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Planner Spotlight Series- Glenn M. Reighart, NASP

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September 1, 2021
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This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlight's planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world. 


 

Name: Glenn M. Reighart

Company Name: National Association of School Psychologists

Job Title: Director, Meetings and Conventions

Years of Experience: 28

How were you able to adapt during COVID-19 when the meeting and events industry got disrupted? 
 
First, we communicated with our facility partners in the city originally expected to host the NASP 2021 Annual Convention, to begin the process of rescheduling the convention in that same city for the next available year and also with our many long-term convention vendor partners, to discuss the unfortunate reality of NASP’s inability to host an in-person event this year. Next, we investigated possible formats for the association’s first virtual convention, as we simultaneously interviewed stakeholders to learn what would be of the greatest interest and value to them in a virtual environment. Then, we researched and interviewed several organizations before ultimately partnering with the one considered the best match to host the digital platform for NASP’s virtual convention and allow the association to successfully accomplish our overall strategic goals for the event. Finally, after a great deal of planning conducted by teams across various departments within the association, we pared down the number of originally anticipated educational sessions, creating a convention program that would be both logistically manageable and easily accessible to participants from across the country, which included prerecorded sessions available on demand, live-streamed sessions, and multiple varied opportunities for interaction among attendees, presenters, and exhibitors. Fortunately, after a considerable amount of challenging but invigorating work (plus some good karma, for sure), NASP’s first virtual convention not only achieved record-breaking attendance but, as demonstrated by the overwhelmingly positive post-convention evaluations, also delivered a high-quality event that clearly was valued by all stakeholder groups of which NASP can be proud.
 
As a planner, what was the number one thing you learned over the past year?
 
I learned that, even though I immediately recognized the fact that there were many aspects of virtual events with which I had little experience and that, consequently, I would need the support of a strong team, in the end, it was the things I didn’t even realize I didn’t know that definitely were the most challenging over time.
 
Is there anything you are changing in your planning process moving forward as a result of the pandemic?
 
As an association, NASP realizes that the world definitely will continue to change, perhaps in ways we may not anticipate or understand. Consequently, the association needs to be prepared to offer a variety of different kinds of personalized education, including face-to-face, virtual, and hybrid events, all of which are mission-oriented, market driven, and characterized by high quality, relevance, and value to NASP members, potential members, and other important stakeholders. To accomplish this, NASP has embraced a careful and deliberate planning process that examines current conditions, makes analytic assumptions about the future, and includes measurable goals and objectives to be used as criteria against which the association will measure future performance.
 

This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlight's planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world. 

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