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How groups are boosting the networking value of meetings

Research shows attendees want more ‘structured’ opportunities to interact at association events; not leaving connections to chance

Table talk: The University Professional and Continuing Education Association featured roundtables as part of its 2018 annual conference.

Photo: UPCEA/Julia Zhogina

Feb. 1, 2019
By Martin Berman-Gorvine

The Association for Continuing Higher Education knows what meeting attendees want. In evaluation forms from the group’s last annual conference, 92 percent of respondents said “the most important thing they gained was being able to network,” said Dorothy Williams, ACHE’s board president.

Along with traditional “meet and greet” sessions and after-hours tours of local sites, ACHE has honed in on a way to boost both content and networking at meetings through small-group discussions known as roundtables.