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Get more value from your Association Conference or Association Event: Part 2 of 2

Get more value from your association conference or Association Event AS THE ASSOCIATION EVENT HOST

If you’re an association conference or association event host you know how much of an investment the annual general meeting or annual conference can be.  It is an important event and a large investment. Get more out of this core organization activity. Use more strategic planning to turn your event into one your members (and staff) will not want to miss each year.

GIVE YOUR STAFF THE TOOLS TO SUCCEED

Inform. Give them an FAQ sheet that will help them respond well to typical questions asked by attendees.
Infuse More:
Hold a practice session for ensured success and staff input.

Uniform. Be on the floor with a unified presence. Outline a dress code of what all your event staff will wear. It could be as basic as Khaki pants/skirts with a golf shirt or button down shirt. Make sure it is in the colour of your brand.
Infuse More:
Buy corporate shirts. Buy women’s and men’s for your staff. Order each person’s size for proper fit. This will add to your professional look.

Schedule. Add structure to how your staff participates at the association conference or association event. Create a schedule for trade booth time, or to attend seminars.
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Plan it so that you balance out your communications and technical team presence. They complement each other in knowledge type and how they interact with participants (sometimes tekkies have their own language!).

MATCH YOUR EVENT LOCATION WITH YOUR BRAND

Association conferences are great opportunities to strengthen your brand and leave a raving, lasting impression on your members. You want them to want more.

Event Space: Sure the space can hold the number of people or members you expect to attend. But, is it aligned with your brand and image? Building and construction associations would do well hosting their event at an innovative, new conference centre, or hotel space with exposed beams or architectural features.
Infuse More:
Survey your attendees and ask them where they would like the next event held. Respond to their feedback. Your members will appreciate your interest in what they have to say, and you might gain some new insight into next year’s event.

Registration: Not many people like to wait in lines. And, the registration lines process can sometimes take a lot of your attendee’s time. Respect their time away from the office. Streamline all the paperwork and check-in items. This way, the attendee does not need to take time to pull it all together from different piles.
Infuse More:
 Surprise them and bring in your President, executive or a guest speaker earlier, to shake hands, welcome and talk informally with your attendees.

INCREASE MEMBER INTERACTION

Be Social: Give your attendees more ways than they need to interact with others, and you, at the event. Use social media tools, QR codes, old fashion poster boards or whatever fits best with your audience. Older generations appreciate larger print, younger generations adapt well to online tools. Your target audience will have its own preferences and behaviors. Infuse More: Be the champion, show them how innovative your organization is by the way you use available tools.

Connect and Re-connect like the Energizer Rabbit – go on and on. Let your event be the springboard to ongoing communications with your members and attendees. After the event, send attendees a follow up email with a thank you for attending. Infuse More: Send a post-event survey. Email them an e-book or event presentation summaries.

Define your Champions: Listen at your event to find out who are your Champion members. Talk and develop stronger relationships with your key members. Infuse More: Engage them to help you raise more awareness. Champions can be a valuable group to leverage as a strategic conduit to reaching out and gaining more industry support.

Be a more successful association event host. Learn and use more strategic planning in your association communications and marketing projects. Please share this article with your colleagues or others you know who might be interested in adding more value to the association events they host.

Sandra Hamway, marketing strategist and founder of Infuse Five
Infuse Five, based in Ottawa, Canada, is dedicated to helping associations and businesses, across North America and globally. We offer business results through innovative marketing communications strategies without the need to hire a full time senior specialist. Want more smart MarCom tips? Don’t miss a blog update – Subscribe to this feed.

Sandra

Sandra

Marketing strategist and founder of Infuse Five Infuse Five, based in Ottawa, Canada, helps businesses and associations, across North America, grow. Focus is on innovative marketing and communications strategies. Ottawa marketing customized to fit your specific business needs.
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