Leading the Way to an Effective Recovery

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Leading the Way to an Effective Recovery

By By Janice Jackson; Natalie Norris, CMP, CMM; and Lindsay A. Plath, CMP | Dec 21, 2020

It would be an understatement to say that 2020 has proven to be extremely challenging. COVID-19 has disrupted the hospitality industry like no other historical event. It is clear we are in uncharted territory, and one could argue that the hospitality industry has been the hardest hit globally.

Association professionals have not been immune to these challenges. From pivoting to producing virtual events to learning about COVID-related reopening considerations to finding viable paths to hybrid events, this year has been unprecedented and there is still deep uncertainty.   In the midst of all these challenges, MPI’s Association Professionals Advisory Board has been a steadfast leader and resource for professionals responsible for association meetings and events. Since launching last year, the MyMPI Association Professionals community has seen more than 250 peer-to-peer conversation posts discussing crisis and risk management communications, virtual event platforms, planning for the unknown, vendor recommendations and countless other topics. In 2020 alone, this online community has grown more than 120 percent to nearly 230 members.

MPI Association Professionals community: We need your voice!

Last summer, a Hot Topic discussion series was offered through the community to assist association planners during the COVID-19 crisis. This forum was designed as the go-to source for planners to connect and share ideas in an informal setting. Having access to forward-looking information has never been more important for our industry than it is today, as planners need a real-time, comprehensive view of industry trends and best practices. The resources, tips and information shared via this discussion series has been invaluable as we work to understand shifting behaviors and implement an effective recovery.

In addition to the online community, the Association Professionals Advisory Board has been hard at work developing resources that provide value to this community. Making Cents, our online resource manual, was updated last year with new tips for elevating events even on a tight budget. In August, the board put together a webinar focused on how to claim your seat at the table to help impact your association’s virtual event strategy. These resources and insights—listed in the sidebar—have been created to assist the unique needs of association planners.

We need your voice! The community is only as strong as the participation it receives. What more do you want to see from this community in the coming year? Log on to the Association Professionals community today and let us know!


“The Association Professionals community has become an incredibly helpful resource as professionals across the association world have been upended by COVID-19. The MyMPI Community grew more than 120 percent just this year, with great discussion forums about the shift to virtual meetings, engaging sponsors and exhibitors in this very uncertain time and how to use skills in various ways across the association—even when meetings may not be happening. Between great dialogue there and a series of Hot Topics discussions where association professionals got together to share their ideas and experiences, it’s been amazing to have that support throughout this very strange year!” -Molly C. Marsh, CMP, Director of Education and Engagement Design, AMR Management Services



How Do You Bring Live Events Back Safely?
How to Navigate Virtual Platforms in the Digital Space
Planning for the Return of Modified In-Person Events
Time to Renovate? Exhibitor, Sponsor Relations for Association Events

White Paper

Making Cents - 170+ Ways to Save Money on Events


Coronavirus Dialogue Series: Claim Your Seat at the Table: Why and How to Impact your Association’s Virtual Event Strategy



By Janice Jackson; Natalie Norris, CMP, CMM; and Lindsay A. Plath, CMP

Janice Jackson is meeting manager, former player services for the NFL Players Association. Natalie Norris, CMP, CMM, is director/owner of Meetings And More Inc. Lindsay A. Plath, CMP, is senior professional development coordinator of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (or Illinois ASBO). All three are members of the Association Professionals Advisory Board. Learn more about the community and the resources MPI offers its association professionals.