After identifying the "biggest loser" association programs in their budget, this is what happened next ... (Note - association here) ...
"We brought all our findings to the board as part of our overall discussions as to how we can best apply association resources for the benefit of our members.
The upshot - the board agreed to eliminate the golf tournament and we reallocated much of those resources to produce a Broker Summit in March (with national speaker) and a Membership Appreciation Week. [Their Membership Appreciation Week in early May included education sessions each day, networking events - such as YO PRO for young professionals, "lick and drip" ice cream social, lunch/grilling in parking lot, prize drawings. All at no charge.]
The benefit of both is they connect us with significantly more members, they focus on their business (i.e., education, business development) and they encourage members during a difficult market (e.g., lunches, drawings, social interaction, positive energy, etc.)
So, we told our members these two programs are their new golf tournament.
Staff did a great job of welcoming members, initiating conversations and activating their engagement in our activities. The board and other leaders assisted with the grilling and serving. Member feedback has been extremely positive!
(Note - the board also agreed to greatly downsize our year end holiday event/installation and replace it with a leadership reception/installation.)"
Thanks to Mark Allen for great ideas!