The ATA Chronicle - January/February 2021 - 10

During the 2019-2020 fiscal
year, the Conference was the
only program whose revenues
covered its total expenses.
However, efforts have been
made to generate more
income from Professional
Development (seminars and
webinars), and the expectation
is that these programs will
become more self-sustaining
in the years to come.

Assets, Liabilities,
and Net Assets
In terms of ATA's longerterm status, it remains a
mixed bag. For now, though,
we're still on fairly solid
financial ground overall.
The headline figure from
our Statement of Financial
Position (balance sheet) for
FY2019-2020, which can be
found on page 11, is a (-4.7%)
decline in Total Assets, from
$2.86 million a year ago to
$2.73 million this year. Total
Liabilities also fell during this
same period (-10.4%), from
$1.44 million to $1.29 million,
mostly as a result of a gradual
decline in membership.
The good news, though, is
that what ATA holds in cash,
investments, etc., is still worth
much more than it owes. In
fact, this difference, recorded
as Net Assets-Unrestricted,
remained nearly unchanged-
from $1.43 million a year ago
to $1.42 million this year. This
is still a healthy number for an
association our size.

10

Annual Conference
The 2019 Annual Conference in Palm Springs turned
out better than expected. We knew it would be a
smaller affair since it was being held at a resort hotel
a bit farther from the large population centers where
ATA hosts most of its conferences. Fortunately, the
Association's planning and hard work paid off, as
we not only covered all direct and indirect costs, but
actually recorded a small surplus ($13,466) when all
was said and done. On the whole, it should be viewed
as a success.
The two pie charts in Figures 4 and 5 show where
the conference generated its revenue and how that
money got spent.4
As noted under Figure 4, Registration is obviously
the main source of revenue, but ATA also brings in
money from exhibitors, Advanced Skills and Training
(AST) courses, sponsorship, and even some advertising.
It's clear from looking at Figure 5 that Overhead
at ATA Headquarters is clearly the largest slice of
this expense pie, but bear in mind that staff work
on the conference year-round to make it happen.
Other essential costs include everything from Wi-Fi to
insurance, speaker honoraria, conference software,
and other similar expenses. Food and beverage costs,
which cover breakfast and the Welcome Celebration,
are typically built into the overall event price and go
toward paying for the physical conference space and
breakout rooms.
In the end, the Palm Springs conference generated
a total of $868,391 in revenue, versus a direct cost
of $524,076, more than paying for itself. In fact,
the surplus from the event fully covered overhead
($330,849), as noted in Figure 5.
Turning our sights on the 2020 conference, the
biggest financial concern all the way through the
summer had been the perceived burden of canceling
the Boston in-person event outright and/or early
because of contractual penalties that had been
estimated at around $450,000. Fortunately, thanks to
the hard work of ATA Headquarters, that contract was
renegotiated, allowing the Association to reschedule
the event in Boston for 2025. In exchange, all penalties
were waived for the 2020 event.
For years now, we've noted that when an Annual
Conference does well, ATA does well financially as a
whole. The virtual event in 2020 was no different. Our
reasonable expectation was that this conference would
at least break even. As of this writing, that appears to
be the case. In addition, it has served as an excellent
learning experience and point of reference for future
hybrid/virtual events.

The ATA Chronicle | Januar y/February 2021

Figure 4
Annual Conference
Revenue

Registration (680,660, 78%)
Exhibit (93,095, 11%)
AST (42,450, 5%)
Advertising (12,330, 2%)
Corporate Sponsor (37,535, 4%)
Special Events (425, 0%)
Virtual Conference (1,896, 0%)

Figure 5
Annual Conference
Expenses

Travel and Lodging (25,202, 3%)
Audio Visual (83,975, 10%)
Welcome Reception (73,058, 9%)
Continental Breakfast (116,646, 14%)
Breaks (27,403, 3%)
Breaks-AST (3,649, 0%)
Exhibits (11,105, 1%)
Temp Clerical (15,033, 2%)
Division Activities (27,525, 3%)
Other Essential Costs (140,481, 16%)
Overhead Expense (330,849, 39%)

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The ATA Chronicle - January/February 2021

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