7:30 A.M. - 9:50 A.M. CEOs and Welcoming Environment Summit

CEOnly Seminar sponsored by Conference Direct, National Speakers Bureau NSB_logo.png

West Tower, Crystal Ballroom B

Welcoming Environment Summit sponsored by Travel Portland, Barnes & Thornburg bt logo    

West Tower, Crystal Ballroom C

8:00 A.M. - 8:50 A.M. Experience Education

Content Strategy 101: A Roadmap for Association Professionals (CMP APPROVED)

Speakers: Ralph Gaillard, M.Ed   Nicolette L. Haton, MBA, CAE

Room: Michigan 1

Everyone seems to be talking about content strategy, but for most association professionals, this talk leaves a lot of questions unanswered. What is a content strategy? Does my organization really need one? Where do I start?

This session will introduce attendees to Association Forum’s new content strategy and provide a basic road map to developing a quality content strategy for your organization. Rather than a set, linear series of steps, developing a content strategy is an iterative process. Organizations must answer a number of key questions that will help define what a successful content strategy will look like for their organization. From there, they can begin to determine the steps that will make it happen.
Meeting or Event Design - .75 CE

Participants will work in small groups to brainstorm answers to those key questions involved in developing a content strategy, and will also share their organization’s experiences with content strategy challenges and creative solutions.

Participants will receive a complimentary electronic copy of Association Laboratory’s white paper, Introduction to Creating and Sustaining an Association Content Strategy.

Learning Objectives

Understand Association Forum’s content strategy.

Define content strategy related terms.

Identify questions and solutions to roadblocks that need to be addressed in order to develop a content strategy for your organization.

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Education SIG

Maturity Models: Practical Tools To Stop Discussing Change and Start Making It

Speaker: Paul Pomerantz, FASAE, CAE   Kelsey Vatsaas

Room: Columbus C/D

We are all accustomed to discussing change. We explore changes in industry, member needs, technology and more. While change is relevant to all of us leading associations today, we know the more difficult part is the implementation. The ways, tools and methods for actually planning, getting approval for and implementing these changes are often the missing piece; therefore change happens more slowly than we would like.

Discover how the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) successfully used a “maturity model and road-map” structure for planning and implementing changes throughout the organization. Hear from speakers from CliftonLarsonAllen and ASA, as they walk through their experiences and lessons learned when they applied this model to the finance function of ASA.

Learning Objectives:

Understand the maturity model and road-map approach to planning and implementing change

Learn from the ways the American Society of Anestesiologists used this model in three distinct areas of the organization

Identify how your organization might use a maturity model approach in the future

A Tale of Two YPs

Speakers: Christina McCoy, CAE   Emily Viles

Room: Michigan 2

How do you create and sustain a successful young professional committee within your organization or association? Hear from Emily Viles, Meetings Technology Coordinator at (AMPED), and volunteer Co-Chair of the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives (WSAE) Young Professional Task Force, who built a community for the young professionals in WSAE around career development, educational and networking opportunities geared towards their needs. Then hear how her colleague Christina McCoy, CAE, Account Executive  at (AMPED), and volunteer Chair of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Young Professional Committee, restructured an existing young professional committee towards a more sustainable and engaging model that gave the participants more leadership opportunities. In both scenarios, their successes were dependent on the support and championship of both the leadership of their associations and their employers.

Learning Objectives:

Create a young professional committee from the ground up

Understand how to sustain or revitalize an existing young professional committee

Learn what career development and support looks like from the young profesional perspective

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YP SIG – January Meeting

EIC Informational Session: Advance Your Career with a CMP and CMP-HC (CMP APPROVED!)

Speaker: Steven Antolick

Room: Columbus I/J

Interested in becoming a CMP? Already a CMP and ready to take your certification to the next level with the CMP-Healthcare (HC)? Not sure what these programs are? The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certification identifies those who have mastered the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful meeting professional while the Certified Meeting Professional-Healthcare subspecialty is designed for CMPs who demonstrate mastery of laws, regulations and best practices that must be followed when conducting a healthcare-focused meeting. This session will cover the basics of the CMP and CMP-HC programs including program requirements, application and recertification processes, and knowledge and skills covered in both programs. Learn how earning the CMP and CMP-HC designations will help advance your career and leverage your knowledge in planning professional meetings in healthcare and beyond. Come prepared with your questions to be answered by the Events Industry Council.
.75 CE

Hero Habits: How to Overcome Burnout, Metabolize Stress & Design a Winnable Game!

Room: Columbus G/H

Speaker: Michael Hahn

Our world is changing rapidly and many of us are struggling to keep pace, but the rate of change will only continue to increase. According to IBM, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created each day and 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. A feeling of frustration, stress and overwhelm is leading to burnout, health & family challenges and an overall lack of happiness. So what can you do to shift from merely surviving to THRIVING both personally and professionally? Join us on a journey to discover the tools, skills and strategies to unleash your inner hero!
Learning Objectives:
Design a Winnable Game for yourself, team and organization

Assume Positive Intent in the face of pressure, change and deadlines

Learn practical tools to metabolize stress, Choose Happiness and transform your team/work environment from Surviving to Thriving

Why Create Podcasts: Get the 411!

Speaker: Wes Bleed

Room: Michigan 3

Do you know what it takes to launch podcasts for your association? This session will share how to produce new audio content on a consistent basis using podcasts. Audience members will learn about audio equipment, software, formatting, ideas for show content and hosting services along with ideas for promoting your new podcast. Non-dues revenue opportunities will also be explored.

Learning Objectives:

Identify the opportunities that podcasts can offer your association

Understand what's involved in creating and producing a podcast

Learn how to promote podcasts to achieve your association's long-term goals

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SmartTech on Feb 1, 2018

Volunteers: Supporting Them Today So They Can Be Your Association Leaders Tomorrow (CMP APPROVED)

Speaker: Holly Schambach   Adam Reshan

Room: Columbus K/L

Management of volunteers should be purposeful and strategic. Volunteers are busy with their “day jobs”, making efficiency vital. Proper recruitment and support of volunteers can be the difference between complete failure or tremendous success! Learn how to make volunteers champions towards serving your association and keep them engaged long term as potential future leaders. Walk away with key strategies for success in volunteer engagement.
Human Resources - .75 CE

Learning Objectives:

Leverage a checklist of criteria to aid in identifying qualified volunteer leaders for their specific needs

Possess solutions for creating accountability and incentivizing participation with volunteer leaders

Learn best practices in volunteer management, including what tools and resources to provide to best equip them for results

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Governance Essentials

Negotiation Strategies & Managing Association Meetings Contracts (CMP APPROVED)

Speaker: Barbara F. Dunn

Room: Columbus A/B

While associations are looking for rooms and space for their meetings, corporate and business travel markets take the field. As associations struggle to make their meetings leaner and smarter, it's becoming harder to negotiate favorable contract terms. This session will provide an overview of the current climate including nuances which are occurring as a result of heightened demand and limited supply. This session will also provide strategies for addressing and preventing some of the most common association meeting challenges such as attrition, cancellation, force majeure and state legislation concerns.
Strategic Planning - .75 CE

Learning Objectives:

Gain a deeper understanding of the current marketplace for association meetings including limited space offerings, shorter option dates and more

Understand key issues in meetings contracts such as rate protection, attrition, breach, etc

Plan strategies for addressing common problems which arise in meetings contracts such as labor disputes and conflicting bookings

Maximizing Attendance: The Human Element of the Decision to Attend (CMP APPROVED)

Speakers: Mickey Schaefer, FASAE, CAE & Loren Gold

Room: Columbus E/F

Today's attendees are discerning consumers and travelers who may choose to attend your meetings and events ─ or not. The 2nd Decision to Attend Study, with newly released findings, reconfirmed that today’s attendees are swayed by the EXPERIENCE they perceive they will have at both the conference and the destination. That’s why the entire industry is looking at the human element of conventions and attendance promotion with an experiential eye. Maximize attendance and learn what drives the decision relative to the wants, needs and expectations of prospective attendees. Hear best practices on how meeting professionals and DMOs can work together to surgically target market based on the human behaviors of the Group, using the new Behavioral Profile Template.
Strategic Planning - .75 CE

Learning Objectives:

Recall prospective attendee behaviors that impact the Decision to Attend

Understand how the 'perceived' destination and convention experience matters

Learn how the industry is using the new Behavioral Profile Template

View Related Education

Mickey Schaefer webinar coming in March 2018!

8:50 A.M. - 9:00 A.M. Networking Break

9:00 A.M. - 9:50 A.M. Experience Education

Association Conferences: It’s Time To Focus on the "Why?" (CMP APPROVED)

Room: Michigan 1

Speaker: Eric Rozenberg

Because you’ve held an annual conference for decades, isn’t reason enough to keep doing what you’ve done! Attend this session, to hear insights from a leading expert. You will discover effective methodology and real life examples to help you align your next face-to-face meeting with your organization’s strategy. Gone are the days of having events and conferences because you’ve always done it that way!
Strategic Planning - .75 CE

Learning Objectives

Approach your work more strategically

Increase value to your organization

Discover how to shift the focus to “Why?” when aligning your meetings

Meetings Means Business Coalition (MMB): 2017- A Year of Disruption? (CMP APPROVED)

Speaker: Michael Dominguez

Room: Columbus E/F

Mike Dominguez is Back By Popular Demand…Don’t Miss Holiday Showcase!


Our meeting’s world has become much more complex with a variety of issues from, cyber security, meetings advocacy and Health & Wellness leading the charge. In this dynamic session, industry veteran Michael Dominguez shares the latest trends in the hotel industry and how they affect your meetings and incentives. The year of 2017 is like no other we have seen in decades.  From disruption of technological forces that are changing the way we work and play to changes in Washington which will take time to understand its full impact, it is important to understand the context of what is taking place.  The speed of change is a force that we will all wrestle with over the next decade.


Gain a better understanding of the economic environment, how structural changes will have an impact in 2017 and beyond, identify ways to optimize your relationships with hotels as well as your key stakeholders.  We will also explore the internal and external forces that will continue to pressure meeting design, content dissemination and the need to understand we no longer have attendees, but rather participants in meetings.
Strategic Planning - .75 CE

 Learning Objectives:
Understand the need to move fast in changing organizational structure
Understand new competition for both guest rooms and meeting space
Review what is MYTH versus REALITY in today’s environment

How Virtual Conferences Strengthen Association Membership: A Case Study (CMP APPROVED)

Speaker: Alexis Kolak Laura Rudzinski

Room: Michigan 2

Join this session if you have questions on how to make virtual conferences a reality for your association. Maybe you've wondered, will the content translate well in a virtual environment? How can we promote a virtual event without detracting from in-person attendance? Why is a virtual conference important to the association’s strategy?

Before your association considers the technology for a virtual conference, hear how the National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA) made the decision to go virtual, the important lessons learned as the event evolved, and how you can use this information to determine if you're ready for a virtual conference. Gain insights to help you build conferences virtually and increase value for your organization and members.
Strategic Planning -.75 CE

Learning Objectives:

Understand why associations consider virtual events and how to determine goals for the event

Build an evaluation and implementation plan for virtual conference technology

Plan a virtual conference launch so that it expands attendance and audience reach

PCMA Session: Browsers, Bandwidth, Streaming, Oh My! (CMP APPROVED)

Room: Columbus G/H

Speaker: Emma King, DES

Internet, bandwidth, Streaming Media, You Tube, Facebook Live – all enable us to deliver digital content to our devices. Understanding how this all works is key to building content that meets the needs of the consumer. In this session, we will discuss the ever-changing browser landscape, what bandwidth is and how it impacts your digital content, and how understanding these two key areas will assist in your delivery of any streaming content.
Strategic Planning - .75 CE

Learning Objectives

Understand browsers and how it effects streaming and digital content

Understand streaming and bandwidth to meet consumer needs

Leverage your understanding of various technologies to deliver content

View Related Education

SmartTech on Feb 1, 2018

How to Afford Video Marketing & Why You Need It? (CMP APPROVED)

Speakers: Daniel Pietroske Jennifer May Jessica Watson

Room: Columbus I/J

Consider that 85% of businesses now have internal staff producing videos in-house. Video marketing is quickly becoming one of the top ways to create messages to attract awareness and communicate key information. It is reusable and postable on multiple platforms. Almost all social media channels can accept video and websites, as well as email, support it. However, many smaller associations consider video as too expensive to be feasible for their budgets. Learn how Association Applications Group (AAG) implemented a strategy that allowed them to generate on average one to two new videos per week with junior staff at less than 20 hours per week in effort.
Marketing - .75 CE

Learning Objectives:

Understand why video marketing is a vital part of an association communications plan

Leverage the proper ways to use video marketing

Learn how to create videos on a small budget

View Related Education

SmartTech on Feb 1, 2018

Instructional Design Strategies for the 21st Century Learner (CMP APPROVED)

Speaker: Susan Tinnish, Ph.D.

Room: Columbus A/B

Technology and generational differences have shifted how learning experiences should be designed. This session will provide information on instructional design strategies for face-to-face meetings, webinars and educational conferences. This session will address new ideas, techniques and formats to bridge the younger generation and provide relevant educational experiences for all association members.
Marketing or Event Design - .75 CE

Learning Objectives:

Employ instructional design strategies to your education

Identify and understand new expectations of adult learners

Understand how educational context is changing for the 21st century learner

View Related Education

The Empowered Learner

Jumpstart Revenue Growth with New Tools & Strategies (CMP APPROVED)

Speakers: Dede Gish-Panjada   Jeanne Sheehy

Room: Columbus K/L

Jumpstarting revenue growth is only the first step toward increasing effectiveness. Enthusiastic association leaders are yearning to take a page from the entrepreneur’s playbook and use business modeling to create greater value for members and customers, transform organizations to better leverage resources and deliver value in innovative ways. Strategy best becomes reality when using business modeling to breathe operational life to strategic decisions. We will explore the tools that address the tactical and operational complexities that always accompany strategic change.
Financial Management - .75 CE

Learning Objectives:

Define the nine components that comprise a Business Model

Compile several options for each of the four components on the revenue side of the Business Model Canvas

Describe how these four revenue components impact the value proposition the association wishes to deliver to its members and customers

Savvy Sponsorship Solicitation (CMP APPROVED)

Speaker: Aaron Wolowiec

Room: Columbus C/D

Sponsoring programs, products and services can be a significant source of revenue for most associations; however, our traditional approaches are resulting in both lost revenue and disengaged sponsors, particularly as sponsorship demand has increased and sponsorship budgets have decreased. During this session, learn how to more effectively develop sponsorship pricing structures, factors, and packaging; how to identify the right organizations to solicit for sponsorship; and how to deliver the sponsorship sales pitch and demonstrate the return on investment (ROI).
Strategic Planning - .75 CE

Emergency Preparedness at Meetings (CMP APPROVED)

Speaker: Kevin Olsen

Room: Michigan 3

Given the onslaught of natural disasters, active shooters and terrorist activities that have impacted our country and the world, the responsibility of professionals within our industry to be prepared for emergency situations is unprecedented. So where do you begin? This course will offer practical tools, resources and information to help you in your journey to Emergency Preparedness for your next event, conference or convention.
Risk Management - .75 CE

Learning Objectives

Understand your role in the emergency preparedness function

Discover proven methodologies to mitigate risk

Obtain practical resources and tools to address emergency preparedness

9:50 A.M. - 10:00 A.M. Networking Break

10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. Brunch

Don't Miss the Keynote Brunch with Robyn Benincasa!

Brunch Sponsor: Reno
Keynote Sponsors: Experient, National Speakers Bureau

Join your colleagues for the 3rd annual Holiday Showcase Keynote and Networking Brunch!

You will enjoy a wonderful brunch while hearing from Robyn Benincasa, a San Diego firefighter and accomplished team racer who will share stories of inspiration for all of us! There will be plenty of networking opportunities and insights to inspire and motivate your entire team.

You will also have the opportunity to join Association Forum and USAE in celebrating the 2017 Class of Forty Under 40 recipients. Brunch is included with any full day registration.

To purchase a premium table for 10, please contact Phyllis Scott, Manager, Business Development –

Brunch sponsored by:

Keynote sponsored by:
Experient_04.10.13.jpg Picture2.png

12:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M. Tradeshow Hours

Join Us at the Tradeshow!

Widely considered the industry's best and most highly attended one-day tradeshow for Chicago's multi-billion dollar association market.  Holiday Showcase® attracts association professionals across all areas of association managementfrom meeting planning to marketing to membership. Experience the tradeshow floor and connect with hospitality, destinations and business service suppliers. This is a great way to connect with existing industry suppliers and those who you want to connect with.

4:00 P.M. - 5:30 P.M. Closing Reception and Prize Giveaways

source4_4_c.jpg Closing Reception

Wrap up this year's Holiday Showcase with the all-exhibitor, all-attendee closing reception! The Closing Reception is also included with your full-day Holiday Showcase registration. Immediately following the close of the tradeshow, join your colleagues for complimentary cocktails and live entertainment by Cloud of Shame. We're looking forward to seeing you there!

Location: Hyatt Regency Chicago

Opening Reception

We will celebrate the holiday season and our community! Toast the start of the best Holiday Showcase in decades at the all-exhibitor, all-attendee opening reception! The Opening Reception is included with your full-day Holiday Showcase registration.

Wednesday, Dec. 13 | 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Chicago

7:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. Registration