Meetings

Daily Buzz: Make Your Event More Family-Friendly

By / Feb 3, 2020 (FatCamera/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Make it easier for members with children to participate in your meetings. Also: how to leave work behind when you’re not on the job.

For members with children, attending events without child care services is difficult—or may be impossible. To make meetings more inclusive and drive up attendance rates, consider adding child care and activities for children, writes Elise Schoening of Northstar Meetings Group.

“I rarely go to conferences solely because it’s a hassle to coordinate child care, and I have to justify the sacrifice my family has to make for me to leave for two to four days,” Mike Tatum, cofounder and CEO of Tatum Digital, told Schoening.

If your budget is too small to hire child care services, Schoening recommends partnering with licensed providers in the host city. Organizations such as KiddieCorp and Corporate Kids Events organize onsite child care programs that include games and other age-appropriate activities. Though attendees pay for these services, Schoening says offering them shows members that your events are family-friendly and that parents are welcome.

If your organization is working with a bigger budget, consider subsidizing child care costs. The International Communication Association did so for its annual conference in 2019, Schoening writes. In the post-conference survey, 90 percent of respondents said having child care at the meeting made a difference as to whether or not they could attend.

How to Break Away From Work

In today’s work environment, the lines between being on and off the clock are often blurred, making it difficult for employees to pull away from their jobs. To get the break you need, set boundaries, suggests time management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders in the Harvard Business Review.

“We need a mental break to do our best work, and taking time for ourselves—without the distraction of work—can help us become our best selves,” Saunders writes.

Start by clearly defining your after hours. If you don’t have a structured 9-to-5 schedule, think about how many hours you need for essential personal activities to determine how much time to reserve on a daily and weekly basis. Once your hours are set, communicate the schedule with your colleagues.

Other Links of Note

Do you know what Gen Z wants? HubSpot’s Pamela Bump offers 52 stats marketers should know about the young members of this generation.

To make your event stand out, try one of these unusual branding techniques, says Susan Finch of Connect Meetings.

Want to conduct member spotlights? Callie Walker of MemberClicks shares 20 questions you can ask your members.

Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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