Deciding to Cancel Part 5: Looking Forward
We have documented how three association executives navigated the difficult decision to cancel their in-person annual conference this spring. In a series of posts, we have shared a number of lessons learned. This final installment offers key recommendations for the future and overarching words of guidance.
Thinking About the Future
There is consensus that in-person meetings will be different going forward.
Next year’s meetings will likely be smaller, so consider renegotiating hotel contracts.
What we are learning about virtual meetings now will help future meetings be more accessible.
A virtual option should always be part of future contingency plans.
Key Words of Wisdom
Be open, transparent, and stay connected.
Be a partner and give people a reason to trust you.
This is not new. Add lessons learned from this experience to those we learned after 9-11 and the 2009 recession.
Survey regularly so you have relevant data available in the moment.
Stretch yourself in designing the new program, but don’t over complicate it.
Do what is right for your organization. Don’t blindly mimic other groups.
And most importantly, things change whether you want them to or not.
Many thanks to the following individuals for sharing their experiences.
Shawn Boynes, FASAE, CAE, executive director, American Association for Anatomy
Tom Menighan, BPharm, MBA, ScD(hon), executive vice president and CEO, American Pharmacists Association
Chris Urena, MBA, CAE, chief learning officer, Endocrine Society
For additional insights, see the full article.