Heritage Improves Attendee Experience for Statewide Association Annual Event
Call for Topics
Green Meeting Planning
Food and Beverage
The Virginia Green Travel Alliance (VGTA) is non-profit supporting the efforts of Virginia Green, the number one state-based green tourism program in the country, encouraging green practices in the state’s tourism industry.
Each year VGTA holds a two-day educational conference featuring multiple sessions and speakers, networking receptions and an awards presentation. As a small non-profit with a limited staff, bandwidth was stretched thin and conference planning often ended up in a secondary role to more pressing organizational matters. VGTA turned to Heritage to take the reigns on conference planning and execution so their staff could focus on fundraising for the conference and running day-to-day operations.
Leading a group of VGTA volunteers and staff, Heritage oversaw regular committee meetings in which conference plans were drawn up and executed. One of the conference’s biggest challenges was identifying and securing nearly 30 speakers to participate in more than 10 sessions. Heritage implemented a systematic process which could be used by all committee members for inviting and tracking responses as well as collecting and organizing the presentations of confirmed speakers.
A main goal of the committee was to deliver a profitable program, meeting or exceeding the prior year’s net income. Heritage evaluated the conference’s current pricing model and researched that of other comparable events to determine a new pricing strategy which would both increase net income and better represent the conference’s value to potential attendees, without dissuading registration.
As is often the case, once the event concludes so does the event management, meaning valuable information may be left uncovered. Heritage conducted a review of the planning process and execution of the conference and prepared a detailed analysis showcasing important metrics and data, including attendee post-event survey results, which can be used to enhance future conference plans.
With a revised pricing structure the conference’s gross income increased by over twenty percent from the prior year.
Results from the post-event attendee survey indicated that 100 percent of attendees found the conference sessions informative and 90 percent plan to attend next year and would recommend the conference to others. Attendee feedback and data gathered from the post-event analysis have been utilized during the beginning stages of planning for the next year’s conference.