By: Shelly Joines
Being an Association Management Company (AMC) staff member and attending a client’s annual conference is like killing two birds with a single stone. It allows me to apply our best practices to benefit the client while learning from this event and sharing with our other client associations.
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of assisting with one of our client’s annual conferences in Orlando. I have in depth experience in the dental laboratory industry in my almost 9 years at PIAM and it’s exciting to carry knowledge and experience from this to one of its state component members.
While it’s been several years since I attended this particular meeting- the AMC model allows me to anticipate what I’m walking into before the conference even begins.
Instead of reinventing a new “wheel” for each client, every year, we are able to share experiences, systems and ideas to other clients for mutual benefit.
For the annual conference our company assisted in every aspect of meeting planning from start to finish.
Before advertising for the event even takes place we’re reviewing suggestions from the previous year’s event and applying those ideas towards our hotel, future speakers, events and tradeshow floor. Our staff is solidifying contracts for those speakers, soliciting sponsorships for other events and constantly managing financial goals for the event.
In the weeks before the conference our team is handling registrations, creating marketing signs for onsite, printing name badges, coordinating hotel blocks and sending marketing materials to attendees and exhibitors.
Once we arrive at the conference site our team is finalizing all of the details while our guests are arriving with families. We’re unpacking boxes with registration swag bags, helping exhibitors and working with conference management companies to direct traffic on the trade show floor while vendors are setting up and decorating. We’re setting out directional signs to make it easy for attendees to find the reception later that night.
During the conference our team is helping attendees scan in and out for continuing education credit, check-in for national exams and generally offering any assistance that is needed.
After the event, when attendees are wearily driving home with handfuls of business cards and new contacts, our team is packing up technology and other materials, shipping swag goodies back, and loading up cars.
Once we return to the office we’re processing those continuing education credits to attendees and sharing with state agencies. We’re meeting with hoteliers on the outcome of the event and what can be improved upon for next year- or the next client using their hotel next month.
A day of a conference staff member is long and exhausting but so beneficial to the life of an AMC staff member. These projects and experiences allow us to bring back a renewed sense of spirit to the office and information we can share with our team members. While I may not work on this particular association on a daily basis- my experience will be applied to another state association conference I’ll be attending next month for an entirely different industry.