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