How Digital Credentials can Improve Networking Opportunities among Association Members

    Digital credentials offer membership associations an effective way to create meaningful networking opportunities for their members, fostering a sense of community and collaboration while enhancing the association's overall value.

    calendar-plus-01 April 6, 2023
    user-circle Credly Team
    hourglass-01 6 min read
    Associations members networking

    In the digital age, networking has become crucial to professional growth and career success. A 2018 report by Marketing General revealed that 57% of respondents cited networking as the primary reason for joining professional associations, while 26% sought to learn about their industry's best practices. Therefore, to drive member satisfaction, retention, and attract new members, associations must provide compelling networking opportunities to their members.


    A robust professional network within an association can also enhance its industry reputation, attracting prospective members and partners and potentially yielding new commercial opportunities. Therefore, to maintain and grow membership, it is essential to ensure that members are engaged in association activities and actively networking.


    This is where digital credentials come in, offering professional associations a chance to create meaningful networking opportunities for their members.


    Understanding Digital Credentials

    Digital credentials are portable and verifiable representations of an individual's skills and accomplishments. They can be earned for completing courses, attending events, or mastering specific skills. Acclaim’s digital credentials are designed to be portable and shareable, allowing individuals to showcase their achievements and skills by sharing their badges on different platforms, including social media, email signature and online profiles.


    How Digital Credentials Improve Networking Opportunities

    For professional associations, digital credentials offer a unique opportunity to enhance networking opportunities among members. Here are three ways digital credentials can achieve this:


    Improved visibility for achievements and skills

    Digital credentials provide members with a verifiable and easily shareable record of their achievements and skills. With the rich metadata behind each Acclaim credential, members can demonstrate specific details about the skills, accomplishments, and criteria related to the badge. This makes it easier for members to establish their credibility and expertise in their field and attract like-minded professionals to network with.


    Creating a sense of belonging

    Digital credentials play a vital role in nurturing a sense of camaraderie and belonging among members, which is essential for establishing robust communities within associations. A study by the Australasian Society of Association Executives discovered that a strong sense of belonging is a key factor influencing decisions to renew membership.


    The shareable nature of digital credentials allows members to quickly identify others with similar interests who have earned related credentials. By earning comparable credentials, members share experiences and create a common ground for discussing their achievements. This results in more profound conversations and stronger connections, ultimately fostering a sense of community within the association.


    Acclaim provides built-in features that enable badge earners to connect with others who have obtained the same or similar credentials. This further promotes networking and interaction among members, facilitating the growth of a cohesive community within the association.


    Enhanced trust 

    Trust serves as the cornerstone of robust relationships among members. When trust is established, members are more inclined to share their experiences, knowledge, and ideas openly. This cultivates a collaborative atmosphere that promotes learning and growth, amplifying the value of association membership.


    However, numerous studies indicate that building trust in networking relationships can be challenging, requiring time, dedication, and consistency.


    Digital credentials enhance trust in professional networks by offering verifiable evidence of a person's skills, achievements, and qualifications. Acclaim’s digital credentials contain metadata that gives detailed information about the credential, such as the issuer, earning criteria, and the award date, enabling network members to verify each other's qualifications and accomplishments easily, thus fostering trust in their expertise. Furthermore, digital credentials are issued based on standardized criteria and assessments, ensuring that members with the same or similar credentials have met a certain level of competence, strengthening trust in their abilities.


    Benefits beyond networking 

    Digital credentials offer professional associations a unique opportunity to boost networking opportunities among their members. By improving visibility for achievements and skills, creating a sense of belonging, and enhancing trust, digital credentials help members connect, learn, and grow together. 


    The potential of digital credentials extends beyond their networking benefits. They can help create increase members' loyalty and enhance brand reach so much more. Download our whitepaper ‘Growth Strategies for Professional Associations: Maximizing Revenue with Digital Credentials' to discover how to utilize digital credentials to drive business growth below. 


    Download the whitepaper


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