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Blind Spots in Conference Design

It's time to take a deeper dive

The longer a meeting planner has been with an organization, the more they have a sense of what their attendees want. Or do they? Sometimes familiarity causes planners to make assumptions that don’t align with attendees’ needs and expectations—especially in changing times.

“I think a lot of times we make assumptions about our attendees—like they are introverts or they hate visiting the exhibit hall,” said Megan Finnell, CMP, director of meetings and conferences at the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). “When we do that, we build in blind spots because we are planning based on our bias and assumptions rather than the data from our actual attendees.”

The MGMA team learned that lesson the hard way. After receiving lower-than-expected networking scores for a conference, they made changes not once, but twice, on future events. In both cases, “our scores actually went down,” Finnell said. She shared her conundrum with a meeting planner friend, who offered a response that changed how she approaches event planning.

Please select this link to read the complete article from ASAE's Center for Association Leadership.

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