We have all attended an annual conference or summit where the major stakeholders are in the same room. Participants share meals and battle stories. They discuss and network. But when it’s all said and done, some people leave asking:
What was the point of that summit?
If this is your organization and your event, that’s an uncomfortable question. It’s also a sign of missed opportunity.
Whether you’re a company, a nonprofit or a medical society, you know annual meetings require a lot of work. More importantly, they’re a critical element of stakeholder engagement. This is where your organization can crowdsource on major issues, set an agenda and galvanize stakeholders around shared goals.
And it’s an opportunity that comes only once a year.
To make the most of your summit or annual meeting, you need a seasoned and creative team to support meeting planning, execution and follow-up activity. Having the right team will benefit your organization in at least three important ways.
- You won’t lose precious time on introductions.
The right team already knows your community. They know many of your meeting attendees before they walk through the door. That allows you to spend the time asking your stakeholder attendees substantive questions, not their names and where they’re from.
- Your meeting matches style with substance.
Event planning firms can be experts at meeting production, but they may fall short at the skills that drive action: policy, communications and advocacy. You need a firm that can do both. The right team can give your event a professional look while also integrating into the programming the angles, voices and data that will spur attendees to action.
- Your follow-up plan is as good as the event itself.
A flawless annual summit is important, but it’s not the end goal. It’s the catalyst for stakeholder action. After the meeting, your team should match specific stakeholder groups to targeted elements of an action plan. Effective engagement means that your team is following up on conversations, initiatives and grant proposals until your next annual meeting.
For Woodberry Associates, orchestrating a flawless event is only the beginning.
The Woodberry team knows your stakeholders from working alongside them for decades. Synthesizing existing relationships, deep policy knowledge and action-oriented planning, Woodberry’s approach to stakeholder engagement can help put progress in motion. Contact us today if your organization is ready for more dynamic, more productive stakeholder engagement.