Archive for June, 2021

Membership Pro Tip: Simple Questions Equal Better Engagement

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Asking members surprisingly simple questions can help start conversations that build much more meaningful engagement, rather than bombarding them with an avalanche of information in the hopes of finding something that sticks.

Conversational engagement creates a two-way exchange that helps organizations get away from a broadcast-only mentality of jamming a lot of content in emails and talking at people. That kind of communication might lead to a few click-throughs, but that’s it, according to Dave Will, cofounder and CEO of software platform PropFuel.

A deeper, more focused conversation begins with easy questions that yield better and more personalized outcomes, he said during an express talk at ASAE’s Marketing, Membership, and Communications Conference last week.

How Does It Work?

Conversational engagement is a process that allows the membership team to listen and respond to members so they can better target individual member needs. “The process is: ask, capture, act,” Will said. “We ask a question and capture some input, which allows us to then take much more relevant action.” It not about talking to segments or personas: “We’re talking to a market of one,” he said.

Why Is It Effective?

One way it is effective is for reaching out to “never members” who have interacted with the association in the past but have never become members, said Diane Scheuring, CAE, co-presenter and vice president of membership and marketing at the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.

“This is our opportunity to really reach out to them to start that conversation,” she said. “It’s all about engagement and being present at the member’s point of need.”

Scheuring’s team uses this prompt: “HPNA members are part of a larger mission dedicated to advancing expert care in serious illness,” which draws prospective members into HPNA’s mission. Then they pose a question: “Would you like to join us as part of this mission?” That approach makes it less transactional and more centered on asking if they would like to be a part of something larger.

What’s the Benefit?

Starting a conversation by emphasizing the organization’s mission demonstrates that joining is about more than just benefits or discounts. It’s about who you are as a person and whether you are interested in getting “emotionally connected to your industry,” Scheuring said.  By phrasing the conversational exchange that way, she said, “You’re planting the seed that by joining this association, you’re joining something bigger than a discount.”

Do you have a membership pro tip? Please share in the comments or send me an email.

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Good Reads You Might Have Missed: Decision-Making

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Should you rely on your gut, the data, or a combination of the two? That’s a question association leaders fret over—and these insights could help your organization make up its mind.

Association leaders have a lot to worry about on any given day, and many of those worries are focused on decisions.

Whether at the executive level, the board level, or even among individual staff, decisions remain a bedrock of what makes associations tick.

So how can you be sure you’re making the right call? These pieces might help lead you in the right direction:

‌Association Decision Making: A Path to Better Decisions. This 2017 magazine feature highlights the shift that the Association of American Medical Colleges made in its high-level decision making, building around a framework that encourages the organization to move more deliberately and with fewer surprises. “Our leadership team itself recognized the need for a different approach to both mitigate these surprises and make better decisions more quickly,” said Jennifer M. Schlener, AAMC’s chief of staff.

Three Expert Tips on Pandemic Decision-Making. This roundup of insights underlines the need for more cautious decisions amid the pandemic. “During a disease outbreak, vague guidance and ambivalent behavioral norms will lead to thoroughly flawed thinking,” University of Pennsylvania law and psychology professor Tess Wilkinson-Ryan explained.

How Diversity Leads to Stronger Leaders and Better Decisions. During ASAE’s 2020 Great Ideas conference, speakers Lior Zoref and Torin Perez made the case for building up stronger diversity within an organization to help strengthen decision making, rather than simply listening to the most engaged audiences. “Loyalty doesn’t produce the best idea; it’s having the people in the room who represent all backgrounds and perspectives and who are actually experiencing the problem you are looking to solve,” Zoref said.

Three Keys to Successful Use of Data in Decision Making. While data may not entirely drive a decision, it is becoming increasingly important—and as a result, understanding data mechanisms matters more than ever, wrote Virginia Graves of Association Analytics. “Looking ahead, it’s clear that data and analytics will continue to play an important role in achieving organizational outcomes,” Graves wrote. “Associations looking to set their staff up for success should continue to think about how they can foster a data culture within their organizations.”

Going Beyond Data in Decision Making. Data is often a major driver of decisions, but it still needs interpretation, said strategy and governance consultant Meredith Low, who makes the case that decision making needs to be more holistic. “The limitation is that you never have enough data,” Low stated. “You still have to overlay judgment, intuition, and preferences on top of data.”

 

 

 

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Music is a Sound Choice for Meetings

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Science shows tunes boost attendee wellbeing and facilitate connections.

What do touring musical artists and your next meeting have in common? The stage, of course. And what do concert and festival-goers have in common with your attendees? The magic of music provides them all with a platform for connection, common ground, and conversation.

This connection between music and meetings might sound too out there—just a bit new age-y to have real-world applications that matter on the job. But consider just how much scientific research supports music’s importance.

According to a recent report from the Global Council on Brain Health, music triggers hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin, leading to a distinctly positive effect on emotional wellbeing. It improves mood, reduces anxiety and helps alleviate stress. Specifically, research underscores the benefits of engaging with music in the company of others to facilitate connections and wellbeing.

Of course, music wakes us up and makes us more productive, too. Think about how much faster you run, walk or pedal that stationary bike when you’re listening to a high-energy soundtrack.

When enthusiasm is waning, music can provide a jolt of energy that restores alertness and refocuses the mood for productivity and creativity. One oft-cited study even found that listening to classical music helped test takers score higher by improving reasoning skills.

So how can meeting professionals harness the power of music for impactful meetings? Start with venue selection.

Concert venues that double as meeting spaces set the stage for music-focused events. Match your music venue to your group’s size and vibe: Not all concert venues are large-scale spaces with a rock-and-roll feel.

For instance, in downtown Phoenix, The Van Buren holds 1,800 in a live-music space converted from a historic auto dealership. For a more low-key atmosphere for an intimate group, The Nash Jazz Club holds just about 100 attendees. And concert venues steeped in history, like the opulent, nearly century-old Orpheum, can impart a sense of style and dignity for meetings.

Outdoor venues provide COVID-conscious options, as well as crowd-pleasing appeal when weather permits. Amid social distancing measures, the Herberger Theater Center opened an outdoor venue called The Pavillion, with a scalable setup to accommodate changing conditions.

Remember that music spans not just genres but also forms—including ballet, opera and theater. Ballet Arizona, Arizona Opera and the PHX Theatre Company offer performing arts experiences and venue environments designed to entertain and inspire attendees.

Bring the musical theme full circle in Phoenix with an off-site event where attendees will be surrounded by more than 8,000 instruments from more than 200 countries. The Musical Instrument Museum, the largest of its kind in the world, celebrates music with interactive galleries, rare exhibits, and live concerts in an intimate theater.

While a stand-alone concert by a big-name act may be a marquee feature of a multi-day meeting, there are many other ways—both large and small—that planners can incorporate music into the fabric of meetings to boost engagement and facilitate connections.

For instance, music can lead into and out of breaks. It can be a stimulating backdrop to presentations, enlivening otherwise ho-hum talking heads. Play music as a low-key soundtrack for networking and connecting; it’s a softening factor that can reduce pressure on conversations in an otherwise quiet space. Devote an entire afternoon session to a high-energy music break — guests can return to the programming refreshed and reenergized.

Further, meeting planners can further connect their attendees to the destination by booking local artists. Over the past year, amid the limitations of the pandemic, Phoenix-based singer-songwriter Sydney Sprague played live music sets over Visit Phoenix’s virtual calls, webinar breaks, and other remote integrations.

Indeed, meetings don’t need to feature A-list artists supported by a big-budget concert production to create a fan-like attendee experience. Rather, even subtle musical touches—integrated with intention—can help boost meetings’ impact and facilitate powerful connections.


To find out how Greater Phoenix can help incorporate music into your next meeting, visit visitphoenix.com/meetings.

 

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Six Ideas for Upgrading Member Onboarding

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Welcome packets and emails can offer a good starting point for new members, but that may not be enough to keep them around. Here are some tips to help supercharge your member onboarding process.

When someone joins an association, they’re often looking for a path forward as a new member—a little help to find their way, a compass that they can follow.

Associations can offer that help—or they can be a little more passive and do something minimal.

But doing the minimum at the beginning might just cost them the chance of keeping that member around. A 2018 report from Dynamic Benchmarking and Kaiser Insights [PDF] found that associations that implemented an effective onboarding strategy were able to increase their member retention from 62 percent to 68 percent.

Plus, there are other benefits that come from stronger onboarding, including more usable feedback, more detailed information about members, cleaner member databases, and easier identification of potential volunteers.

“Immediate value received upon joining prompted a high level of life-long engagement,” the report stated.

In other words, a little TLC goes a long way. So what does that engagement look like? A few ideas for effective member onboarding upgrades:

1. Personalize early. Often, the first way that members interact with your organization is through some sort of welcome message. Problem is, personalization is desired but not always offered in member communications, according to research from Community Brands—just 18 percent of associations offer it. Welcome emails can be a great area for personalization, as it can help members feel heard. The hard part, as noted by YourMembership, is getting the next set of data to allow for further steps into personalization. A measured approach can help. “If you need new members to complete an online member community profile or set up their communications preferences, send them a specific email communication about that action,” the firm’s Michelle Schweitz explains.

2. Instead of an onboarding packet, consider drip marketing. Member welcome packets can be done well—Personify’s Wild Apricot has plenty of ideas on where to get started. But an email drip campaign can supply that information in a more careful manner over a longer period. Chamber of commerce expert Frank J. Kenny suggests that drip campaigns can replace onboarding packets entirely. “This way they get bite-size tips they can read quickly and start using immediately,” he writes.

3. Lean on your chapters—but not too hard. Chapters can be effective in building a new member base, as they can put a friendly face within proximity of a member and give a local spin to a national or global association. However, Billhighway’s Charlotte Muylaert warns that putting too much pressure on local chapters does not a good chapter strategy make. “You have membership expertise, but they know the day-in/day-out challenges of running a chapter,” she writes. “Instead, collaborate with components on your new member onboarding plan so it’s both practical and sustainable.”

4. Integrate your social strategy. It’s important when building your onboarding strategy to stretch beyond the inbox, as fundamental as it is. Sharing welcome messages for new members on social media is one thing—introducing them to a broader conversation is another entirely. Lia Zegeye, senior director of membership at the American Bus Association, told Associations Now last fall that she hosts onboarding webinars. During that effort, she highlights the organization’s social media platforms and encourages new members to engage—which has been particularly successful at driving members to the association’s Facebook presence.

5. Don’t drop off too quickly with your messaging. As MemberNova noted in a 2019 study, 95 percent of organizations send a welcome email, but just 8 percent continued to send messages beyond the second week—and 2 percent beyond the first month. In an article discussing the survey, author Divya Tandan notes that cutting off the messaging too soon could strand new members during an important time. “The first 90 days are the most crucial for a new member, because it’s during this month and a half that they are evaluating you, assessing the value membership to the association offers them and trying to familiarize themselves with all the resources made available to them,” she writes.

6. Offer special notice at events. It’s not just about driving messaging to the newbies, but giving special notice. As MemberSuite explains, it can help to direct some of that new member onboarding energy to first-time attendees as well—perhaps by creating dedicated first-time event pages, tip sheets, and signifiers that show others that this is an attendee’s first time at an event. “These first-time attendees aren’t likely to come back next time unless you make them feel welcome and help them get the most out of their event experience,” the firm’s Val Brotherton writes.

 

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How Free Resources Can Build Relationships and Increase Member Value

Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News, news-feed

A surge of free offerings for members and nonmembers during the pandemic led to increased engagement and stronger advocacy efforts. Find out how to keep leveraging those offers to enhance value and build relationships.

When the pandemic hit, many associations responded to member needs immediately with free resources to help them navigate the crisis. Now that we have emerged (mostly) from crisis mode, does it still make sense to offer free resources to members and nonmembers? The answer is yes—with caveats.

Being strategic and selective about what to offer and how to get a return on what you are offering are key, said Elisa Joseph Anders, senior account director at Marketing General Incorporated, who co-presented “Creating Member Value: Give a Little to Get a Lot” at ASAE’s Marketing, Membership, and Communications Conference (MMCC) last week.

“By giving some things away for free and marketing them properly, your association can not only deliver value for others but also create value for the association, which ultimately helps you deliver on your mission,” Anders said.

The idea is to give away resources or other items that demonstrate value and deliver value to the people who need them. An association’s products, programs, services, and membership have value. However, you don’t want to diminish that value by giving too much away. Instead, be selective and give a sample, because offering too much for free is not a good strategy for growth and revenue.

How do you determine whether to offer benefits for free? Start by assessing your market and its needs. For example, if many of your members have lost jobs or had to close businesses, they might need free career resources or professional development courses to help them get back on track. You might already have a good gauge of member needs but conducting research to better understand what members want is also a good plan. It can be as quick and simple as low-cost pulse surveys, Anders said.

During the pandemic, many associations extended membership grace periods, which members appreciated. So, it could be a good idea to offer a free trial or introductory membership, or a “freemium” membership where you offer a free quality product that people want. In those cases, you would need to work on converting members to a higher level of membership, which takes a sustained marketing effort with a budget to support it, Anders said. She also cautioned that a relatively low percentage of those members will convert to paid memberships, so it’s important to make sure the economics work before offering that kind of option.

Another key tip is to trade content for contact. When you offer a free webinar or a downloadable research report, make sure to ask for the person’s contact information. Getting their opt-in helps start a two-way conversation that leads to an ongoing relationship. Then you can give them more free information like newsletters, legislative updates, professional development resources, or other communications that showcase your value. The goal is to cultivate them and get them to engage further with the association.

“The more people see your value and engage with your association, the more likely they are to join, register, buy, and renew,” Anders said.

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Returning to (Better Than) Normal

Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News, news-feed

How associations can capitalize on new trends to add value for members.

After a year of disruptions, seeing a gradual return to normal offers a welcome sense of relief. But it does pose a question: How can associations create more value for members during this period of transition and beyond?

The challenges of the past year have given us all new perspectives. We’re much more aware of the importance of staying connected, whether it’s via now-routine online meetings or in person. And the need to prepare professionally for whatever the future might bring is more apparent than ever.

To provide greater value for members, associations have an opportunity to recognize and respond to shifts in expectations and viewpoints. Some specific examples include:

  • Hosting hybrid events and meetings. Even as in-person events return, the convenience of attending events and meetings online is something people will continue to want. Associations that offer hybrid events with in-person and online attendance options will accommodate members’ specific budgets, schedules and health concerns.
  • Investing in training and certification programs. Training and certification rank consistently among the most important benefits to members. Now is a good time for associations to review their programs and find ways to offer training and certification opportunities beyond an annual event. For example, offering year-round learning opportunities, such as in-person, live-streamed, and on-demand educational sessions can accommodate members’ schedules, learning preferences, and educational and certification needs as they return to office environments.
  • Expanding career advancement resources. While many associations already connect members with job opportunities through online job boards, there’s an opportunity to provide even more value in this area. Providing career advancement resources, such as interview and resume writing tips, salary data, and outlooks for job growth can deliver greater value for members—especially as they make career decisions in a fluctuating economy.
  • Making ongoing networking easier. As associations begin to plan in-person networking events again, they also have the opportunity to capitalize on members’ new comfort levels with online interactions. For example, offering an online member community can provide networking benefits between in-person events.

As we step back into a familiar world, our industry has an opportunity to do more than just return to normal. By embracing the new perspectives we’ve all gained over the last year, associations can provide members greater value than ever before.


Community Brands is a purpose-driven company that delivers purpose-built solutions for nearly 120,000 leading associations, nonprofits, K-12 private schools and faith-based organizations worldwide to thrive and succeed in today’s fast-paced, evolving world. Our focus on accelerating innovation, fulfilling unmet needs and bringing to market modern technology solutions and engagement platforms helps power social impact, affect positive change and create opportunity. With Community Brands solutions and services, purpose-driven organizations better engage their members, donors, educators and volunteers; raise more money; effectively manage revenue; and provide professional development and insights to power their missions.

 

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Five Ways to Connect With Colleagues—Without More Screen Time

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Employees battling Zoom fatigue? In an age of remote work already filled with screen time, there are still ways to bring coworkers together without a computer.

For the past year, organizations have worked to find new and creative ways to connect coworkers virtually. The primary solution has been video calls and virtual events, but professionals are getting enough screen time as it is during the workday—too much, in fact. According to a recent survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by OnePoll, on behalf of Foster Grant, the increase in screen time during the pandemic is leading to burnout.

So how can remote employees connect without adding to the burnout? Consider these ideas.

Start a Postcard Exchange

Almost all communication is virtual these days, so a physical, handwritten note can offer a refreshing way to communicate. If your employees are spread out across multiple locations, ask them to join a postcard exchange in which coworkers write postcards to one another. They take only a minute to write, and employees get to learn a little more about each other.

Concerned about employee privacy? You can organize a postcard exchange centrally through your HR department to keep home addresses hidden.

Create Something Together

Send staffers an easy-to-complete kit that results in a finished product—anything from coasters to fortune cookies to hot sauce. Employees can complete them on their own, then share their work in a group chat or on the next video call.

Make Actual Phone Calls

Part of what makes screen time draining is … the screen. One-on-one phone calls can bring the same connection, minus the impetus to “perform.” Although face-to-face communication is important, it can be draining in a virtual setting. Opt for one less video call by turning a regular meeting, such as a weekly check-in with your manager, into an audio-only call.

Send a Care Package

Organizations can connect with their employees by sending a physical care package with some goodies and a written message that lets them know that the organization appreciates their contributions during a turbulent time.

If you want employees to connect with each other more directly, treat care packages like a secret Santa exchange and assign a recipient to each employee, who then puts together his or her own custom box. Once all care packages are sent, schedule a call with all employees to reveal who sent each package.

Plan Activities Over the Phone

Employees can bring back the casual camaraderie of office life by reinstating some office traditions—this time, over the phone.

For example, two coworkers who used to enjoy the occasional walk together can set up a 10-minute call during which they go for separate walks at the same time and talk on the phone. It’s a simple way to mimic an impromptu stroll you might take with a coworker when stepping out of the office for coffee. For an added connection, you can both describe what you’re seeing outside as you walk.

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Membership Pro Tip: Year-Round Member Connection

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Getting staff involved in regularly fostering and sustaining member connections helps boost engagement and retention.

Giving members a feeling of belonging cannot always be achieved or quantified through onboarding or surveys. Sometimes it takes a more direct and consistent approach. FMI, The Food Industry Association, developed the “My FMI” program to make sure a staff member is in touch with member companies throughout the year.

How Does It Work?

When a member is quiet, Dan Ratner, senior director of member services at FMI, says he starts worrying. “If we haven’t heard from a company or we haven’t done anything to connect with them, then it’s most likely they’re at risk for leaving,” he says.

To keep the conversation going, FMI assigns staff as account managers for member companies based on existing relationships they have as subject matter experts, in advocacy, or other capacities. It is their job to check in on those member companies throughout the year to ask what they need, engage with them, and then circle back with the membership team.

Why Is It Effective?

A lot of organizations rely on their board to provide feedback about what’s going on with members, but you can’t rely on the board entirely. “We have to make that connection,” Ratner says. “You have to do the work to actually get them engaged.”

The personal connections pay off. “Right now, we only have a handful of members that have yet to pay their dues for the year,” he says.

What Is the Benefit?

Ratner and his team know what is happening with members, which can’t always be gleaned from quantitative or qualitative surveys. It also gives them a real-time gauge on where members are.

“We’re not going to sit back and wait to see what our retention rate is,” he says. By the time renewals come around, they will already have a good idea of who is going to renew or not.

Members like the one-on-one connection and having an assigned go-to person. The program also reinforces a principle of retention, which Ratner says is everyone’s responsibility. “It’s a way for everyone on staff to realize they have a stake in this,” he says.

Do you have a membership pro tip? Please share in the comments or send me an email.

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How to Create a “Set” for Virtual Meetings

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By investing in a professional remote setup, speakers can improve the virtual event experience for attendees (and themselves).

The pandemic may be retreating, but virtual and hybrid events are here to stay. So association pros who talk at these gatherings might want to create a home “set” to project the image they want—as opposed to the one conveyed by the messy backgrounds, poor lighting, and choppy audio that have marked many a presentation over the past year.

“I don’t think it’s as hard as people think to have a good setup,” says Josh Sundquist, a motivational speaker, author, and comedian with a long history of speaking on camera to a virtual audience on social media and YouTube.

While the pandemic gave us a glimpse into the home lives of our colleagues—and sparked conversations about work-life balance, as evidenced by guest appearances by kids, pets, and other family members—people who speak regularly may want to invest in a setup. And it is an investment. “The biggest piece of this is that it costs money,” Sundquist says. “It depends on how much money your association is giving you to spend, in my opinion.”

Want to present a more professional image at your next virtual speaking engagement? Consider these tips from Sundquist.

Down to the Wire

A recent technological trend has been wireless everything, from earbuds and speakers to keyboards and mice. But for speaking at a virtual event, Sundquist says to use as many wired devices as you can. Opt for:

  • An ethernet connection instead of Wi-Fi
  • A wired USB microphone instead of a radio frequency mic
  • Wired headphones, not Bluetooth, if you need to listen to audio during your presentation
  • A wired camera, as opposed to a Bluetooth webcam

Sundquist argues that using wireless devices increases the chances of technical hiccups during an event, as you’re completely reliant on wireless signals that could interfere with each other or disconnect. Plus, wired devices are generally considered to be of higher quality than their wireless counterparts.

Get a Microphone

A computer’s built-in microphone often produces quiet, fuzzy, or echoey audio, and may pick up background noise. When Sundquist is presenting, he says he uses a USB lavalier microphone that is wired into his computer and clips to his shirt.

“It’s inexpensive—it’s like $30 on Amazon—and it works great. It largely isolates the sound,” he says.

Use an External Camera

“For a Zoom meeting, your built-in webcam is entirely adequate. I would suggest that if you’re trying to hold an event, you upgrade from there,” Sundquist says.

Like built-in mics, built-in computer cameras have their limitations, often offering poor resolution. A budget-friendly step up would be an external webcam, which usually offers better video quality and the ability to adjust the camera angle.

But Sundquist warns that there’s a limit to how good a webcam’s video quality can be. If you want professional-grade video, look for more powerful (and expensive) equipment such as camcorders, DSLRs, or mirrorless cameras, which can be turned into high-end webcams by using software such as Sony’s Imaging Edge Webcam.

External cameras can be placed on a tripod and adjusted so you can get an ideal camera angle: slightly above eye level and pointing downward, thus avoiding the up-the-nose angle you’ve probably seen before.

Invest in Good Lighting

Lighting is one of the biggest challenges for virtual speakers. You can improve your lighting significantly with a couple of LED panel lights. Place them above your camera on each side, pointing down at you at a 45-degree angle. LED lights produce a flattering glow and can go for less than $50 depending on the model. If you have three light sources—and experience with professional lighting—you can follow the three-point lighting method for ideal positioning.

If you don’t have as much room, you can use smaller ring lights that clip onto your monitor. You can also use any natural light by arranging your setup so that you’re facing that light source.

Let Your Background Represent You

“I think background tells a story and people should be conscious of what that story is,” Sundquist says. “There’s nothing in particular that background should be other than something that you’ve thought about and decided you want to represent you or the meeting that you’re in.”

There’s room to express yourself, so long as your background isn’t messy, unprofessional, or inappropriate. You can’t go wrong with a practical background with a bookshelf or a wall with a few pictures behind you. Green screens are an option, but Sundquist says showcasing your real space is better, as the former is impersonal and may come across as low quality.

“It’s just going to look like a bad version of your weatherman,” he says. “Why not lean into the idea of, ‘I’m at my home office, let’s not pretend otherwise. And look at this fun room that I have.’”

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Navigating the New Normal

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How to ace hybrid meetings with in-person and virtual attendees.

How will destinations help support hybrid meetings with both in-person and virtual attendees?

The future of events is going to look much different than anything we’ve seen before. Though vaccine rates are increasing and public health orders are becoming less strict, it’s a safe bet that meetings won’t automatically go back to what they looked like prior to 2020. The new normal will likely offer hybrid components, catering to both in-person and virtual attendees to best serve those of varying comfort levels in the coming months.

Many destinations have had to develop dynamic digital offerings over the last year, and those will be important factors to help differentiate bids. Convention centers with in-house AV partners offer the utmost convenience for planners arranging meetings, as an integrated team allows for a seamless experience for all. Having knowledgeable partners on site will be more important when it comes to hybrid events and ensuring the best connectivity and integration between those who are on-site and those logging in from home.

Anyone who put meetings on hold last year and is now looking to navigate the digital landscape on a large scale for the first time should seek out destinations with Digital Events Strategists (DES). The DES certification from PCMA arms qualified professionals with the tools needed to “plan, produce and measure digital and hybrid events from start to finish.” These individuals can serve as partners during development and execution of hybrid meetings to best serve the needs of in-person and virtual attendees.

As much of the professional world has now spent countless hours staring at co-workers in tiny boxes during virtual meetings, we recognize how important is to break up the monotony with fun and engaging activities. Many businesses have pivoted their offerings to serve virtual audiences, and destination experts are great sources for local companies that can offer hybrid networking experiences from “board” games to wine tastings and much more.

Our industry has been disrupted like never before, but we should not let the anxiety over planning hybrid meetings stand in the way of returning to some sense of normalcy – even if it’s a new normalcy. Destinations are excited to welcome back meetings, conventions, trade shows and events, and are ready to serve as partners to planners as we all forge ahead in fresh territory.

 

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