Planners from associations including the British Orthopaedic Association and the British Medical Acupuncture Society started the forum with a keynote from association events expert William Thomson of Gallus Events on the importance of commercialising your events.
Thomson said: "Commercialisation is about looking at your events and trying to deliver as much value as possible. From a small sample of people I’ve surveyed in this room, 66 per cent do not make any money from their events.
"It’s about focusing on value - not money - because if you focus on value, money will come at the end of it. If you run fantastic events and service your members, you will generate revenue because sponsors want to be involved, exhibitors want to exhibit, people want to attend. If you focus on money it is unlikely you are going to deliver value."
The forum continued with presentations from Dr Nicholas P Gair of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland on the topic of ‘Event mergers’, with a case study from MCI’s Lynn Samson on the Digestive Disorders Federation conference, whereby four associations merged to form a joint annual meeting for the first time this year.
Sarah Garry, associations manager at Kenes International, delivered a session on ‘Increasing sponsorship’.
Ben Bradley, events co-ordinator for the Methodist Church, presented an interactive session on hybrid events and Malcolm Macmillan of the International Confederation of Midwives discussed subvention and how to add value to your events.