Creating Immediate Engagement With SLA InfoTrends

When the Special Libraries Association (SLA), a full-service MCI USA Association Solutions client, postponed its annual conference from June to October 2020, we moved quickly to organize a new virtual event to provide a more immediate opportunity for learning, engagement, and networking for the SLA community in June 2020. The half-day event, called InfoTrends, included education sessions with expert speakers on technology and innovation, several moderated discussion groups, and open networking time. InfoTrends was held on a highly interactive platform that allowed for breakout tables, group chat, private messaging between attendees, and direct interaction with speakers, moderators, and our SLA team. Although InfoTrends was virtual, with timing designed to accommodate multiple time-zones, the event offered many of the benefits of SLA’s in-person programs, including the ability to have spontaneous conversations with colleagues, circulate between breakout tables, and make lasting connections.

Results:

  • InfoTrends drew more than 300 registrants from four continents and generated a great deal of positive feedback from members.
  • The event brought in significant revenue from sponsorships and registrations, with a profit-to-expense ratio of 5:1.
  • MCI USA’s SLA team also leveraged InfoTrends to attract new student members and boost renewals, including more than 40 members who renewed to gain access to the program.
  • 92% of attendee survey respondents said they would recommend the next SLA virtual event to a colleague.

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