Can you explain why being a speaker at the conference is linked with required, not optional, sponsorship?
We get this question often. And there is great reason!
First and foremost TABS conferences are a platform for thought leadership, information sharing, networking, and collaboration. They are not trade shows established for business promotion. There are several reasons we require for-profit organizations to sponsor and/or exhibit at our conferences.
As with many organizations in the educational sector sponsoring a conference in conjunction with speaking is standard operating procedure and a practice TABS has embraced for the past 15 years.
- Sponsorship helps to offset the cost of the conference for our member schools. Often, TABS Annual Conference is the only professional development members will participate in all year. It is important we keep our costs competitive and affordable. Generous sponsors allow TABS to keep our conference registration rates affordable.
- Speaking is a valuable opportunity. This year TABS received 25% more conference session proposals that last year. We had 110 spots (both concurrent and speed sessions) to fill – meaning we had to turn down 140 proposals. The bulk of the proposals belong to our member schools but a handful come from corporations. The opportunity for a business to speak to our member schools is in high demand. This is a long standing practice.
For-Profit organizations can participate in TABS Annual Conference in other ways.
- Sponsor or exhibit without speaking. If you submit a session proposal, and it is selected, you can decline the opportunity to present. Sponsorship and exhibiting is open to any organization (for-profit or non-profit). In addition to the few organizations that have the privilege of speaking they also will reap the rewards of sponsorship – including mentions in the conference preview and program, ad space, presence in the exhibit hall, alignment with TABS, attendee mailing list, and the opportunity to network with members of TABS 286 member schools.
- Attend the conference as a non-member. Organizations wishing to see what TABS Annual Conference is all about without committing to sponsorship may do so at the Non-member price. Organizations will not receive any corporate benefits such as being listed in the program, having a table in the exhibit hall, or complimentary registrations.