There is a real lack of certainty around associations and their programs as we head into 2021. Associations and their partners – in the first quarter or maybe even in the second quarter — are unsure if the events in the new year are going to be in person. Depending on the size of the organization, the in-person events are typically from 40 to 50% of their revenue. Everyone is trying to decide whether the events are going to be in person, virtual, or hybrid. The indecision creates a risk for sponsors, members, and attendees.
Here’s my advice. There are things that you know for certain, things that you’re going to execute next year. You’re going to have a fantastic government relations and advocacy program. You’re going to have your podcast. You’re going to have your newsletter. You’re going to continue to implement webinars; we know people are participating in those. You’ve got a portfolio of activity and certain events that are going to happen. Tell your market about it. Sell sponsorships into it, invite members to participate, invite non-members to engage with you. Provide certainty and if you do you will set yourself up for success in 2021 because competing associations may be not be making decisions.
There’s enough there to move forward on and I encourage you to do it.