SPIN Drops Dues During “Year of the Member”

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SPIN, meeting, Hilton Oak Brook Hills Resort
SPIN made the announcement at the opening session of SPINCon at the Hilton Oak Brook Hills Resort.

In an industry-first move, SPIN (Senior Planner Industry Network) has announced that it will not charge dues to join the group in 2016, or a registration fee for planners attending its annual conference, SPINCon. The initiative, dubbed the “Year of the Member” (#yearofthemember), was announced at the opening session of SPINCon Sunday at the Hilton Oak Brook Hills Resort outside Chicago, and met first with stunned silence, then thunderous applause by attendees.

“The idea came out of our strategic planning session in September,” says the group’s founder, Shawna Suckow. “At the end of the day, it’s not about the money, it’s about facilitating conversation and building community.

“We are always asking ourselves, ‘How do we build engagement?’ We know that once someone gives us a try, they get what we are all about. But there are two barriers to that happening: time and money. This decision addresses the money issue.”

Suckow anticipates that the move will be funded by an increase in sponsorship as the group grows larger. SPIN, which grew out of a listserv started by Suckow several years ago, has 2,500 members. Planners must have 10 years of experience to join. “No association out there has a grasp on how many senior planners are out there,” says Suckow. “We have members that don’t belong to any other industry associations.”

With this move, 2016 will be a year of unknowns for SPIN, starting with having to plan the next convention with no idea of how many people will attend. The number of members and attendees will most certainly grow as a result of this decision. One thing is certain: All eyes will be on SPIN in the coming year.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.