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Monday Buzz: Finding Profitability in Virtual Events

By / Dec 15, 2014 (Michael Pettigrew/ThinkStock)

Virtual events aren’t just a flashy show of technology for your association; they can also turn a profit. Plus: It’s time to mothball those musty buzzwords.

As much as your members may want to attend your conferences, life can often get in the way.

Schedules don’t align, roadblocks pop up, and excited would-be attendees are left behind. That’s why having a virtual track is so appealing to many associations that want to engage a larger audience without breaking the bank.

For those new to virtual events, e-Learning Solutions’ Lloyd Tucker has a comprehensive guest post on Tagoras’ blog about a virtual track he added to the Society for Technical Communication’s May 2014 annual meeting. (He was STC’s deputy executive director and director of education and membership at the time.)

“The virtual track had to be interactive, easy for staff to put together, easy for virtual attendees to come and go, and not technologically challenging for staff or attendees,” Tucker writes.

Breaking down each step of the virtual track, from choosing content to choosing a producer to pricing the entire process, Tucker makes it clear that virtual events aren’t just an effective way to raise your association’s profile—they can help your bottom line as well.

“Not only was it popular and filled a niche, it was profitable. Not counting staff time, we had expenses of about $3,000 and registration income of $10,000. It helped that a large part of the work was being done anyway,” Tucker concludes.

Presentation of the Day

Last week we mentioned Altimeter Group analyst Brian Solis’ thoughts on digital transformation, and now you can read through Altimeter’s entire presentation on “The 2014 State of Digital Transformation.”

Other Good Reads

Looking for a one-stop shop for vendors that your association could partner with? Then if you’re in Colorado, there’s good news! The Colorado Society of Association Executives has just launched the Colorado Association Marketplace Directory.

The next year of IT will revolve around the 6 C’s—containers, convergence, cloud security, closets, crowd workers, and coexistence—according to CMSWire reporter David Roe.

This list is far from complete, and everyone has their own buzzword pet peeves, but Inc.com editor Geoffrey James’ 40 buzzwords to retire in the coming year is a great place to start trimming your cliched vocabulary.

Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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