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How Associations Have Held In-person Events During COVID-19

GSAE, NCBA among those who have

While many associations are planning to hold all their events virtually for the foreseeable future, some have managed to successfully host smaller, in-person events since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the U.S. Among them: the Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

Although associations and attendees are eager to gather in-person again, many are still wondering how they can plan and execute a safe face-to-face comeback. To get some insight on this, I talked to Corey Rosenbusch, president and CEO of The Fertilizer Institute. In September, TFI held its 2020 World Fertilizer Conference in Indianapolis.

Rosenbusch admits that TFI had a few things working in its favor that made a two-and-a-half-day, in-person event possible. First was the format and size of the meeting. “This conference is really about providing attendees with opportunities to have scheduled, one-on-one business meetings and network with one another,” he said. “We didn’t need to worry about having thousands of people in a giant ballroom and then moving them from breakout session to breakout session throughout the day. In years past, attendance at this conference was about 750.”

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