Krista LeZotte, CMP, CSEP, DES, is jumping into her new job feet first. The AMC Institute announced LeZotte as its vice president, membership, meetings & education just four weeks before the start of its annual meeting, which will be fully in-person in Orlando the first week of June.
Fortunately, she’s got experience on her side: She left one nonprofit focused on associations for another focused on association management. For the past five years, LeZotte has been with the American Society of Association Executives in Washington, D.C., most recently as senior director, meeting operations & engagement.
She brings a depth of planning knowledge to her new position in Alexandria, Va., and hopes to build on her work in event experiences, member services, and partner relations. “Understanding your members needs as well as their behaviors is important when planning experiences and engagement opportunities,” she notes. “Sometimes these differ, but by examining both, the organization can create experiences that will result in overall member satisfaction. A good starting point might be to identify both member and event-specific personas or to collect member feedback through surveys.”
Her work on that will have to wait, though, as she joins a team that's putting the finishing touches on AMCI’s Annual Meeting taking place June 2-4 at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. The event has special significance as one of the first in-person meetings in the business-events industry since the outbreak of the pandemic. “The goal for our event is not only to deliver thought-provoking education but to provide tools for our members as they plan their own in-person events in the future,” she says.
A March member survey found 80 percent of AMCI’s members expect to restart face-to-face meetings by the third quarter of this year, and the need for related information is key. “While experience has always been an important element of an event, the pandemic has changed attendee needs and expectations when making the decision to attend. I see this not as a challenge but an opportunity to enhance event experiences while continuing to keep health and safety as a top priority.”