Association Events: Resolutions for the Rest of 2011At the beginning of 2011, Jeremy Victor wrote a blog on B2Bbloggers titled “50 Ways to Make 2011 Rock“.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not much into New Year’s Resolution, however, I am a big fan of taking stock of your life, both personally and professionally, especially at the beginning, middle, and end of any year. So, as we approach the middle of 2011, I found 4 of his 50 ideas pertinent to association events and thought it’s time to re-visit these ideas (Note: these numbers skip around since they are from the original blog).

2. If an activity is not benefiting your customers, stop and ask “Why are we doing this?”

Right now would be a good time to look at all the meetings and events your association has over the next two years. Are they well attended? If attendance is dwindling, reviews are lousy, and/or turnover is great, maybe it is time to cut your losses and stop having certain meetings and events.

13. Turn every complaint into a positive customer experience.

The worst thing association planners can do is ignore their attendees’ requests, concerns, and complaints. Addressing every complaint in a timely matter makes for a loyal attendee following because they feel that you are listening to them. If the event is large or you think your attendees prefer anonymity, it is easy to allow them to speak through technology. One way is to set up computer kiosks throughout the event hallways for self-service, 24/7 attendee input. Another is poll attendees dynamically with wireless audience response systems. If you rent Tablet PCs, your event organizers can follow Twitter feeds from your members and change the content or flow of the day.

21. Find out how many of your customers have and use smartphones.

This is huge. If your next association event is planning on using a mobile application on a smartphone and only 60% of your attendees own them, this will be a major problem. In addition, just because someone owns a smartphone does not mean they use all the apps on it. Poll your attendees beforehand and find out their level of sophistication with their smartphone. If you want to utilize mobile apps, rent iPads, Tablet PCs, or laptops and then as people check in to your event, make certain there are volunteers or staff to give the attendee a brief tutorial about the mobile device and apps.

27. Replace any fear of technology with the acceptance of it.

Are you a technophobe? Maybe your association staff is too. However, times are changing and now is the time to jump onto the technology wagon and get going. It is not going away. Ever. Bust out of your comfort zone and start to use technology at your next event. Find out what technology your attendees are using. Find out their biggest complaints and figure out how technology can solve your problem. Long check-in registration lines for the event? Self-service touch panel kiosks can do the job! They don’t want to carry around a thick binder and get tons of paper? An iPad rental or Tablet PC could be your answer! They don’t want to fill out paper surveys? Audience Response System rentals. An on and on. Embrace it, your life will just get easier.

AV Event Solutions
 is here to help with continued success of all your association events and meetings. Try and follow at least one of the above suggestions before 2011 slips away. Otherwise, you might be saying “there is always next year.”