Association management and services company SmithBucklin launched SmithBucklin AXP, a methodology and range of tools that aids its association clients’ conversations about priorities, progress and opportunities for improvement, according to the Chicago-based firm.

“Meetings and events are a crucial part of an association’s success, so it’s natural that a focused conversation on an association’s performance would factor in the value and impact of the annual meeting, tradeshow and other events,” said Matt Sanderson, president and CEO of SmithBucklin. “AXP is helping to ensure that all aspects of the organization are continuously improving.”

The program is the result of 18 months of research, development and testing and is targeted to all levels of associations, including governing boards, executive directors and staff.

As justification for the new tool, SmithBucklin Executive Vice President Jim McNeil, who leads the company’s Business + Trade Industry Practice, cited the “Leading with Intent: 2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices” study that found that only 40 percent of boards did an assessment in a two-year period, and that boards that did assess their own performance got higher grades across all areas of board performance.

SmithBucklin will celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2019, a milestone Sanderson said comes at an opportune time with the launching of AXP.

“As a longtime leader in association management, we are mindful of our obligation and opportunity to leverage the breadth and depth of our resources, experience and talent to bring effective practices and drivers of success to all of the organizations we serve,” Sanderson said. “AXP is a significant investment designed to enable long-term partnerships and impact across hundreds of industries and professions.

"We thank our strong community of executive directors and board leaders who, together, helped to shape its development and who will use it to further their missions," he added.