The proverbial “Pandemic” box forced our Princeton Association Management Professionals (PAMP) Team to think “Outside of It”, however as they say, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” and along with many other professional associations, we pivoted quickly and successfully with our clients’ upcoming conferences.
While the immediate future remained uncertain for in-person conferences and workshops, we anticipated the need for continued change both with conference logistics and content as we moved “Onward & Upward”.
With two very successful virtual conferences, in the Fall of 2020 and Spring of 2021, under our belt, we focused on identifying best practices to bring our client back to in-person meetings starting in the Fall of 2021.
Our short-term objectives required an adjustment to our usual approach to our ongoing priorities due to the current pandemic. Our priorities include maintaining member’s connections by way of conveying targeted presentations of interest-based on the last conference’s questionnaire feedback and current topics of interest while encouraging membership participation in presentations and awards nominations. Our number one priority was our clients’ staff and members’ health and safety.
Focusing on health and safety we stayed on top of current CDC guidelines and kept our members regularly apprised of the association’s current stance on requirements for in-person attendance for the upcoming conference. The number one tool in association management is communication. It was extremely important to manage potential attendees’ expectations on safety and the requirements to attend.
With all our safety measures and protocols thought out and shared we focused on the program and how to carry forward what we learned and implemented from our virtual conference. As the quality and diversity of virtual learning and meetings options increased, people were drawn to in-person meetings for new reasons.
We incorporated the technology we used at the virtual meetings to improve member experience, it was fully integrated with the event, and it was well-received. We used apps to create a paper-free meeting, which accomplished two things, environmental responsibility and eliminating conference material contact. Additionally, we allowed for virtual presentation which widened the pool for inclusion and topics of interest.
As we all move “Onward & Upward” our PAMP team is confident we can meet associations’ demands in various ways. The future offers a host of possibilities for association meetings and event planners, so it is important to make informed decisions, and we are here to guide you.