Are you ready to take your association’s event experiences to the next level?

Think your small staff doesn’t have the time or resources to take your association’s event experiences to the next level? Here are a few simple things you can do to deliver top-notch experiences for your event attendees. Learn how to optimize your association’s events.

Planning and executing on an event might seem like a tall enough order for your small association. Finding the time to go the extra step to provide great event experiences might seem out of reach.

The good news is that even with a small staff, your organization can deliver excellent experiences for all of your event attendees – from staff and speakers to attendees and sponsors.

Here are a few simple things you can do to take your event experiences to the next level:

For speakers

Host a speaker training before the event. Speakers will feel more at ease if they know what to expect. Make sure your speakers know the event schedule, when and where they need to be, and any other details about the event.

Have an additional meeting with your keynote speakers before the event to review the content and logistics of their sessions. Offer to review their slides and run through their presentations with them to make suggestions.

Create a branded PowerPoint slide template for your speakers to use. This gives your speakers a starting point for their presentations and helps to provide consistency across all sessions.

For attendees

Offer a convenient registration wait list process to allow potential attendees to automatically add themselves to a waitlist once your attendance limit is reached.

TIP: YourMembership AMS by Community Brands includes wait list functionality that allows you to set wait list limits, let potential attendees add themselves to the wait list when the limit is reached, and then automatically invite the next person on your wait list when a space opens.

In order to optimize your association’s events send registrants a short series of pre-event emails to get them excited about your event and let them know what to expect. For example, in one email, you might include event highlights. In another, include top tips for getting the most out of the event.

Send attendees an email on each day of the event. Focus on updates and key events for the day. Include links to any event materials that are online so that attendees can easily access them.

Make it easy for attendees (and your staff!) to track and receive continuing education credits for qualifying sessions they attend at your event by automating the process.

TIP: Using YourMembership AMS, you can track who attended each event and session, and then automatically award the correct certifications or number of credits to each attendee. You can automatically send email confirmations when members have earned credits and certifications to keep them informed. Plus, your members can log in to a member portal to easily view their credits and certifications.

Engage attendees outside of the event. For example, post highlights each day of the event on your social media accounts. Also, build event engagement through your online member community by starting online discussion groups about topics from your event. These discussions can continue well beyond the event itself.

For sponsors

Set aside dedicated times throughout the event for attendees to visit with sponsors. Also, allow sponsors to schedule appointments with attendees in advance.

Send sponsors any leads that are collected through your lead collection technology within 24 hours of the event. Sponsors want to respond quickly to hot leads, and they will appreciate this prompt delivery.

Demonstrate value to your sponsors by adding extra sponsor value and perks (outside of the standard list of sponsor benefits) throughout the event. This added step will keep your sponsors and exhibitors happy and coming back again and again.

For your staff

Ask your members to volunteer to help. Some of your most active members will likely be happy to serve as event volunteers. Having extra help will give your staff more time to deliver great event experiences for your attendees, speakers, and sponsors.

Just as you did with your speakers, host a staff training. Make sure each staff member (including volunteers!) knows the event schedule, how to use any event technology, and who to contact during the event with any questions.

Ask your keynote and other speakers to help promote your event. Not only will this give your speakers a chance to promote their own sessions, but it will also give your staff a hand in marketing the event.

Give your staff event management tools that help them work more efficiently before, during, and after the event.

TIP: YourMembership AMS includes event management functionality that allows your staff to create and manage everything from small meetings to large events. Your staff can copy events to save time on event setup. They can also manage everything – from event details and online registration to ticketing, check-in, and badge printing – all through one system.

Learn more! Discover more insights about how to provide great event experiences for your association’s members and optimize your association’s events. Read the 2023 Event Trends Study.

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