There's an emerging trend in associations, . Boards and/or Chief Execs are making Annual Meeting re-invention a very high strategic priority. Many are charging existing education committees, or new task forces, to develop and bring long-term recommendations to the Board for their future Annual Meetings.
This type of project falls into the mission critical category since the Annual Meeting is often the major source of organization revenue, profit and membership value. Committee and task force participants are always comprised of loyal, caring and smart folks. They have a deep understanding of their profession, but rarely are knowledgeable on conference business models and 21st century education.
These committees and task forces provide the best stewardship when strategy session facilitation is coupled with a baseline knowledge of conference trends and business models. Most conferences have not articulated their purpose. They need direction on whether to put mission before margin or margin before mission. They need an honest assessment of their competition and true benchmarking and insights on their conference indicators. Once they're armed with these new lenses; big ideas follow.
This trend has had a huge impact on our company. While a number of our team members have exceptional facilitator skills, we've needed to evolve to wear two hats - facilitator plus consultant. When committees are guided with the right combination, they develop a plan that is grounded in evidence and one that they truly own.
Is your Annual Meeting re-invention primarily staff or volunteer/member driven?