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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Kayler

Are In-Person Meetings Worth the Effort?

The role of meetings was a key focus of discussion during the recent webinar hosted by Association Laboratory as part of their Looking Forward series. Almost 150 association executives gathered via Zoom to hear from Dean West, President of Association Laboratory. West shared his group’s research findings in terms of factors impacting associations and their membership and one of the key take-aways was the need to re-evaluate our approach to meetings.

One of the questions West asked attendees to consider is whether or not meetings are worth the time, money and hassle, not just from the planning and implementation perspective but the membership perspective. While meetings are a tangible example of content and community coming together, meetings are static in both time and place, he stated, both of which are at risk in an environment that is challenged by speed and change. Simply, the two most static association strategies have historically been membership and meetings. As we move into a post-pandemic environment, associations must implement future-focused ideas that ignore legacy relationships and historical assumptions.

West also noted that people are re-evaluating their work, life and relationships – and this has hit associations in terms of membership and meetings. For example, have you replaced your gym membership with an online workout option? Is getting an education now an online solution for you or your family instead of in-person? Using this same philosophy, will your members choose to stay with you if you haven’t provided different options related to membership and meetings? AOE has partenered with Association Laboratory in sharing much needed Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) data and highly recommends the firm for their leading-edge research. For more information about the study and the services provided by Association Laboratory, please visit

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