GDPR is all about personal data. It is a complex subject. For some associations it is a real headache to ensure compliance with the regulator. But, it’s also an opportunity, especially if you embed data protection as part of your associations’ culture. Let’s take a look at what is involved and what you could be doing.

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is European Union Regulation. In essence it involves the protection of personal data and the rights of individuals. It is a whole series of data privacy enactments that came into effect 25 May 2018.

What are the benefits for your association?

There are many opportunities that GDPR brings for organisations that truly embed data protection as a key part of their culture. Some of the benefits include:

  • Be known as a trusted association
  • Win new members
  • Retain existing members
  • Enhance reputation

For associations that understand how to make the most of the regulation they will give confidence to members and other stakeholders that they really care about the thorny issue of data protection. After all, who wants to deal with an association that doesn’t care whether personal data can be stolen or not?

The clock has ticked down

Even though the clock has ticked down and passed the deadline of 25 May 2018, any time is a good time to review exactly how your GDPR communications are working. Have you made it clear to your members as to how you keep their personal information secure?

Levels of control

How aware of data security issues are: your Board and your staff? More importantly, how well are you looking after the personal data of your members?

Making GDPR an interesting subject

Demonstrating to the Information Commissioner’s Office (or any other relevant Supervisory Authority) that your GDPR policies and processes are working is essential. Demonstrating to your members, prospective members and other interested parties that you secure and protect their data is also vitally important. If they do not trust you, they are unlikely to be associated with you.

The challenge is that ‘GDPR’ (for many people) is a dry subject. But it doesn’t have to be. You can bring data protection to life in a variety of creative ways that accelerates understanding and engagement.

5 Ideas to help bring Data Security to life:

  • Keep up to date through regular briefings and presentations
  • Launch Debates and Competitions for members
  • Create e-books, Information Guides, White Papers and blogs.
  • Make videos (quick explainer videos work well)
  • Live stream GDPR educational events

There are numerous ways in which you can make data security interesting to your staff, members and volunteers. The effort you put in will pay off as your association will stand out by demonstrating that you embed data security within your culture.


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Paul Cook writes dynamic event focused content for trade publications, associations, suppliers and websites. When you need a blog, an eBook or a business story to really connect with your audience, ask Paul to write it for you.


See Also

Mind the Event Data Gap