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Conference organizers are always looking for ways to improve their yearly meetings, and one of the best ways to ensure members are engaged and their opinions heard is to hear directly from them. While having attendees vote before conferences isn’t a new idea, many associations are taking it to the next level, having attendees contribute opinions and in many cases run the show.

Conference attendees know exactly what they want – what kind of sessions are intriguing to them, what content is most captivating, and which extra features will keep them coming back year after year. Why not shift the old way of doing things? Don’t challenge your selection committee by guessing if your attendees will be pleased with the education you’ve been planning. Follow the lead of these associations who are shifting their approach in favor of the members’ choice:

The Sustainable Farming Association is currently exploring session topic ideas and has offered to poll their members. They want their members to help them discover new ideas for their upcoming annual conference.

The American Society for Nutrition is asking for member feedback for its new annual meeting that is set to begin in 2018. Members will vote on their preferred meeting location, as well as what details of a meeting matter most to them.

Annual meetings are such an important aspect of the way associations operate; why not shift your approach for your next conference? Utilize technology that allows you to make members feel as if their opinion matters all while elevating their conference experience. Still unsure? Take a vote.