Summer Conference Workarounds

Summer means many things:

Pool days.
Fresh fruit.
And for many, annual conferences and meetings!

But it also means vacation season. So when your event is designed to engage your members and provide them with much of the value they’re paying annual dues for (and not to mention, generate non-dues revenue), but they won’t be in town to attend…what do you do?

Well unfortunately, if they’re not around to attend, they’re not around to attend. It’s impossible to cater to everyone’s schedule. That said, there are a few workarounds to still engage those members and generate a little bit of non-dues revenue. Take a look!  

Workaround #1: Sell recordings post-conference

A big selling point of your event is likely the educational content onsite – the keynotes and the breakout sessions. And what’s great about that type of content is that it can be recorded…and sold to your members – and potentially prospects – who weren’t able to attend.

But what if people just opt to get the recordings rather than actually registering for the conference?

Fair question! Don’t advertise the fact that there will be recordings available for purchase following the event. Don’t make it a secret, but also don’t make it a big deal. Just focus on getting registrations. Then, following your event, start promoting the recordings for those who weren’t able to attend. (Note: Your attendees should be able to access those recordings for free.)

And tip: To help promote your recordings, try and get two or three testimonials – regarding the content, specifically – from people who attended the conference in person. You can then add those testimonials to your emails and web page(s) to give the content credibility and further drive interest and purchases.

(Psst…If you’re in need of videography services for your conference OR a seamless way to upload and share your content, we provide services and solutions for both of those needs. Check out our videography services and/or our new learning management system, MC | LMS!)

Workaround #2: Host a post-conference webinar

Another way to engage those who couldn’t attend your annual conference (and again, generate some non-dues revenue) is to host a post-conference webinar summarizing your event and sharing key takeaways. You could reach out to your speakers and have them submit two or three key points from their sessions, and then pick amongst those which ones to actually share with your webinar attendees. (Or you could share all of them, depending on how many sessions you had – and how much webinar time you have.)

Another idea is to have a couple of your speakers help host the webinar, if they’d be willing. They could then speak directly to their sessions and share key takeaways, not only from what they presented, but from other educational breakouts, if they attended any. (They were attendees, too!)

An added benefit that this workaround has that the first one did not is the ability for webinar attendees to interact with each other via chat. You could view it (and market it) as a mini, virtual version of your conference – educational content and an opportunity to interact with like-minded individuals.

There’s really no replacement for your annual conference or meeting. It’s your biggest event for a reason! But since there will always be some people who can’t attend, it’s nice to be able to offer them some kind of alternative.

Speaking of your annual conference, if you’re in the planning stages currently (or will be soon), check out our Complete Guide to Event Planning below. It’s filled with best practices for promoting your event, engaging your attendees onsite, keeping the engagement going post-event, and more!