Our contributor Mark Levin stresses why our meetings and events are significant assets to our organisations, sectors, professions and communities through a sense of legacy.
So, here we are in the late stages of 2023, and everyone is concerned about the “future” of non-profit meetings and events: “Covid changed everything.” “People have gotten used to not travelling.” “The cost of everything is driving attendees away, or to virtual attendance.”
If you are waiting for me to deny any of these, keep waiting. Yes, to a large degree, these concerns about meeting and events are true. I’ve been in the association management/meeting planning profession for a very long time, and I believe these next few years will be more challenging to the meetings industry than anything it has faced since 9/11. Side note: it’s scary how many readers of this article probably weren’t even in the meetings business when that happened.
We certainly have had to adjust to a lot of changes in the past few years, changes that will be with us for a very long time, if not permanently. However, that doesn’t mean we have to start lowering expectations, cutting budgets, and making sure every moment of our events is available remotely! We just have to get back to the basics. We have to remember what our meetings and events bring to our organisation and, more importantly, to the industries, professions, and communities we represent.
Step back for a moment and consider:
1) Your meetings and events are among your organisation’s most valuable member benefits. Yes, your members and attendees have to pay additional fees to attend, but look at what many of these meetings provide...
Remember the basics – we’re not promoting meetings – we’re promoting the value of our meetings.
2) Your meetings and events are, by far, your organisation’s best opportunities to enhance visibility, credibility and influence in your industry, profession, or community.
3) Meetings and events are a showcase for our organisation on the global stage.
Our organisational meeting and events are where we not only talk about the legacy our association has left to our stakeholders, it’s also where those legacies are created.
Mark Levin, CAE, CSP has more than 20 years of experience as an association executive and is also an internationally-known speaker and consultant to the nonprofit and association community. He currently serves as Executive Vice President of the Chain Link Fence Manufacturers Institute, an international trade association, and as President of B.A.I., Inc., his speaking and consulting firm.
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