Wednesday Buzz: Plan an Impressive Meeting on a Tight Budget

Learn creative ways to maximize your meeting budget. Also: Transform your association into a learning organization.

Have you ever had a tight budget for an important meeting?

Even though you may only have a beer budget, you’ve set champagne expectations for your attendees. The Planning Pod blog delivers 10 creative tips that will help you to make the most of every dollar.

Create a unique theme name to get people attracted to your event. “The best place to start here is to survey your target audience for the timely topics that interest or even frighten them (negative headlines actually pull better than positive ones),” says Planning Pod co-founder Jeff Kear. “Know their style and how they like to be entertained. And then serve it up with a title that will compel them to learn more.”

Kear also recommends ditching the expensive hotels and conference venues, and encourages event planners to try out nontraditional venues. “Museums, theaters, municipal buildings, libraries, zoos, parks, mansions/estates, historical buildings, gardens, and ships all fit this category, as do some restaurants and bars,” he writes.

In addition, Kear suggests developing alternate sources of revenue outside of tickets and donations. Create a sellable product—something like the concert T-shirt—that provides entertainment or particular value to your attendees.


For an association to thrive into the future, constant learning has to be a central part of its process.

According to WBT Systems, a learning organization “is more responsive to external pressures, has a faster pace of change within the organization, and is better able to innovate and remain competitive.”

Is your association consistently adapting and changing strategies?

WBT Systems points to these four key actions to help transform your organization:

  • create continuous learning opportunities
  • encourage collaboration and team learning
  • establish systems to capture and share learning
  • provide strategic leadership for learning

Check out their article for more in-depth advice.

Improve your emails: Wild Apricot tells us why our emails are being ignored—and how to fix it.

Office chatter: CMS Wire reveals how to evaluate the right communication tool for your team.

Work-life balance: Harvard Business Review takes a deep dive into how organizations can help out working parents.


Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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