By Al Rickard, CAE
Planning your next conference is hard work every year, but this presidential election year presents a special challenge.
As political rules seem to go off the charts, you may have to issue your own set of rules for speakers and attendees at your next conference. Here’s a list to get you started:
1. Provide speaker guidelines noting prohibited topics, including wives, walls, immigrants, religion, deporting members, and body parts.
2. Association Board members must post their tax returns in the convention app and on bulletin boards in the registration area.
3. Provide a roped-off area in general sessions for disgruntled members to sit. Alert hotel security before the sessions start.
4. No “brokers” are allowed at the convention.
5. No counting delegates before the convention begins.
6. No yelling into the microphone.
7. Private email servers are not permitted in hotel rooms.
8. Themes are allowed, but “Make the Association Great Again” should be avoided.
9. Do not rant about “America winning again” at the international reception.
10. No spreading rumors among convention attendees that the secretary-treasurer has resigned.
11. Any speaker promising free association education programs throughout the year has to also present a way to pay for them.
12. Breakout speakers are not allowed to circulate “Attendee Violation” notices to get people to attend their sessions.
13. Do not Photoshop the head of the incoming chairman onto another body.
14. The amount of money the association paid for all keynote speakers and the transcripts of these speeches must be posted on the convention website.
15. Documentation of the last time the association budget was balanced must be posted in the convention app.
16. Do not refer to the association PAC as “Super.”
17. As a replacement to meditation sessions this year, classes in self-defense will be held in the Welcome Center.
18. Yoga may be done onstage at any time.
19. Only “adult arguments” are allowed in the case of disagreements.
20. Hugs are allowed!
Good luck with your conference in this election year. May civility prevail.
Al Rickard, CAE is president of Association Vision, a Washington, DC-area communications company; firstname.lastname@example.org.