Meeting Newz May / June 2021

Their biggest concern is getting their delegates to commit to attending the conference. There are numerous reasons for this. Yes, COVID-19 is in the back of delegates’ minds. However there are other factors at play. Trade associations and their members such as builders and roofers and other enterprises are busy in their own businesses. Professional associations’ members are also busy ensuring that their businesses either maintain their presence in their respective marketplaces or grow. In addition, professional development and education has evolved from one- day workshops to a hybrid of micro- credentialling, online learning, and on- demand education – all this over a short timeframe. We can now get up early in the morning or stay up late at night to do our professional development, leaving our businesses for our day jobs. Costs for associations are increasing, whether they are compliance or event related fixed and variable costs. This has an effect on the price of delegate BRETT JEFFERY AUSTRALASIAN SOCIETY OF ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVES (AUSAE) PHONE 027 249 8677 When speaking to a few associations around New Zealand, most associations that are conferencing in 2021 have already booked their event and are in the process of marketing to the membership. registrations. Associations depend on making a surplus at the conference so that they can deliver products and services to the membership throughout the rest of the year. All of this influences conference attendance, and delegates seem to be slow to commit. This is a concern, not only for an association, but for the business events / conferencing industry. The filter down effect is not just in 2021. In future years, if numbers do not produce, exhibitors won’t commit to the event. This could mean a downsizing of the conference market. This then affects venues, catering, conferencing services and the entire economic impact that this important market has in New Zealand. Personally, I don’t believe we have landed on what a conference will look like post- COVID-19. Not only with differences in how education is delivered, but also the cost versus revenue ratio of running a conference will be of huge effect. At the moment associations are looking at ways in which they can better market HOW DO WE TURN A NEGAT I VE INTO A POS I T I VE? By Brett Jeffery , general manager NZ, of the Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE). their event, so they can get the numbers turning up. They will be looking at ways to decrease their expenses. So how do we turn this negative effect into a positive? Or should we just accept that during these next few years, conferences are not going to be as successful as they were pre-2019? The end of 2022 and into 2023 will potentially be the time when both the association holding the conference, and the suppliers delivering it, will see a positive result. Right now, we hear that central and local government is receiving tourism funding, with the likelihood that some of this will be allocated to the conference sector. How is this funding going to assist associations to hold their prestigious event in the regions that they have already committed to? We need to get the delegates to the conference so we can carry on delivering great economic impact to the region in which we hold the event at. [ AUSAE COLUMN Truly yours Brett Jeffery Find a Venue Check out the latest special offers on our website [52] meeting newz [may jun] 2021