An Action Plan for Reconvening in Person
Focus on engagement and understanding what members want
When the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) decided to head to Nashville for its annual conference in October after going virtual in 2020, it had two communities to think about: the attendees who couldn’t wait to meet in person and those who’d become used to staying home thanks to Zoom calls and virtual events.
TMA saw its main marketing challenge as finding ways to coax attendees out of their home offices. “The nerve-wracking part was knowing that 2021 was going to be a year that was going to start virtually and then pace to in-person events,” said TMA CEO Scott Stuart. “[We discussed] how to make people comfortable coming out of an environment they’d gotten very used to.”
To do that, TMA surveyed its members and partners throughout the spring, and a common trend emerged: Hesitancy to attend in person had less to do with COVID-19 than with a potential attendee’s engagement with the association. Longtime members and sponsors were eager for an in-person event, but newer members were holding back.
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