One of my favorite lines from her. "Just give your clients a disc of images. Don't print them. Printing is HARD."
Sorry I have not been back to this!
It was a fantastic Convention-with incredible speakers. If you are looking for speakers I can highly recommend Drake Busath, Lissa Hatcher, Onne Van der Wal and Tina and Mike Timmons.
All around it went great! Our Convention runs friday to monday, with friday as our "Free Day" to bring in new members. We had over 100 people in the room for our friday speakers which was high for us. I do not have data available right now to see how many joined as a result. I know there was few.
Our membership base right now is at about 128 including Life and Student Members. Overall we are down. We have an Awards Night sunday night, no loner a banquet, mostly for cost, but food and awards and DJ/dancing and this year we had one of our speakers donate his Photo Booth which was a lot of fun. About 65 people attended I think. A lot of those with "real jobs" leave after the sunday speaker to go home for monday work. I know when I was new I didnt attend the Awards Night because I didnt feel I fit in. I tried *really hard* to make the new members feel welcome and get them to stay cuz it IS such party. Many did! We make sure to acknowledge them.
Not that many entered Print Comp-27 total cases with only 12 Print-which is WAYYY below our usual. We did not hold our customary Print Comp seminar in January-that may have been part of the problem. WIll absolutely revisit that this coming year and bring those numbers back up. I'd say we had about 20-30 spectators at a time.
I would like to increase programming or at least social events in between our quarterly seminars. When I thanked the Free Friday attendees I said "I dare you to get a better experience in an online forum!" I believe forums are awesome but there's nothing like in person. I want to increase events to increase membership.
I thank you all for your ideas here! I mentioned the Print Comp "Bar" and people loved the idea! I have to ask though-what time of day? Our Print Comp starts at 830 am.....
Hoping our VP of Publications Cassandra Sullivan will pipe in with her opinions .... :)
2013 Texas PPA Regional Convention was a huge success, we went from about 700 attendees to over 1,100. We added 187 new members who attended the event. Had over 400 brand new people at the event including Trade Show only folks. There was an excitement in the air. The vendors were happy with the turnout and especially all the NEW faces we had.
We turned things around. We did everything different. Whether we like it or not, our industry has changed and if we (the associations) don't change, we will go the way of Blockbuster and the Associations for Buggy Whip makers!
A brief explanation of our situation, Texas and Southwest PPA trade off hosting a regional convention every other year. We are a 6 state region, TX, OK, AR, LA, NM and recently added CO. Two years ago our event was in the fall of 2011 in Arlington, TX. The convention center and hotel is next door to The Ballpark where the Texas Rangers play and down the street from the new Cowboy Stadium. That year the Rangers were in the playoffs so there was a game on Fri and Sat night. There was a the Texas A&M vs Arkansas game on Saturday and of course a Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday. Our event and Trade Show was on that Sat and Sunday. Traffic (or the perception) that traffic was horrible kept about 500 of our registered attendees away from the event. And kept people from attending both days. So Mike Scalf, Executive Director of SWPPA, and I met with the hotel. We had 3 more years of contracts with almost 500 room nights and $13,000 in food guarantees. In 2008, when we signed the 4 year contract, that was no problem, that was the norm. We regularly had 1,000 people at our events. Then the economy and changes in our industry happened. We had to get out of the area in the fall. Last year SWPPA used the hotel on Wed-Fri for print judging and moved the rest of the convention to the Las Colinas area, about 15 miles away, more in the Dallas Area, but still in the Fall. Bottom line, both the 2011 TPPA and 2012 SWPPA regional conventions had about 700 attendees, but no excitement. We had the same faithful members in attendance that always attend, but almost no new faces. We needed to change - fast!
2013, wow, it worked! The officers of Texas PPA decided, we need to shake up the photographic world and change the direction of photographic events. We needed excitement, we needed new faces, we needed a bigger variety of programs, we need a BUZ!
We got it!
Anyone interested in what we did to turn things around?
TPPA Executive Director
Do tell, Doug. Do tell.