Meetings Industry Launches Initiative to Drive More Attendance

With the help of the Experience Institute, an array of event-based organizations, including ASAE, launched a campaign designed to encourage more people to travel for conferences. The campaign is built around the Decision to Attend Study, the second edition of which was just released.

The more attendees the merrier, right? Certainly that’s a great idea, but easier said than done, right?

A new industry initiative could help get that ball rolling. The Experience Institute this week announced Maximizing Attendance, an effort to provide research to the meetings industry and encourage best practices within the sector, with the goal of driving more attendance to face-to-face meetings.

The initiative has wide support from some of the most prominent trade groups in the events sector, including ASAE, Destinations International, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Meeting Professionals International, and the Professional Convention Management Association.

Leading the campaign is the second edition of the Decision to Attend Study [PDF], which Associations Now’s Samantha Whitehorne recently highlighted, but also it includes tools such as a brainstorming checklist [PDF] and a behavioral profile template [PDF].

In comments on the campaign, ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE, noted that the recent research highlighted the importance of taking action to help drive future results.

“It’s critical for learning, meetings, and communication teams to work together and develop new content, experiences, and engagement strategies, so members are motivated to attend and return to your events,” Graham said in a statement.

Beyond the existing tools, the initiative plans to release an attendance promotion handbook targeted at convention and visitors bureaus. Experience Institute Founder Mickey Schaefer, FASAE, CAE, said the goal of this initiative is to arm both destinations and event planners with the information they need to drive more attendees to conferences.

“The vision is to maximize attendance by identifying the nuances of each group in order to match attendees to their preferred environment—an environment where they will thrive, talk about it, and decide to return,” Schaefer added.

Beyond associations, a number of CVBs are taking part in the new campaign, with the Greater Des Moines CVB and Synchronicities (a joint group representing San Antonio; Anaheim, California; and Baltimore) at the highest level of sponsorship.

(WebSubstance/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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