Just because the board thinks all conferences have to be in-person does not mean most of your members agree. Just because most of the board members love receptions does not mean the majority of members love receptions. When many board members feel like virtual benefits pale compared to physical benefits, other members might not feel the same.
While boards may represent the membership’s interests, boards tend not to be representative of the membership.
I’m reading virtual event chats, and I see attendees express how happy they are to finally have the opportunity to attend because the conference is virtual. Virtual chatters talk about how much more engaged they feel when interacting in real-time with the speakers and other attendees. Members wonder why associations apologize for pivoting fast while providing them a ton of value through their digital events.
I also see that some members are mourning being able to be together in person. Sometimes those voices seem very loud. It is worth finding out whether those folks, like the board, are an elite few or an overwhelming majority.