Conference Services: How They Can Improve Your Association Events

Best Practices : Article

Association Conference ServicesToday’s remote conferencing tools and virtual events are great for going green and reducing travel spend—particularly if your working groups, association executives, or Board members are geographically dispersed. But there’s no real substitute for in-person gatherings. When you need to unite key people in your association—for training, strategizing, or promoting new initiatives—professional conference services can help.

What’s the value of conference services? The answer depends on the type of event you’re trying to organize or attend. Here are five that we often tackle on behalf of our clients and association executives:

1. Working Group Meetings

Email and conference calls are great, but they’ll never replace face-to-face meetings. Working groups are comprised of many different dynamics—different personalities, different expectations, different learning styles. By removing the headaches associated with venues and itineraries, conference services can help you coordinate your next working group session, so all your members are more productive.

2. Board Meetings

How seamless are your annual strategic planning sessions? How many working hours are co-opted so you can plan for the planning session? Comprehensive conference services can support your Board members by setting the agenda, orchestrating meeting logistics, even facilitating discussions or taking meeting minutes.

3. Tradeshow Booths

There’s a reason we’ve all experienced the tradeshow circuit at one time or another. Done well, tradeshows still work. Conference services can help you define “done well” for any event or expo you’re considering—from booth marketing to tradeshow collateral. For example, a traditional 10×10 association booth won’t get much traffic next to a display on a 102-inch OLED at the Consumer Electronics Show.

4. Plugfests

If you’re a standards-setting organization, you rely on plugfests to test the interoperability of different products or services in a standardized environment. Conference services can help you bring together the people and tools for better technical experimentation and collaboration.

5. Networking Events

Associations are natural “conveners.” They create safe spaces for people to meet, across industries and geographic markets. Hosting a conference or forum carries tremendous potential to grow your membership and your role as a thought leader. It’s much easier to focus on the content of your event if you’re using conference services to manage the logistics.

Remember: you don’t need a full-time events coordinator to handle your association gatherings. Conference services are available as on-demand solutions, customized to fit your association needs.

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