Today’s slow economy is putting constraints on medical associations and societies. To offset possible losses in revenue due to flagging sponsorships, fewer exhibitors, or decreased attendance, planners are looking at ways to rein in costs without affecting the quality of the educational experience.
Jeffrey D. Melin, MEd, CMP, director of education for the American Epilepsy Society, West Hartford, Conn., offers some ideas on ways to stretch meetings budgets by cutting back costs or creating new revenue streams, compiled from an assortment of medical meeting planners:
- Cut back or eliminate handouts by posting slides on your Web site or providing attendees with materials on flash drives.
- Save money and time by sending continuing education certificates by e-mail as PDF attachments rather than as paper certificates via the regular mail.
- Webcast some or all sessions for a fee to generate additional revenue from those who can’t attend in person.
- Replace paper posters with electronic kiosks, which require less rental space.
- Buy audience-response-system keypads. The purchase will cost more upfront but will eliminate ongoing rental fees.
- Offer exhibitors new options, like exhibit logos printed in the exhibit guide or banner ads on Web-based exhibitor listings.