Ignite

February March 2018

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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February | March 2018 | Ignitemag.ca | 31 Association event planners know that winning over potential attendees is just half the battle when filling conference seats: Their employers also have to see the benefit in footing the bill and allowing time away from the office. It's not enough to sit back and hope wanna-be delegates are able to sell the proposition. Forward-thinking planners embrace a critical role in helping attendees justify the cost and time of attending conferences. Julie Calvert, manager, events and regional programs with The Canadian Payroll Association, takes a proactive approach: "We offer a business case letter on our conference website that potential delegates can customize. The letter describes the value offering of the conference and why it is beneficial to attend. When planning the conference pro- gram, we offer education sessions that address technical and soft-skill development, so the learning is well rounded." Event websites are an invaluable marketing tool and some asso- ciations are including dedicated sections to help potential attendees business meetings + events Products, trends and sparks of genius to up the ROI on your next program PERMISSION granted! address employers' pain points and outline ROI. Geeta Prashad, director, conference and events, Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE), also recommends a direct approach: "Through articles, guest blogs, social media and e-blasts, we appeal directly to bosses to invest in their staff. Succession planning is an ongoing concern, and using conferences as one way to invest in their teams is a far-sighted route to developing their plan." At the core, the goal is to connect the conference with the employer's business goals. Here's how: 1. It's hard for employers to say no to free. CSAE's Young Professionals video contest invites those aged 22 to 32 (in the first 10 years of their career) to create a humorous three-minute video about a workplace blunder or regrettable mistake. The engaging contest garners a lot of laughs, plus complimentary registration to the CSAE National Conference & Showcase. w How to help prospective delegates get their bosses to sign off on your conference by Michelle Warren

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