Challenges for Associations up for Discussion

Members of ABPCO (Association of British Professional Conference Organisers) had the opportunity to participate in a round table at the KIA Oval in London exploring the challenges faced by their organisations.

Held under Chatham House Rules and titled “What Keeps You Awake at Night?”, the event highlighted – amongst other issues – how GDPR relates to membership organisations and their relationships with agencies and how no shows at free to attend events make it impossible to select the right sized venues. It also dealt with assessing risks and managing crisis in a blame and liability focused culture as well as the understanding of ‘Compliance’ and how to work with it.

The discussion even touched the issue of conflicting priorities and commitment amongst stakeholders and volunteers who don’t always value the importance of events or their role. Finally, it examined the management of engagement and retention, and workloads when key members of the team leave, particularly with the growth of transient staff.

After the end of the round table, a short EGM was held passing a motion to move the AGM and Conference from a set January time-slot to create a better balance of member events throughout the year, whilst fitting more closely with the association’s financial calendar.

Rose Padmore, joint chair of ABPCO, said: “The event highlighted the truth of the old adage that a problem shared is a problem halved. Every challenge was greeted by a host of thoughts and ideas from other people in the room who had either experienced the same or similar problems.”

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