IBMA Vision & Strategic Goals

Long Range Goals
* The IBMA board will revisit plans and goals for 2012+ in the near future and welcomes member perspectives.


In April of 2008, at a planning retreat in Tennessee, the IBMA board of directors and staff gathered for three days to take stock of what we’ve accomplished, where we currently stand and take a look into the future. After additional work through the summer of 2008, the results of those meetings would manifest themselves in a document which details our leadership’s vision for the future of the IBMA and a plan for achieving the organization’s missions through specific goals and objectives.

The plan encompasses a time period of approximately three years to begin in 2008 and run through 2011. Some of the goals and plans may be completed before the end of that period and others may well carry forward into a future plan. In designating this time frame the board leadership recognizes this dynamic and also acknowledges that the changing nature of future circumstances and variables make it difficult to project a plan further without encumbering the authority of future boards.

In designing and adopting this plan, the board refocuses its attention on the mission of the organization, IBMA’s values statement and detailed priorities accompanied by specific action plans.

Writing and adopting the document, however, constitutes only an agreement among the leadership of IBMA on the direction it plans to take the organization in the future and the means by which it will impact the music it serves. The execution of the plan requires additional work, discussion, use of resources and constant reevaluation. Further, this document was created at a specific point in time (mid-2008), based on the knowledge available on current situations and certain assumptions about the future. As circumstances change during the course of this plan, leadership may need to shift the focus of these plans based on new information.



If leaders are to inspire their following, they must present a compelling picture of the future and what can be achieved. If our members from various business constituencies are to “work together" for our music’s success, then we need to know the aspirations we’re working together to achieve.

Participants shared thoughts about their vision for IBMA’s work over the next five years through June 2013, responding to questions such as:

“What has been achieved since 2008?

“What is happening?

“What are people saying about us?

After discussion and review of a draft, the following items were arrived at through consensus and represent the optimum achievements to which the leadership of IBMA aspires.



By June 30, 2013


  • The bluegrass community achieves significant return on investment in IBMA
  • Seen as the resource for bluegrass music and a critical source of support on the emerging business models,
  • IBMA is delivering wider and deeper information and education services.
  • Online and downloadable resources include training, seminars, mentorship, and advice. - At least 25 “how-to?guides are offered and valued by their users.
  • IBMA gathers and distributes up-to-date databases of key opportunities.
  • Professionals perceive their income and net worth have grown as a direct result of resources and networking they have received through IBMA.


  • Bluegrass music has achieved its highest public acceptance in history, largely through initiatives led and fostered by IBMA and its members.
  • Twenty-five million Americans name bluegrass among their favorite types of music, up from 17 million in 2007, and acceptance is growing rapidly outside the US.
  • At least 15 percent of IBMA membership and World of Bluegrass attendance is from outside the US.
  • The IBMA internet community exceeds 50,000, up from 1,600 in 2008.
  • More racial, cultural, gender, age, international and other diversity is evident among fans, artists, and industry professionals.
  • At least two television shows honoring bluegrass are broadcast each year.
  • IBMA sponsors an annual international bluegrass tour involving bands from five or more countries.
  • Award winners concerts are presented in at least three major US media markets and one international market each year.
  • Bluegrass is introduced at multi-genre events, airports, retail centers, colleges, and other high-traffic locations.
  • Bluegrass acts are systematically presented to film and TV producers for potential use in soundtracks.


  • IBMA’s business conference attendance has grown at least five percent annually.
  • More than 100 guest VIP’s attend World of Bluegrass each year.
  • The events are streamed live on the internet for free, with sponsorship.
  • Fan Fest has become a major outdoor Nashville downtown event with international attendance.
  • A major title sponsor and sponsors for televised segments have been secured.
  • A high school/college band competition has been introduced, with finals at Fan Fest.
  • IBMA has also established several successful regional events.


  • IBMA has been a music industry leader in professional development and fostering dialogue with other music trade organizations.
  • Partnerships include shared resources and cooperation on at least three events.
  • Bluegrass Music Foundation assets exceed $1 million.


  • IBMA is a $1.5 million per year enterprise.
  • Net income allows for major discretionary projects, introduce innovative entrepreneurial ventures.
  • More than 3,000 members.
  • IBMA is less dependent on World of Bluegrass for financial stability, having developed additional event, co-venture, and other diverse revenue streams.
  • The organization owns its own offices.
  • A professional staff of at least five full-time equivalents includes computer technology and communications/publicity expertise.
  • The staff has little turnover and much job satisfaction.
  • There is more diverse leadership in board, staff, and committee positions, especially young (under 35) and female leaders.



Accomplishing an organization’s mission and seeing its vision become reality requires commitment to specific goals and a broad understanding of the relationships between those goals. In most instances, there is a synergy between the goals adopted by IBMA with each goal making an individual contribution toward IBMA’s vision and, collectively, the product of achieving one goal may foster the success of another. The sum of the individual components of this plan is indeed greater than its individual parts.

They are summarized here and detailed further in multiple action plans which are available upon request. The priority in which they are seen by leadership is set to emphasize the importance each plays in the overall success of this plan. The prioritization may also serve as a tool that provides guidance and focus for the board in allocating limited resources.

These goals are for implementation and action prior to December 31, 2011.


TOP GOALS (in order of priority)

1. Build our customers?ability to succeed in the changing business environment.

2. Reach new audiences for bluegrass through media and events.

3. Increase and diversify IBMA resources, in order to further all goals and improve organizational stability.

4. Explore partnerships with other organizations to drive new opportunities.



Members who would like a copy of the complete plan, IBMA: Strategic Plan 2008-2011 may obtain one at no cost by contacting the IBMA office at 615-256-3222 or