Associations Forum welcomes return of face-to-face meetings for national conference

associations forum
The Associations Forum National Conference was held at CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park.

The 16th annual Associations Forum National Conference was hosted face-to-face this month at Melbourne’s new conferencing and events centre, CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park.

Over the two-day conference, Associations Forum welcome hundreds of association experts, executives and board members to multiple educational sessions, learning labs and networking events.

The opening plenary session chaired by Associations Forum’s advisor Dr Andrew Gosbell featured CEO of the Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy, Stephen Durkin, and CEO of the Australian Psychological Society, Dr Zena Burgess, who shared their association experience and case studies.

Following a suite of multi-stream sessions, the first evening ended with a dinner hosted by MCG Events and Melbourne Convention Bureau at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The Associations Forum has  also released its 2022 Association Membership and Services Survey, which showed member retention rates remained relatively strong.

Surveying over 200 associations across Australia, the report showed professional associations saw an increase in member retention rates, a welcome change from last year’s decrease.

Associations continue to offer discounted membership rates to members who specifically state they cannot pay due to financial restraints brought on by COVID, however associations were less likely to offer a blanket, free or discounted membership

Restrictions on face-to-face gatherings caused by COVID continued to cause cancellations and postponements of association events, but Associations have begun embracing hybrid event models with almost half of the participants allowing both face-to-face and online attendance to association events.