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blog.memberclicks.comhubfsMistakes to Avoid in 2019

6 Mistakes to Avoid at Your Association or Chamber in 2019

When we talk about the new year and what that means for us - both personally and professionally - we often talk about what we’re going to do. But to achieve success, sometimes we need to pinpoint the activities and behaviors that are bad for us; the things we’re not going to do.

What mistakes should association and chamber professionals avoid in 2019? We’ve identified six:

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Helping Your Members Justify Conference Attendance

Posted by Callie Walker

Conference Justification.jpg

You likely put a lot of work into your conference marketing - explaining the benefits to get your members to attend. But what if the real challenge isn’t convincing your members there’s value, it’s convincing their bosses?

Yup, many people need approval not only to have those expenses covered (which is the biggest hurdle), but to be out of the office in general.

...and that can be a tough sell (ESPECIALLY if that company/organization is short-staffed).

To help your members out, consider putting together a few collateral pieces they can use to pitch your conference to their bosses. Think of it like a conference justification toolkit.

What should go in that toolkit, exactly? Here are a few ideas:

A justification letter

First, consider putting together a letter your members can give their bosses explaining 1) what the conference is, and 2) why they should attend. The letter should be fairly short (1 - 2 pages, depending on the type of conference and cost), but more importantly, informative.

You’ll want to start off by outlining the benefits. So for example, this particular section might say:

This conference will allow me to…

  • Expand my professional skillset
  • Bring that knowledge back to the office/our team
  • Network with others in the industry
  • Talk to exhibitors first-hand (This is particularly important if the company/organization is seeking out a vendor partner)

Then, you may want to have a section listing notable speakers and sessions. The more concrete examples you can give of the type of information the attendee will learn, the better.

Last but not least, you’ll want to touch on price. Be very clear about what the cost to attend is, but don’t forget to mention early-bird pricing and discounts, if there are any. Remember, you’re trying to sell this thing!

So, a brief outline for your letter might be…

  • This conference is…
    • Who, what, when, where
  • This conference will allow me to…
    • Benefits of attending
  • Notable speakers include…
  • The full price to attend is…

Again, short, but informative!

A fact sheet

In addition to your justification letter, you may want to put together a fact sheet further explaining the benefits of attending your conference. Sometimes, fast facts resonate with people better, and you want to have as much “supporting evidence” as possible. Your fact sheet might be titled, “Top 10 Reasons to Attend Conference XYZ” - or something along those lines. Quick, but compelling!

Now let’s say your members DO get approval. The last thing you want is for them to be disappointed. So, for tips on making sure your next event is a HUGE success, check out our Complete Guide to Association Event Planning below! (It’s free!)

Association Event Planning: The Complete Guide  Best practices for before, during, and after an event Download this guide

Topics: Small Staff Chatter, association management, event planning, membership management

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