4 Steal-Worthy Strategies from One Association’s Virtual Conference

The pressure is on when you’re planning a conference for event professionals. So when the Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA)—a 33-year-old association representing CVB, hotel and convention center leaders across North America—started planning its 2021 conference, the team knew they had to think carefully about the best way to approach it.

“One of the things that made this really challenging is that we all service historically live events—so we’re all about live events,” says newly elected ESPA President Julie Brakenbury, who is also the director of destination services at Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (North Carolina). But ultimately, the board of directors sat down and defined the conference’s No. 1 goal—and that was to enable as many ESPA members as possible to have access to education and learning, especially during such a difficult time. “So at the end of the day, we made that decision that a virtual event would best serve our members.”

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