November 15, 2022 (Winston-Salem, N.C.) – Sterling Events Group has just added a new service to support associations in a market that has associations across the country understaffed and tight on budgets. Sterling’s goal is not to be a full association management company but to support existing teams that are struggling to get the work done.
Sterling’s Managing Director Amy Everett, who has more than 15 years of experience in association management, says “Association staff has always been known for ‘wearing many hats,’ but in this post-COVID environment, the number of hats per person has essentially doubled.”
Sterling has been considering this line of support service for several years, but after many discussions with meetings industry partners, it is hearing that response time for events alone has been cut in half. Late orders for food and beverage, audio/visual, off-site events, transportation, signage, show management booth and structure builds, and other event components increase costs for the association. One industry partner recently told Sterling, “Association staff just doesn’t have time for us, so their orders for our products and services are all coming in last minute.”
“That’s a problem,” says Everett, “because the meetings industry across the board is struggling. Hotels and convention centers are struggling with staffing, as are audio/visual companies, catering companies, deco companies, freight companies, restaurants and special event venues, transportation companies, and DMCs. If you’re late with your event orders, you risk that they can’t be fulfilled, and if they are, mistakes are likely. In addition, all the early-bird discounts are gone, late fees may be assessed, and you have no time to get alternate quotes or proposals.”
Sterling sees the gaps in association staffing expanding far beyond meetings and events and knows its team has the skills and expertise to help support additional association needs. If associations are not communicating the benefits of membership regularly, providing services and benefits at the same level as in the past, or if the response time to members is lagging, those deficiencies can cost an association membership revenue. Losing members leads to losing sponsors, exhibitors, advertisers, and other key vendor partners that help fund the association’s mission.
Sterling has long been known for its meeting and event services and, as part those services, it is also an expert in complicated and tiered database administration, white-glove level guest (i.e., member) services, sponsorship and advertising sales, education and program content, guest (member) engagement, meeting moderation and facilitation, marketing and communication, web and technology management, finance and accounting, and human resources. Sterling can step in and fill any of those gaps to support the association, saving time and dollars. As they say, every superhero needs a Sidekick.
For more information about Association Sidekicks or to submit an RFP, click here.
Media Contact: Amy Everett – Managing Director
(336) 397-2004 • (336) 778-0790 (fax)
About Sterling Events
Since 1985, Sterling Events, headquartered near Winston-Salem, N.C., has provided travel, meeting planning, event production, and destination management services for corporate clients nationwide. The Sterling Group includes two allied companies, Sterling Spaces and WinMock at Kinderton, both developed to meet clients’ full-service meeting and event needs. Learn more at www.sterlingeventsgroup.com.