The Meetings Report: Five game-changing tactics redefining education strategy and success

MeetingsIn December 2012, I was pleased to finally release Event Garde’s first research project. In a nutshell, The Meetings Report strives to describe the state of the Michigan association meetings industry.

Alex Kontras, a data manager for the City of Grand Rapids, and I were delighted to author this report. Likewise, it was edited by Kristen Parker, a media communications manager for Michigan State University. Finally, the finished product was jointly published by the Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE) and my Grand Rapids-based consulting firm Event Garde.

The 16-page research report represents the first-ever Michigan association meetings industry survey and key recommendations examining the characteristics of senior education/professional development staff, characteristics of association meetings, professional speaker hiring practices, industry speaker preparation and compensation, and meeting evaluation practices.

While respondents primarily represented statewide trade associations (meaning the resultant benchmarking data is largely Michigan-specific), the five key recommendations precipitating from this 65-question survey and follow-on analysis are not only instructive and actionable, but remarkably universal across state lines. In fact, when applied to any association’s annual education strategy, these simple but effective tactics can substantively redefine how success is measured.

And the report is equally valuable to suppliers.

Whether you’re representing a CVB, a hotel, a consulting firm or a product/service provider, you’re bound to find the report – and its data, trends, tables and figures – incredibly helpful. Key findings and statistics include annual budgets, meeting revenue, fiscal year comparisons, meeting types, exhibits and cancellations, outsourcing, speaker bureaus, decision-making, contracting, room pick-up, funds/contracts, site selection and much more.

A copy of the report may be ordered via MSAE’s website. This invaluable resource is free to contributors, $59 for MSAE members and $99 for non-members.

Additionally, I’ll be speaking about the five key recommendations precipitating from this research throughout 2013. Following are select dates in February and March representing the launch of this series:

Feb. 13
The Meetings Report Seminar
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Okemos, MI

Become one of the first to hear the results from the first-ever meeting practices research conducted in Michigan. Core content with include report findings, organizational and meeting professional demographics, professional and industry speaker best practices, and evaluation trends. Expect a highly engaging and discussion-filled seminar that drills down into each key recommendation. Register here.

Feb. 20
The Meetings Report: Five Game-changing Tactics Redefining Education Strategy & Success
12 – 1:30 p.m.
Atlanta, GA

Join me as I reveal each of the five game-changing recommendations guaranteed to transform your organization’s programs and events into dynamic (and profitable) professional development experiences your members will value. Register here.

Feb. 20
From Theory to Practice: Applying Game-changing Tactics to Your Association’s Education Strategy
1:45 – 3:30 p.m.
Atlanta, GA

In this highly interactive follow-on session, evaluate your organization’s current education strategies and develop actionable next steps to operationalize The Meeting Report’s key recommendations. Focus on ways your association can elevate the quality and sophistication of its events, build the reputation of its meetings department and improve the association’s bottom line. Register here.

March 19
The Next Generation of Meetings
9:15  10:45 a.m.
Troy, NY

Learn about the five game-changing recommendations guaranteed to transform organization programs and events into dynamic (and profitable) professional development experiences. Likewise, evaluate current education strategies and develop actionable next steps designed to operationalize the report’s findings. Register here.

In the meantime, you’re ready for that list – aren’t you? Following are the five key recommendations discussed in this report:

  • Tactic 1: Diversify revenue
  • Tactic 2: Reward difference
  • Tactic 3: Value context
  • Tactic 4: Maximize opportunities
  • Tactic 5: Prioritize learning

Together, these key recommendations are intended to provide the executive summary for this study’s research findings. Should your organization wish to further explore the intricacies of this study’s data, including the application of these game-changing tactics to your organization’s current practices, I recommend purchasing the report, attending a program (or two) and exploring one-on-one consultation.

So, my question to you is this: Which of these five key recommendations represents the single-most important action your organization could take in 2013 to make your education department even more successful?

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meet aaron

Association learning strategist & meetings coach. Founder & president of Event Garde. Passionate about cooking, running, blogging, old homes, unclehood & pet parenting (thanks to Lillie the pup).

meet kristen

Writer, editor, public relations professional. Digital content manager. Proud mom of three. Total word geek. Spartan for life.

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