Author: Christina Sandridge
Zoom, WebEx, and Teams have become the most common ways to connect with your organization within these past two years. Now, it is time to take the connection to its original form: off-line.
When associations can meet in person, there is significantly more value that members and leaders can ascertain. Meeting in person can be more effective when conveying information and is easier for everyone to focus without the constant distractions of a doorbell, pet, or even connectivity problems. A more controlled environment is key, and these meetings can flow more smoothly.
There was value in the switch to virtual meetings for a while but making virtual the “new normal” can hinder or slow the development and growth of your association. A lack of personal connection can prevent members from truly engaging and forming meaningful relationships within the association. As members might live in different time zones, scheduling virtual meetings can be an added challenge.
One of the main reasons a member might join an association is the personal relations that can be formed: industry connections, partnerships, and potential clients. Networking in person provides a much more memorable and compelling connection between people. This benefit that associations provide is made successful through in person events and meetings.
Meeting in person allows for a member to be in a room with like-minded individuals and produces an energy and passion that is impossible to achieve through a virtual environment. Conferences, and the travel that often comes with them, invite members to invest in their own development and get out of their comfort zones. When members can break out of their normal habits for these conferences, they can develop creative and unique ideas that ultimately make them stronger in their field.
As an association, it is important to address the shift to in person meetings. In times of uncertainty, people crave clear and relevant information. Before any event, communicate the details and all the steps being taken to ensure a safe event, this includes any requirements that the hotel or offsite venue might have. If you plan to have a speaker or a training available to your members, it is more important than ever to stress the quality of the opportunity. This way attendees feel that it is worth their time and effort to travel.
There are a few other steps that can be helpful as we return to in person events. The size of the event should be based on the venue size and the number of attendees that will safely fit. And don’t forget that as the weather gets nicer, outdoor events (weather permitting) are a great way to help members feel comfortable and safe.
At Easter Associates, we are working to make your events and meetings as effective for your association as possible. By bringing your activities back to an in person setting, we are able to deliver a higher quality activity with more meaning. We also are sure to make the process as smooth as possible for all attendees. Do you want help bringing your events back to normal? Give our team a call to help plan an effective event for your association.