All too often, conferences are a dreaded necessity for associations of all shapes and sizes. You need a way to connect with members, to vote on critical issues, to discuss the future and to make plans. There’s just no way out.
Sometimes these conferences happen annually, sometimes they’re monthly. Regardless of how often they occur, and how used to planning the person in charge may be, there’s likely stress that has to be a part of the process. But, you could remove SOME of that stress if you use the tools at your disposal properly.
Enter Social HubSite.
Here’s the thing. You’ve probably tried every possible method of communicating with members for upcoming events. Maybe it’s phone calls (in which case your most reliable members get stuck doing the same things for every conference because you can call them up without trouble!), maybe it’s emails, maybe it’s just a post on social media with some crossed fingers. In the worst case scenario, maybe it’s the same staff member that’s responsible for everything (who likely comes home needing a stiff drink and a vacation at the end of every conference!).
It doesn’t have to be like this!
Social HubSite is designed with associations in mind. We’re here to make your work-life easier by providing the tools you need to communicate effectively, without any extra hassle. Forget the days of crossing your fingers and hoping each conference is successful. Use your Social HubSite to plan for your next association conference (or other event), and watch the difference!
1. Get the Planning Done Early
You have many responsibilities…I know. In fact, I’ve been there. In my association days, when a big conference was coming (ours took place three times a year), everything changed. See, I had so much other work that had to happen, that conference planning was ADDITIONAL. Therefore, it usually happened last minute. This never led to optimal results.
Conferences aren’t surprises. This means, there’s no reason to wait. Create a calendar for yourself that lists the tasks that need to be accomplished, along with deadlines. When you set a deadline, it’s more likely to happen early than the day before you’re packing your car to head out the door.
2. Be Willing to Assign Tasks
When you’re doing something yourself, you know it will get done the way you want it to. This is a wall that many business and association managers face on a regular basis. However, for something to be a success, it usually takes many people…and a little trust.
3. Make a To-Do List
To-do lists have been around forever…because they work. There’s just no way around it. List out EVERY single thing you need to accomplish to pull off your next conference. Everything, even down to whether or not you’ll need to be providing silverware. List it and visualize it.
4. Decide Who Does What
From your list, look at what you actually need to do. If you need to be the one to communicate with the conference center or book hotel rooms for members, great. If you need to be the one that books the entertainment and collects RSVPs, that’s fine too.
But, think about what you DON’T have to do. This is where your Social HubSite will start to come into play. List other items that could be completed by members OR other staff members, depending upon how you use your association’s Social HubSite.
5. Create a Call for Help!
Start by thanking members inside your community and giving shoutouts to those who regularly step up to make your conferences a success! Then, share your to-do list, the tasks you will not be completing on your own. Ask who’s willing to claim a few items. You may be surprised by your responses!
6. Get Personal
While you may be surprised by who volunteers easily, you may also be discouraged by what’s yet to be done. Don’t be! Your Social HubSite is designed to allow you to get personal with members!
Consider setting up an email blast, in case anyone missed what was posted publically. Once again, wait, collect responses (to make this most effective, create and share a deadline for volunteering!).
7. Send Individual Messages
Once you’ve messaged groups inside your Social HubSite, you may have a few unclaimed items. Consider sending personalized messages inside your community to those who may be qualified. Think about newer members, or those who may not have had the opportunity to take on new responsibilities…this is also a great way to increase member retention!
8. Call them Out!
Remember, inside your Social HubSite, you can tag community members. Think about doing so in a light-hearted, NON-threatening way! Ask if they’d be willing to help out and list specific needs!
9. Step Back…Send Reminders…and Trust!
Once all items have been assigned, you’ve passed on the responsibility and it’s a time to wait. But, take the time to check in every now and then to make sure everything gets done, to answer questions and to look over each task! If there’s a shortcoming, step in to the rescue!
10. Say Thanks!
If your conference is a huge success, remember those who helped! Create a public thank you, once again tagging those who stepped up to provide assistance! A little public recognition can go a long way!
Ready to take advantage of the tools that Social HubSite brings to the table? The time to act is now! Check out our features and live demo today! We’re here for you!