“You are never going to please everyone” is one of the truest statements in association management. Members have different lived experiences, so each one perceives things differently. Some members may LOVE your keynote, while others won’t. Some people flock to the reception while many others stay in their room. Some use the research, while others can’t be bothered, but they’ll read the short articles.
It is emotionally difficult to pour your heart and soul into an event, or report, or any other member-facing endeavor and get a more tepid response than you hoped for, or worse criticism. The natural impulse to these reactions is to pull back, make your output so generic, no one can criticize it. But when no one can criticize, no one can fully engage either.
Having a few haters (and lots of lovers) might be a good metric of success for associations.