Pumping New Life Into Associations' Online Revenue Streams

Source : PCMA

Author: Michelle Russell

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) may be a nonprofit organization but “that’s a tax status not a business strategy,” said William F. Reed, FASAE, CMP, ASH’s chief event strategy officer. Reed started his career in hotel sales, and that background, he said, has enabled him to look at the revenue component of ASH’s events through a different lens. In addition, the 62nd ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition took place online Dec. 5-8, 2020, giving Reed and his team the opportunity to observe how other organizations were producing digital events throughout the year and time to think through potential business mod- els. Convene spoke with Reed in late February to learn how he and his team reengineered the annual meeting not as a short-term strategy but to make it a sustainable enterprise — and a more valuable experience for all participants — for the coming years.


It’s been a big challenge to make physical trade shows succeed on online platforms. How did ASH meet its sponsors’ objectives?

One of the things that I think we have done really well at ASH is asking exploratory questions — how will you, Company X, derive value from this experience, this investment? — and not assume that their answer is going to apply to any other company. We learned that everyone wants different data.

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