According to The Farmer’s Almanac, America’s most celebrated groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, just predicted six more weeks of frigid winter. Fortunately, the AMO team is used to cold winters and blustery conditions as we live in the frozen tundra called the MidWest. Loads of snow and subzero temperatures don’t slow our work or stop our drive. But we do know for others not accustomed to this weather, it can be challenging to find motivation.

However, as we inch closer to springtime, it’s more important than ever to keep plugging along on projects that will come to fruition in the upcoming months. Many associations host their annual meetings, conferences, or expos in April or May. To help inspire and motivate, we’re sharing ways you can plan for potential problems at these events. And while that may seem counterintuitive and somewhat negative, being realistic about what could go wrong can actually create fewer headaches and more success in the long run. Keep following along for the top three problems you can solve before they happen at your next event.

Poor Onsite Registration

Ideally, all your attendees would sign-up online before your event. But, it’s likely you’ll have a handful of individuals show up at the door for onsite registration. To help prepare for this influx of new attendees, it’s essential you develop an efficient onsite registration workflow. Designate registration volunteers and display tablets so individuals can quickly fill out registration forms and make onsite payments. See AMO’s own onsite check-in dashboard were new attendees can easily navigate to the onsite registration form.

AMO onsite registration

Image Credit: AMO

Low engagement with your sponsors

Sponsors are a critical component to your event. Their monetary contribution can elevate an attendees experience and improve your total ROI. But if you’re not careful, what you may see as a symbiotic relationship can actually be seen quite differently by the sponsor. Experiencing this firsthand as sponsors at multiple events, it seems some organizations fail to plan a concrete role for sponsors at their events, making them feel that they were only really wanted for their money. To help prevent this issue, create an active role where sponsors can engage with attendees or partner with other sponsors at your event to really make their time worthwhile.

Zero Actionable Learning

We all know the scenario. You return from an inspiring three-day conference. You’re ready to make changes in the workplace, improve workflows and challenge your staff to reach for more. You sit down at your desk, ready to dive in, just when you stop and think “wait, where do I begin?”. The main issue we see with learning seminars is the lack of actionable advice. Expert knowledge is great, but if attendees cannot walk away with one item they can actually implement that day, that week or that month, then that seminar wasn’t really worthwhile to them.

Association leaders are busy enough. They attend your events to learn, grow and connect. Part of that experience is being able to absorb something that can help them improve quickly. To ensure leaders walk away with a plan, include time for small groups at the end of the seminar. Have each individual share a 3 step plan with the group for how they will implement their goal.

Events are a big undertaking. They take a lot of planning, execution, and staff time. As you gear up for you Spring conference, consider the potential issues you may run into and plan ahead. Need more tips and tricks for planning your best event yet? Check out our other articles here: Event Planning Tools


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