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Creating Successful Business Connections Virtually – an IRL ‘how-to’

In today’s climate, business as usual and 2020 are terms that go together about as well as oil and water. The COVID-19 outbreak forced associations to assess the status quo of how to deliver value through events. The Southern Association of Wholesale Distributors, a.k.a. “The Southern,” was no exception. Last August, this 97-year-old organization maintained its annual meeting goal and created virtual connections. Here’s how.

As the trade association representing convenience wholesale distributors in the southeast United States, The Southern’s membership spans from Texas to Virginia. Member companies have an annual gross revenue of $50 billion and represent nearly 50 percent of all convenience stores in the United States. In other words, The Southern means business - its Annual Meeting is a place where business gets done.

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A New Association Partner: Artificial Intelligence

By Rob CareySr. Content Producer, MeetingsNet
This article was first posted here

2020 was the “year of technology” in the meetings industry, given the near impossibility of hosting in-person events during the Covid-19 pandemic. But with association-event planners strongly focused on virtual-event platforms, there’s one tech element that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves: artificial intelligence.

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Virtual Governance: Making the Move Swiftly, Nimbly, and Effectively

By Association Management Center 

For many associations, the chaos that COVID-19 brought meant rereading bylaws to obtain clarity around the authority to conduct business virtually, moving large governing body meetings to later in the year, or even amending governing documents to delegate authority back to the board.

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Best Practices for Virtual Event Experience Design

Beth Surmont, CAE, CMP, Director of Experience Design, 360 Live Mediaa wholly-owned subsidiary of SmithBucklin

It is a stressful time to be working on events right now. We hope this article makes your life a little bit easier.

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The Show Must Go On

Michaela Sawicki, MSc, Program Coordinator, McKenna Management, Inc.

For the coming months, it seems that event planners will continue to be saddled with the task of transitioning in-person events to virtual or hybrid options. Although virtual events are not entirely new, the busy Fall Season might be the first time many associations experiment with online alternatives. Some events can be held using robust virtual meeting platforms. Others can utilize more creative approaches to holding a virtual “event”. For the New England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHCo) this year was the first time their awards ceremony was “hosted” via their social media platforms instead of in-person.

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A Quick Pivot Leads to Learning and Success

Kelly Braniff, Project Manager, Parthenon Management

As a non-profit executive for more than twenty years, I joined the Parthenon Management Group (PMG) team having coordinated almost every type of event. I have planned and executed festivals, galas, golf tournaments, walkathons, dinners, fashion shows, auctions, product sales, fireside chats, recruitment weekends, and reunions. So when the COVID-19 global health crisis caused travel bans and a State of Emergency that threatened the future of my association’s revenue-producing scientific conference, I enthusiastically said, “A virtual conference will be exciting, and I am ready to tackle a new professional challenge.”

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