AMCs Solve Cost Challenges

Associations Now | July/August 2018 Issue | By: Emily Bratcher

AMCs Solve Cost Challenge 

AMCs help associations keep their overhead down by providing cost-effective solutions to their challenges.

A new cancer immunotherapy was awaiting approval, and SITC was in a holding pattern until the FDA gave the green light. At the same time, Executive Director, Inc.—the AMC managing the association at the time—was watching as its other small- to medium-sized clients experienced 10 to 20 percent drops in their meeting attendance.

EDI anticipated more drastic attendance drops at SITC’s November 2008 annual meeting. “They did not have a lot of money in reserves, so they wouldn’t be able to absorb a really significant hit and still survive,” says EDI VP Tara Withington, CAE.

Leaning on its relationships with vendors, including the conference hotel, EDI cut back on hotel space, as well as food and beverage and audiovisual costs. It even decided to deploy its staff members who were working for the struggling association elsewhere to further defray costs. “We intensified our grassroots efforts to drive meeting attendance, and we got really creative in our packaging of discounts for registration and membership fees,” she says.

Then, on September 15, 2008, more bad news: The stock market collapsed, which contributed to a 68 percent drop in attendance at SITC’s November meeting. However, thanks to EDI’s preemptive work, the association didn’t have any attrition to pay. “We had enough reserves to continue on life support into 2009 in hopes the field and the economy would take a turn for the better,” Withington says.

The economy, of course, got stronger, and SITC now has more than $7 million in its reserves.

This story—dramatic as it is—exemplifies the way AMCs help their association clients cut costs, save money, and in turn, carry out their missions.

Read more from ASAE.