"Show Me The Money"

And great things follow!


The Board Chair of a statewide Professional Association requested that I assume the leadership role of the Annual Convention that typically drew 300-400 participants. The event enjoyed modest success in prior years. Envisioning the event as a way to attract and retain members, I focused upon two objectives:

  1. develop the highest quality, continuing education for participants and

  2. provide an environment in which members could network both socially and professionally. Operating with full autonomy, I embarked on the journey to make this vision a reality, coordinating logistical issues through an all-volunteer committee.


Historically, the convention was viewed as a cost center rather than a revenue generator. This created annual pressure to reduce the number of workshops and remove the social/networking activities of members due to budgetary restraints. While the convention had its own budget, questions arose as to how the convention-generated revenues were used to offset convention expenses.


Under my leadership, I sought to establish a clear accounting of all income and expenses associated with the convention to prove that the convention was self-sustaining. This would limit the threats to reduce convention activities that my committee deemed most important to our members and convention attendees.


The annual convention was self-sustaining, becoming the single largest source of non-dues revenue for the association. This knowledge empowered the team to create new initiatives for future conventions (e.g. networking opportunities, lunches, award programs, social events). These initiatives played a key role in attracting new attendees, converting attendees into members, and retaining existing members.

Association members recognized my leadership with my election to a seat on their Board of Directors.

Lasting Impact:

The annual convention continues to be the association's showcase event for…

  • increasing the association's visibility to its members, public policy makers, businesses, and the lay public;

  • attracting new attendees who can then opt to become association members;

  • providing the bulk of the continuing education credits these professionals require to renew their licenses to practice within the state – all at one event over a few days time.