In-Person Meetings Right Now – Association Field Report (September 24, 2021)



Hi, it’s JP Moery with some Observations from the Field.  As I record this message for you today, a number of associations are in the throes of implementing some of their first national meetings since the pandemic in person.  There is a lot of change and a lot of first times. I’m encouraged by it.
I was on board with a board of directors call last week for an association that was going through the first national meeting since the pandemic, and the first 30 minutes of the call was about mask policy. That’s a little crazy, not crazy that you have to do it, but crazy that we have to spend so much time on it. I think, frankly, the mask policy or the vaccine policy is similar to your registration badge. If you don’t have one you don’t get in, but I’m not here to be controversial. I’m just observing what I’m seeing from folks.  I’m really encouraged by the way that association is adopting some good safe policies for everybody.
Here’s what I’m hearing from our clients and friends that we speak with. The overall numbers for in-person meetings are a little soft, up to 25% is what I’m hearing most of the time. Some of that could be, safety protocols and things like that.  The other is, could be that there’s a lot of pent-up demand for business and they don’t have time to get away from the shop. So, make sure that content is great, and don’t forget to make some virtual components of these events still available because I think those people count and that engagement counts in the long term.
On the positive side, what I’m hearing is the exhibit, or the trade show floor has lots of energy. There may be fewer numbers, but those people really want to be there and they’re doing business like they used to. So, the folks that are showing up, give them the best experience you can, greet them with a lot of positivity and I think they want to do business with your vendors and your other attendees. That’s a positive.
This is a transition time, but it’s an exciting one because we’re getting into the things that we really deliver on and make us unique as associations. That’s bringing people together, facilitating that atmosphere for them to do business and improve their careers and their businesses all under your tent. Best wishes. Hope this is helpful. Talk to you soon.
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