So you’re all set up and ready to go…booth looking good, handouts at the ready, candy sprinkled on the table and a big smile for all of the attendees. Ideally, conferences would help spread your message, increase your visibility and bring in new corporate and individual donors. How can you make sure that all of these things happen (and folks are not just stopping by for a grab at the free chocolate)? Here are some tips that I’ve found can increase your nonprofit’s effectiveness at these types of events.
Archive for the ‘Events and Education’ Category
There have been exciting technical advancements in the last decade in systematic support of targeted education and training. Gone are the days when education was styled on college lectures and end of session exams. Now it seems even passé to reference Computer Based Training (CBT), the darling of association training and certification just 15 years ago. I can recall the technical trainings I received in cramped rooms with enormous PC computers and a frantic facilitator running about rebooting the early versions of Windows.
10.) Define the purpose for the meeting – What is the definition of success and who is the intended audience?
9.) Develop an agenda – Figure out what they will learn (not content, not yet), the structure of the event (meeting in one room and/or breakouts, etc.), how long will this event be – hours, a day, two days, etc.
When planning a special event, does your organization have clearly defined goals? Do those goals include raising money for your cause? Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Even when costs are carefully managed, miscellaneous expenses involved from invitations to permits, staff time to venue rentals can quickly overcome a nonprofit’s budget.
The other day I was thinking about how quickly the year has gone. It is already mid-August and the Holidays will be upon us before we know it. This led to me think about starting the planning process for the Holidays. Thanksgiving is typically held at my home with about 50 family members in attendance. Needless to say, there’s a lot to plan. In order to plan a great menu, I need to direct various family members as to which dish each needs to prepare. I’ve finally decided, we have all had enough of Aunt May’s lime Jell-O mold with the extra crunchy unidentifiable items in it.
Have you even attended an event and thought who in the world thought this speaker pertains to me? Or, I am so busy how can I justify the time to sit in a boring event when I could be catching up on my paperwork? Taking these concerns into consideration is an important role for meeting planners when they are developing an event. Meeting planners do not need to be content experts but they do need to be aware of the complexities of the attendees’ roles and what they have to give up in order to attend an educational program
Last week, I shared a couple of ways that event management teams can ensure a great exhibitor experience.
In a few weeks, CMI will be producing the Case Management Society of America’s Annual Conference & Expo. This is CMSA’s largest event and it is important for many reasons: part community connection opportunity, part education seminar and a significant part of helping product and service vendors engage with case managers.
Well, you are not going crazy and you are not alone. There is a reason for this behavior and there is a solution. The reason is people attending the event are really in pain from the set-up of the room! Meetings are not only going green but ergonomic too. Room sets in the standard means people face the front in rows and in straight lines, which have scientifically been found to create stress on the body and a diminished attention span for participants.