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Organising Association Events: Top 5 Challenges and Solutions Let's explore some of the top challenges for association events with expert advice to help you overcome hurdles.


Association events are hugely beneficial for networking, building a close-knit community, and exploring new opportunities with like-minded professionals. But as with any event, they're not without challenges. Whether it's a small charity fundraiser or your large-scale annual conference, all association events must be planned and executed correctly to foster an enriching experience for your delegates.

1. Managing Budgets and Creativity 

The pressure to deliver engaging events with tight budgets is leaving many organisations wondering how they can truly create value. The next best thing often requires investing in expensive technology, such as AI and immersive experiences. Alongside the ever-rising cost of inflation for travel, accommodation, and venue expenses, it's no wonder associations are feeling the financial squeeze. 

It's time to get more creative and think about how you can create a valuable and unforgettable experience for attendees. Think about looking into the psychology of events to understand what makes attendees tick, creating unique and mind-provoking sessions that leave a lasting impact. You don't have to spend thousands on gamification or wearable devices to create a successful event. To help increase budgets, you can also think about creative funding initiatives, such as crowdfunding campaigns, silent auctions, or sponsorships. 

2. Planning Sustainable Events 

Attendees are looking for environmentally friendly events, choosing organizations that put sustainability at the forefront. This leaves many associations facing challenges around recycling and packaging, waste reduction, unnecessary travel, and choosing sustainable venues and vendors. 

To help you attract attendees and maintain your reputation, it's important to make sustainability a priority. Think about how you can make use of recycled materials or environmentally friendly alternatives such as cardboard rather than plastic, provide alternative ways to travel, minimise unnecessary materials such as printed rather than digital brochures, and plan catering sensibly to reduce waste. 

3. Balancing Hybrid and In-Person Events

If you're not already delivering hybrid events, it's time to start thinking about how you can offer attendees an experience online as well as in-person. But it's important to execute 

hybrid events efficiently, ensuring there's enough synergy between live and online experiences. Otherwise, it may leave delegates feeling disconnected. 

There needs to be the right balance between what's online and offline, ensuring attendees can engage with one another and your association no matter where they are. You'll also need to think about how to manage different time zones, experiences for attendees, and how to devise the right pricing strategy to cater for additional in-person costs. 

4. Marketing Your Event Successfully 

Communication is key. Marketing your event successfully means you can reach the right people via the right channels and keep them engaged, both in the lead-up to your event and after. Without a clear marketing strategy, you'll struggle to find your audience and encourage people to register. And even if you do have one, without regular communication, members can easily lose interest or fail to see the value in your event. Set a detailed marketing plan that explores who you're targeting, how, and where, and establish regular touch points for communication. This includes emails, websites, social media, and events apps. 

5. Harnessing Integrated Technology 

It's easy to get consumed with event logistics, including ticketing, registration, and attendee communication. But this means you may overlook other areas of event planning.

Invest in event management software (EMS) to help streamline processes. Leading software solutions can take care of everything from ticketing and registration to stakeholder communication and marketing. You can use event management software to build personalised websites, handle payments, and manage attendee lists. 

Your Next Association Event Awaits 

Navigating the challenges of association events requires meticulous planning and strategic solutions. Balancing budgets, mastering event logistics, prioritising time management, effective marketing, and embracing technology are crucial steps for a successful experience—for you, your stakeholders, and your association members.

To help you create a memorable event, check out leading EMS idloom, the all-in-one event registration platform with advanced tools to take your association events to the next level.