Meetings

Monday Buzz: Boost Meeting Engagement Without Breaking the Bank

By / Jun 5, 2017 (monkeybusinessimages/Thinkstock)

You don’t have to make radical changes to improve engagement at your meeting. Here are a few simple things to try. Also: Is there a downside to discounting member dues?

We all know the basic association meeting format by heart: morning keynote speech, followed by a few panels, then a break, followed by more sessions and a social hour. It’s a format that works, but you might want to shake things up a bit for your next meeting to increase attendee engagement. Association Success shares a few low-cost tactics you can try.

Start by removing barriers between your speakers and the audience. Ditch the podium for a high-top table. And make sure you have as many Q&A sessions with each presentation as possible. “If you are afraid no one will speak up, pre-identify ‘audience advocates’—knowledgeable participants who are quick thinkers—and have them ask questions,” writes Doreen Ashton Wagner.

Also consider reducing the number of speakers and panels on the schedule to help with information retention. “Too often participants walk away from conferences with packed schedules, feeling like they had little time to absorb material,” says Wagner. Give people longer breaks so they can check email and social media, making them less distracted and more able to focus during the sessions.

Membership Dues

At some point, most membership organizations will probably consider reducing dues to attract more members.

But a recent Moery Company blog post argues that lowering dues could backfire. “We work hard at our organizations to build up the membership value proposition,” writes JP Moery. “So, when we discount it, it actually drives down the value of membership.”

Lowering dues also might affect your renewals. A member signs up at a reduced rate, but when it comes time to renew, he or she may be less willing to stay at a higher price.

Other Links of Note

Do you have a plan for recruiting baby boomers to your organization? Engaging Volunteers shares ways to keep boomer volunteers excited about participating.

Don’t let your smartphone addiction get any worse. CMSWire reveals how to resolve smartphone separation anxiety.

Packing for business travel doesn’t have to be a hassle. Forbes shares several tips and tricks for packing like a road warrior.

Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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