annual Snow & Ice Symposium in Milwaukee, WI. A company pass gives open access to as many team members as you want to participate. Visit www.sima.org/compass for details and to register.

Building Community Takes All Of Us 
SIMA is a professional community of snow contractors and stakeholders. We help you forge professional relationships, train to best practices and standards, and ignite a passion for snow at your organization. We engage industry practitioners, facility managers and insurance professionals with a focus on the future. All of this is great, but we are going to level with you: we also spend a great deal of time chasing membership invoices. It seems simple, but one of the most important ways to engage with SIMA is to check in with us at least once a year, to renew your membership on time and help us make that personal connection. With this in mind, we are launching a number of initiatives to help you stay in touch more effectively with SIMA:

  • OMG text me, please. SIMA doesn’t want you to miss key deadlines and reminders that make it easier to stay connected. Our worst nightmare is a member telling us they would have loved to attend an event but didn’t know when registration closed. Don’t let this be you! Sign up to receive critical text messages, membership renewal updates, event registration deadlines, and key industry announcements. Signing up is super easy - just scan the QR code with your phone!
  • Chat me up. In 2021, we launched a new chat bot at sima.org. We had a lot of fun hearing from 200+ inquiries about SIMA, our events and answering questions about highly specific needs and requests. This chat functionality will expand in 2022, as we launch a knowledge base of information to help visitors find what they need and deliver a more responsive customer service experience. Our vision is that members and stakeholders can reach out 24/7 and get a timely response, along with some helpful automated tools if we aren’t in the office at the time.

Expanded Member Benefits
We love delivering new benefits to our members. Each year we try to unveil more added value to the equation, and in 2022 we’re bringing training opportunities front and center:

  • Fundamentals of Anti-Icing and Liquids Certificate: Starting in early 2022, anyone at a member company can have an account created at SIMA and earn their certificate for this quality program. Build a trained workforce employing the use of liquids and solids in an effective anti-icing strategy … this comprehensive tool is now included with your membership!
  • All-Access Trial Run: SIMA’s All-Access Training Pass allows companies to verify basic knowledge of safety and techniques for your employees with our popular training video series. Current SIMA members can access a trial run for the winter season for no additional fee; this will provide access to one of our most popular training videos: Snow Plowing Techniques. Train anyone on your team, anywhere they have an internet connection, and verify that they understood the material via a simple quiz submission. Request your Trial Run by contacting Chris Dix at chris@sima.org.
  • 25th Annual Snow &Ice Symposium: Its apropos that we land with both feet on solid ground, after 25 years of grind and sweat, in Milwaukee, WI – home to SIMA’s headquarters. You’ll start to see the influence the last two years has had on our vision for education and in-person community. Look for new training ideas, challenging and future-focused thought leadership, and more while celebrating 25 years of the Best Show in Snow, with everyone together.

We’re focused on making this industry as powerful, innovative and connected as we
possibly can – join us, won’t you? See you in 2022!