Perhaps you have noticed that we used to call it the SIETAR USA Annual Conference. But this year we have switched to the National Conference. Why, you ask?
The Board of Directors decided not to hold a conference in 2018 to be able to review the conference and see if there were some changes that might be made to streamline the organization of the conference and make it less expensive to conduct. They wanted answers to questions like what might be dropped from the program? What could be outsourced? What cost efficiencies could be introduced?
Tradition runs strong in SIETAR USA. There was at least one advocate for each of the events that have been part of our conference schedule. Since we are a small association with quite a low membership fee there is not extra money to outsource any more than we already do. We are an all-volunteer, working Board to begin with, so none of us has the time over and above what we already dedicate to SIETAR USA to be able to take on more conference duties.
A good solution that the Board agreed on was to go to an every-other-year plan. Therefore the change: annual (meaning every year) to national. Part of the plan was to hold SIETAR USA conferences not to conflict with SIETAR Europa who holds their conferences in odd numbered years. To get on that schedule, SIETAR USA will hold our next conference in 2020 in Omaha, Nebraska. Henceforth, the national conferences will be held during the even-numbered years.
We feel that members will be receiving benefits during the off years with the lively webinars, the substantial newsletter, membership discounts for books and journals, and the Office Depot discount. With extra time in between, members can be planning their participation for the next SIETAR USA conference. We plan to revisit the decision in the future to see if this plan retains the quality conferences and active membership that we have enjoyed for two decades.