Building the Perfect Partnership: How We Quintupled ISEV’s Revenue

The Challenge: Our team needed to make sure we provided the right team members to support the International Society of Extracellular Vesicles as we worked together to grow their annual conference and align their organization for growth.

Our Solution: We helped ISEV elevate their journal by finding them a new publisher and drastically increasing the revenue. Through that expansion we were able to grow their membership and expand their member benefits to include an online platform, an e-learning platform, and a job board.

The Numbers: 330% membership growth, 600% sponsorship revenue increase, and 530% revenue growth.

The Feedback: “In 2020, [Talley] was pivotal in saving us from going bankrupt.”

In 2015, Talley began working with the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) as they expanded their organization and worked to encourage extracellular research in the scientific community. While they had already been established in Sweden in 2012, they wanted to move their headquarters to the United States and become an incorporated association. They also hoped to grow their membership and enhance their annual meeting, so they were in the market for an AMC that would help them achieve their goals.

ISEV ultimately chose to go with us due to our collaborative approach to building a long-lasting partnership. Our tailored and flexible approach to association management was exactly what they were looking for in a partner. Together, we set out to organize and streamline their association, grow their membership, and increase their offerings for members.

Building the Perfect Partnership

As we began to work together, we encountered some unique challenges before settling into what has become one of our most successful partnerships in our history.

One of the first challenges we faced was building the right internal team to support ISEV. Each of our clients has their own dedicated team, and we take great care to allocate the right people to the right clients. We got initial feedback from ISEV that they didn’t feel it was quite the right fit for them, so we did some internal reorganizing to ensure they got the best fit possible. We’re always happy to implement client feedback to provide the best AMC experience. Since that change, the Talley team and the ISEV board have successfully collaborated to accomplish many significant initiatives and milestones.

Aligning the Organization

ISEV also encountered challenges during this time. One major challenge that ISEV faced internally was the division among their board members about their goals. While ISEV engaged us to expand their annual meeting and membership offerings, there was disagreement among the ISEV board members about what that looked like and how those goals should be reached. Due to the board’s divisions, and the initial issues with our team structure, it was difficult for ISEV to communicate effectively with our team and provide the information we needed.

As the ISEV team got on board with us, they also needed to adjust to working with an AMC. Never having worked with one before, especially one based in the United States while many board members live and work internationally, there was an adjustment period. Our team worked to establish buy-in from the board and integrate ourselves into the ISEV processes.

Hitting Our Stride

Both the Talley and ISEV teams needed some internal organization before we could make our partnership as fruitful and successful as it is today. It wasn’t until we had a frank and transparent discussion about our role, ISEV’s expectations, and how we could align our organizations that we found our stride.

An Exercise in Trust-Building

For our team, the most important thing was listening. When ISEV approached us with their concerns about our partnership, just simply hearing them was the first step in building a strong relationship. As we heard their concerns and worked to address them, we always took care to stop and listen. One of our team members highlighted, “It’s their organization, not ours, and we’re just here to make recommendations,” to help us reframe our thinking.

Another way we bridged the gap between our team and ISEV’s team was through some face-to-face time. Creating the opportunity for our team to meet their ISEV counterparts made the working relationship more personal and more tangible for everyone involved. At one point, we hosted the ISEV team at our office in Mt Royal, NJ. This opportunity allowed everyone to learn about everyone’s professional and personal lives, creating friendly bonds that are still strong today. It only helped everyone listen to each other better and work together.

Scaling a Partnership

Since our fresh start with ISEV, our ability to listen to their team has kept our relationship smooth and successful. As collaborative partners, we’ve been able to work from helping them incorporate in the US and providing general management to growing their outreach and taking on forward-looking initiatives.

Two of our main goals with ISEV were to grow their annual meeting and improve their membership benefits. In order to do so, our team decided to start scaling ISEV’s existing member benefits to improve outreach and grow the organization.

One of ISEV’s biggest contributions to the scientific community is their journal, which shares the latest peer-reviewed research in the field. While ISEV had already established their journal before we began working with them, our team found opportunities to improve how the journal is distributed and improve the revenue they could make. We suggested that they work with a journal consultant who recommended a switch from their open source publisher to a new one that would allow them to increase their profitability.

Another one of our accomplishments with ISEV is the growth of their membership benefits. When we began working with ISEV, they held their annual meeting and published their journal, but we were able to grow the program with ISEV to offer their members even more. Now, ISEV offers its scientists ISEV Connect (a members-only platform with forums and chat functions), an e-learning platform full of previous years’ learnings from annual meetings, an online job board, opportunities to join secondary and specialized meetings, and a monthly newsletter.

As the association grew and more membership offerings were added, more volunteers were needed to help it run smoothly. We’ve helped ISEV create and manage sub-committees for all of their new programs. Together, we’ve helped them grow from just a few committees to manage their meetings and members to multiple committees per overarching objective. Their science and meetings programs now have nine sub-committees, each dedicated to a specific field of research within the study of extracellular vesicles.

Time to Thrive

Since we started working together six years ago, ISEV has grown from a small, scrappy organization to a thriving, successful association. ISEV were able to hit their initial goals of expanding their annual meeting and other member benefits while increasing their membership.

With our help, ISEV’s membership grew 330% throughout our engagement and we were able to increase their sponsorship revenue by almost 600%. As we helped them expand their membership offerings, increase their outreach, and streamline the collection of their membership dues with website upgrades, they saw a 530% increase in revenue for their organization over the years.

In 2020 as organizations across the world struggled to find their place in a COVID world, Talley and ISEV were stronger than ever. One ISEV board member noted that, “In 2020 [Talley] was pivotal in saving us from going bankrupt.”

Without the open and transparent communication and partnership we built with ISEV over the years, it would not have been possible to see this success. As a result, ISEV knows that we have their best interest in mind and our team knows that we will be able to weather any storm with ISEV and come out stronger as we continue our partnership.

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