“Making Cents” Feel Like Dollars

Blog > Trends

“Making Cents” Feel Like Dollars

By Molly Marsh | Oct 18, 2019

“I don’t really have to worry too much about my conference budget, there’s always plenty of money to go around…” said no meeting professional, ever.

Sidebar: if you have said this, you must be a wizard and I would like to join you at Hogwarts immediately…

So, while delivering on the goals of an event and creating a meaningful experience for participants within the constraints of tight budgets is something to which nearly every meeting professional can relate, it seems to play an even larger role for those who plan meetings and conferences for non-profit associations. At the recent Association Planners Meet Up at MPI’s WEC 2019 in Toronto, nearly all the big questions, issues and challenges the association planner community shared could be traced back to “we could do that well, if we had more resources.”

Addressing Association Meeting Planner Struggles

For most association planners, one of the biggest struggles day to day is planning a dream conference on a budget that feels more like a nightmare. That is why MPI’s Association Planners Advisory Board has revived the publication Making Cents: 170+ Ways to Save Money on Events, adapting it to address the emerging trends of experience design which stretch conference budgets to the max.

Download White Paper: Making Cents - 170+ Ways to Save Money on Events 

This resource now contains insight, ideas and suggestions from more than 45 industry professionals, all highlighting the creative ways they’ve found success in adding value to the conference experience while also saving those precious dollars and cents. Need a suggestion on how to reduce the amount of food served to meet your sustainability goals? Looking for tips to curb costs on AV while still being able to create a dynamic learning environment? Making Cents is segmented into categories, so it is easy to identify the recommendations and strategies most important to your event!

The news gets better, though…Making Cents is just the beginning. It’s great to have a handy reference of go-to ideas you can use when you need them most, but we also know that the best ideas and solutions come from good quality conversation and connection between our professional peers and colleagues.

We are association folks, after all! Building from the excellent ideas shared in Making Cents, the Association Planner community – and all MPI Members, of course – is invited to join in an ongoing conversation over the next few months about cost saving measures. The Making Cents series will include blogs, social media posts, discussion in the MyMPI Community and even some live, interactive chats. Not only will we join together to highlight some of the key ideas from the publication, it’s an exciting new opportunity to foster community and communication among MPI’s vast community of association planners.


Read up, and stay tuned for future announcements, postings and presentations highlighting new and creative ways to deliver well-designed event experiences without breaking the bank. In the meantime, check out the Association Planners Community for additional ideas and resources targeted to you!



Molly Marsh
Molly Marsh

Molly Marsh has over 13 years of experience in association management, conferences, education and program development, and is a founding member of the MPI Association Planners Advisory Board. In her current capacity as AMR’s director of education and engagement design, she is responsible for innovating new approaches to conference education through design principles, adult learning, new technologies and engagement strategies. Her passion is rooted in designing educational experiences and organizational systems that elevate the professionalism of association members who strive to be the best at what they do!