免费下载抖阴

Expand Beyond Education: Creating a New Conference Experience

Expand Beyond Education: Creating a New Conference Experience

By Danielle Leber

When you think of the average conference, what comes to mind? For most of us, it鈥檚 spending our days in educational sessions and our evenings sharing stories (and perhaps a few cocktails) with fellow professionals.

If you happened to be an attendee of the Annual Assembly of Hospice and Palliative Care, co-sponsored by the and the , however, you鈥檇 likely add memories of playing with service dogs, participating in a traditional New Orleans jazz funeral, and rocking out to local musical artists to that list!

Encouraging Extraordinary Experiences

For more than a decade, AAHPM and HPNA have striven to break out of the traditional conference mold by offering their Annual Assembly attendees not just world-class education, but also truly unique and memorable experiences. According to Laura Davis, CAE, director of marketing, membership, and communications for AAHPM, every aspect of the conference, when combined, gives their members something greater than just knowledge about their industry.

鈥淕oing to college, for example, is more than just taking classes; it鈥檚 an experience,鈥 she said. 鈥淸You also need to] think of a conference as more than just a place to go to learn.鈥

When you鈥檙e working with hospice and palliative medicine clinicians, who spend their days caring for the most seriously ill patients and their families, encouraging experiences that help attendees relax, recharge, and rejuvenate is all the more important鈥攅specially as burnout threatens this already overworked, and underpopulated, workforce.

For AAHPM, that means providing amenities such as access to pet therapy animals; meditation and relaxation sessions; location-specific cultural programming, such as art museum tours; services of remembrance and celebration to honor the many patients and friends lost in the past year; and other activities that give attendees dynamic options for connecting with their fellow colleagues鈥攁nd having a little fun.

Beyond Member Benefits

Although every activity is designed to benefit the attendee, many reap rewards for the association, as well.

For example, AAHPM and HPNA have integrated an expansive social media program into their event, encouraging attendees to market their positive experiences to massive audiences of followers and colleagues鈥攎any of whom might never be reached using AAHPM鈥檚 and HPNA鈥檚 lists of contacts alone.

aahpm Social Media resized

A competitive Twitter wall, for example, encourages attendees to add their insights to the ever-growing list of Tweets displayed for all to see. Volunteer 鈥淭witter Correspondents鈥 collect attendee questions from Twitter and pose them during panel sessions, ensuring that people who typically wouldn鈥檛 speak up have their voices heard. A branded 鈥I Am鈥 (or, at the 2018 conference, 鈥淲e Are鈥 wall), where attendees post their responses to the question 鈥渨ho am I?,鈥 encourages attendees to express themselves and makes for a fantastic photo opportunity. And a social media lounge and power tower, where attendees can charge their phones鈥攁 necessity for many at all-day events鈥攅ncourages conversation among colleagues who may never have met otherwise.

The result is targeted and extensive marketing鈥攁nd a new list of potential social media contacts and followers鈥攐n which the associations can capitalize long after the event is over.

I am Wall resized

Evolving Your Event

So how can other associations create experiences out of their events? According to Davis, one of the keys is knowing your audience.

鈥淥ur Service of Remembrance, for example, isn鈥檛 probably going to work at another association鈥檚 annual meeting,鈥 she said. 鈥淏ut for our members, it represents something important to them that we know they would appreciate.鈥

Engaging the experts鈥攏amely, your programming or planning committee鈥攊s another way to ensure the agenda is appropriate for your attendees. Davis suggests having volunteers reflect not just on conferences, but all of the events they鈥檝e attended in the past, to come up with fresh ideas for potential new programming and to ensure they think of the conference as more than just an educational activity.

Regardless of what you incorporate, however, it鈥檚 important to ensure the experience evolves to meet the needs and wishes of your audience, Davis said.

鈥淓very year, it鈥檚 about trying to tweak (the event) and make it personal for attendees. Just because something happens every year doesn鈥檛 mean it needs to be the same,鈥 she said. 鈥淟isten to what people are telling you and be willing to make those changes.鈥

Be the first to know about the latest news and events from 免费下载抖阴. Sign up for our emails!