CEOs discuss how increased travel costs are affecting their strategies for meetings and events.
How are increased travel costs for members affecting your meeting strategy?
We are putting reduced attendance at our national meeting into the budget. We are also trying to launch or participate in more regional events where the travel is less costly and, in some cases, is drivable. I think this also has implications for event programming; it must be more compelling for members to attend.
—Ronald Painter, president and CEO, National Association of Workforce Boards, Washington, DC
Increased travel costs are causing concern for our annual conference attendance. To address this, ITEEA is identifying more destination locations for conference sites. The idea behind this strategy is to entice members to make the travel more comprehensive and possibly connect it to a family vacation.
—Steven A. Barbato, executive director and CEO, International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, Reston, Virginia
We have been trying to consolidate meetings to get the best possible hotel rates and work with airlines to provide discounted airfares. While not everyone has used the discounted airfares, there is a strong perceived value among members. We ask that they let us know which of the food functions they will not attend to help keep our costs down.
—Carol L. Watkins, CAE, executive director, National Dental Electronic Data Interchange Council, Phoenix
Our meeting strategy now includes more virtual options for members, such as webcasts and teleconferences. Also, we have added "Communities of Interest," which are topic- or title-focused webcasts or virtual networking opportunities that provide a no-cost, no-time, and no-geographic-barriers opportunity for members to engage and learn.
—Marie N. Hollein, president and CEO, Financial Executives International, Morristown, New Jersey