Our team had a fabulous discussion the other day about the various events we’ve attended over the years for our clients. What works, what doesn’t, etc. We came to a startling realization…those organizations that need to update their meetings the most aren’t the ones with the dying events, or those facing copious issues in a changing industry… it’s those in the middle of the road.
We’ll call them the C students if you will. They seemingly coast by, doing what they’ve always done. “It works, so why change it?” seems to be the mentality of this group. “We make money at our event, so why change it?”. The best associations are the ones that push the envelope and mix things up, even though they don’t HAVE to. Because what lies beyond pushing themselves could be unanticipated new revenue streams, record attendance numbers, or an untapped market.
I’ve worked for dozens of meetings and events over my nine years with The Moery Company, and one of my most valuable lessons came from Consumer Bankers Association CEO, Richard Hunt. He asked to meet with myself and JP to find out how they could continue to expand their sponsorship revenue, after already exceeding their sponsorships year after year! The best part is, Richard was willing to mix things up however he needed to do it – unafraid of risk. This is the kind of drive that makes associations thrive and impresses boards.
Going back to my original question – “Who needs to upgrade their meeting?”. The answer is – those who think they don’t, are probably the ones that need to the most.
Elizabeth Johnson is a Vice President at The Moery Company. For additional content by Elizabeth, check out Chasing the Chickens of Membership. Follow her on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn. She can also be reached at Elizabeth@moerycompany.com.