The biggest problem with most annual conferences is that most members cannot go. The conference conflicts with other things on their schedule. Or their company will not pay for it. Or they cannot travel.
What percent of your members make it to the conference each year? 10 percent? 20 percent? 30 percent? Which means that 70 to 90 percent of our members do not experience one of the top benefits the association has to offer.
You might be hoping I give some tips on how to attract more members to your conference. Instead, let’s talk about how we get a conference-like value to members who never attend.
The answer is online summits.
Do I hear a collective groan when I say the words – online summit?
It seems the online summits of the past have ruined our perception of online summits in the future. In the past online summits were superficial, ineffectual deliverers of the same kind of information participants could just read. The online summits of today, by contrast, deliver real immersive, participatory learning. Today’s online summits are finding ways to provide other value too.
Connections and networking.
Are you surprised? The technology is not yet perfect, but it is getting there. Summit hosts are figuring out how to get participants to meet each other and participants are figuring out how to leverage online summit connections outside of the platform.
Online summit hosts are figuring out how to extend the summit to weeks and months outside of the summit dates. They are figuring out how to help attendees get answers for their niche problems. And these hosts are figuring out how to monetize these summits.
An online summit just might be the way to get a conference-like value to your members. Sample an online summit by signing up for one happening in our industry. Tagoras recently hosted the Learning Technology and Design Summit. And Association Success is gearing up for SURGE Spring 2018. Check them out, not just for the great content but also to see what is possible with an online summit.