Legacy rituals and age-old programming will keep your meeting—and organization—from future growth. Improving your conference starts with the right leaders at the helm. Also: Learning programs should be transformational.
If your annual meeting isn’t offering anything new, excitement will dwindle and attendance will dip. Now, you don’t have to overhaul all your legacy traditions, but an occasional refresh of the meeting’s programming, setup, or both is a necessary part of the event’s life cycle.
And for such reimagination to happen, you need leaders on board ready to innovate, collaborate, and get creative.
“Conference reform must start with cultivating leaders at many levels, each with the moral purpose to make a difference in the lives of their participants,” says Jeff Hurt on the Velvet Chainsaw blog. “These leaders have to face a major obstacle—your conference’s cultural legacy—its traditions, schedule, routines, and formats. They must have the tenacity to keep trying when they slip back into past practices.”
To get started, leaders should audit current conference practices to define what is and isn’t working. From there, Hurt says, teams should plan the meeting with the goal of continuous improvement, rather than creating rituals that must be adhered to year after year. “These leaders create a contagious shared vision by dreaming in the future and doing in the present,” he says.
Let Learning Lead Change
"Developing mastery requires developing skill, deepening knowledge, and advancing as part of an ongoing process." @TracyInspired challenges associations to question whether their educational programs offer transformation or information. https://t.co/amOnHrWDDG #assnchat pic.twitter.com/9mkL94RUyB
— Association Success (@assn_success) January 9, 2019
If your professional development program is doing its job, the learning you offer will inevitably drive change.
“Associations have so much power to strengthen the workforce pipelines of their industries and develop mastery for individuals by better leveraging their educational portfolio to offer transformation,” Tracy King writes in a post on Association Success.
Paying attention to industry trends is imperative. “The foundation of education strategy is knowing how to position our programs within our market,” King says. “By listening with intention, we are poised to assess the needs of our association based on disruptions and shifts in play.”
Other Links of Note
Content marketing can be a great strategy, but stay away from these four buzzwords, says the Contently blog.
Planning a destination meeting? Make sure the city and venue are accessible, argues Smart Meetings.
To advance your career in 2019, Fast Company says to avoid these six mistakes.