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June 29, 2015
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Americas: Mission Before Margin? Or Vice Versa?


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by Dave Lutz, Managing Director, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting

There’s an emerging trend in associations. Boards and/or chief execs are making annual meeting re-invention a high strategic priority. Many are charging existing education committees, or new task forces, to develop and bring long-term recommendations to the board for their future annual meetings.

This type of project falls into the mission-critical category since the annual meeting is often the major source of organization revenue, profit, and membership value. Committee and task force participants are always comprised of loyal, caring, and smart folks. They have a deep understanding of their profession, but rarely are they knowledgeable on conference business models and 21st-century education.

These committees and task forces provide the best stewardship when strategy session facilitation is coupled with a baseline knowledge of conference trends and business models. Most conference committees have not articulated their purpose. They need direction on whether to put mission before profit margin or margin before mission.

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