Anyone involved with associations knows how important it is for member retention that the annual conference is not only well attended, but that members have an outstanding experience. As MPI (Meeting Professionals International( recently published “7 Tips for Better Association Meetings” in their monthly magazine, The Meeting Professional. The following 7 tips are excellent and a good guide to strategically adjust to the changing association landscape. Lots of food for thought here.
- Start With the Goals- what are you trying to achieve
- Consider Less Programming – Yes, give them a little down time to catch up on emails, check in with family, etc.
- Mix up Session Styles – Vary the length of sessions, vary the room set up. Maybe a session or two could a Ted Talk Style.
- Use Technology To Adjust in Real Time – via event apps
- Be Family Friendly – Many folks will want to bring family to help with their work-life balance. Plan some activities around families, make it easy for family activities while the attendee is in sessions.
- Don’t Fear Virtual – “The hybrid event – an in person meeting with a virtual component for people who can’t attend is actually helping meeting planners increase engagement and boost numbers for future events”.
- Deliver What The Association Uniquely Needs – It may be education, networking, etc.
To read the entire article, 7 Tips for Better Association Meetings http://ow.ly/E26lr
To see more about #6 www.pnventerprises.com/pnvwebcasts/
One Meeting-Two Ways to Distribute Information
Of course, content is always king.
With that said, assuming that your conference or seminar has excellent content of interest to your group, we’ll go to the next step: A Hybrid Event.
Think about your successful conferences. Good attendance, good feedback. But why not have more?
A Hybrid event allows you to produce one conference, but with a bit of extra planning, to expand your audience.
If your company holds annual or semi-annual sales meetings, a percentage of your sales force either won’t qualify for the meeting or simply are unable to take the time away from family to attend. If those people could attend virtually, they would reap most of the benefits of the live meeting.
What if your association members come from all over the USA or possibly globally? A good percentage may not be able to attend for a variety of reasons and because of that may not feel that they’re really part of the organization. How to make those folks feel that they are part of the group? Webcast your conference and make it interactive. The ROI that you achieve will surprise you.
Would Selfies fit into a corporate or association conference? Maybe!
Although the Selfie has been way overdone, the idea would fit into certain corporate or association conferences.
Years ago, many multi day conferences ended with a Final Night Farewell Gala. Most of the time as the event technical producers, we would produce a “Candids Module” to be shown as a loop during dinner. These Candids Modules were a huge hit. You would hear people exclaim, “Look, there’s Joe by the pool!” Or “ There’s Sam and John on the golf course!” Then, “ “Peggy and Harry’s presentation was great. Look at the attention of the audience!”
These modules were a huge payoff for spending a few days together, learning and playing. We would have 2 or 3 photographers tag along on the various group events and check in at the sessions. The photos would be quickly edited the afternoon of the Farewell Dinner and turned into the Candids Module.
But, why not have attendees take Selfies during the conference and activities as well.? Then have them email the Selfies to the Video Editor/Producer to edit into a final Candids Module. Of course Selfies are not just one person. Often they’re Group Selfies. You could have a lot of fun with this idea. Remember, almost everyone has a Smart Phone with a camera and almost all would want to submit a Selfie or two. Obviously, though, inappropriate Selfies would be weeded out.
One caveat, however. Don’t ever rely on Selfies alone. It’s advisable to have a professional photographer or two along to shoot the big group photos and to make sure all the necessary elements are included. This will also assure that you have enough photos that are good quality for the module as well as the company archive.
IF you’d like more information or tips on producing this, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here Are 7 Questions You Should Ask Yourself :
- What is the purpose of your meeting?
- How big an audience do you anticipate?
- Will there be solo speakers, panels?
- Will there be Q&A?
- Will you be showing any videos or PowerPoints?
- Will there be more than one session in the room
- Will there be a need for wi-fi?
Having these answers to give to your audio visual supplier or technical production company will help you to achieve what you need. Sometimes planners will over do what they ask for because they haven’t asked themselves these questions. That’s bad for your budget! Conversely, sometimes a planner will ask for less than they should to save money, but that usually ends up with a less desirable outcome.
Do you have questions about the questions? Email email@example.com to arrange for a no obligation 15 minute consultation.