Our Big Takeaways from the Association Forum of Chicagoland Holiday Showcase
Several AMC staff members attended the Association Forum of Chicagoland Holiday Showcase this past Tuesday, and we asked them to share their biggest takeaways from the event.
Sally Weir (American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Hospice Medical Director Certification Board)
In the CEOnly session, a speaker mentioned what kills high performance of a team - short-term thinking and micro-management.
Allison Lundberg (Hospice Medical Director Certification Board)
There are a lot of disruptions in today’s world that come from new technologies and innovations. As association professionals, we can’t be afraid of these disruptions that cause us to change, for if we don’t embrace change, it could end up hurting us.
Taylor Thomas (AMC Meetings Team)
In one of my education sessions, the speaker touched on the fact that having a positive attitude leads to more productivity, less stress, and a happier overall workplace environment. A statement he made that really stuck with me was - when someone asks you how you are doing in the morning, start off each day saying “I’m doing great,” and if you are having a day that is really not going well…reply with “I’m grateful.” Try and spend every day being great or grateful!
Judith Greifer (American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology)
The maximizing videos presentation was excellent and covered creative ideas for using videos before, during and after a meeting, along with detailed recommendations and some cost projections.
Marilyn Jansen (AMC Marketing & Business Development)
Our brunch keynote speaker mentioned this quote that I found very interesting: “the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” He also mentioned that associations should look to the 2008 fees for meeting data and not to last year’s number.
Stephanie Wimmerstedt (National Association of Neonatal Nurses and American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology)
My favorite session from the Holiday Showcase was “A Session on Sessions (on Sessions)”. We learned ways to be innovative with meeting planning but still remain cost effective. This session gave us new ideas on different presentation styles that will keep attendees engaged and interacting, staying away from the typical “talking head” presentation.
Michael Bourisaw (AMC Professional Relations & Development)
My two big takeaways were from the brunch keynote given by Michael Dominguez. He mentioned the importance of psychographics as opposed to demographics, thus truly understanding how your members and customers want to receive information instead of lumping everyone with a similar age and gender together. In addition, he included the quote “It is no longer the big fish eating the small fish but the fast fish eating the slow fish”, pointing out the need to adapt swiftly to the changing environment.
Stephanie Sayen (Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses)
A speaker mentioned for general sessions and keynotes at conference, using a 20-30 second impactful intro video rather than 5 minutes of people walking up/down and reading the introduction.
Brendan Sugrue (National Association of Neonatal Nurses)
The session on maximizing video for your event opened my eyes to so many possibilities on how we can engage our members and attendees not only prior to the event with promotions, but during it and after with real-time interviews and wrap up content.
Peggy Doherty (Awards and Personalization Association)
I found the information from our brunch keynote, Michael Dominguez, fascinating. Also, one of the leaders of a session said that Boards should be addressing industry trends (good and bad) at every meeting instead of ignoring them.
Bruce Hammond (AMC Corporate Marketing & Communications)
My big takeaway relates to the importance of data. In my session, my co-presenter talked about how much Cleveland Clinic uses data to tweak its approach to content marketing and how that effort has led to success. Our brunch presenter used data to effectively illustrate that associations need to understand the underlying impacts of cost related to their events. And in another session I attended, a panel addressed a question about data indicating that they felt it was imperative for moving an organization forward. Data mining and utilization is a key to success and will continue to be.
Cathy Underwood (American Pain Society)
I attended only the brunch but I thought the speaker was excellent. He succinctly outlined the stressors on successful meetings and identified trends to be aware of. One “a ha” moment for me was that as an association executive, I can lock in the room rate for the meeting but the variables in weather, transportation, animal health, etc. can significantly affect what I end up spending for food and airfare.
Maggie Patterson (Certification of Disability Management Specialists Commission)
I experienced my first Holiday Showcase earlier this week. As a marketing professional overseeing communications for a certification program, the sessions I attended broadened my understanding of membership organizations and the importance of recognizing the wants and needs of constituents/customers when planning conference, educational events and information sharing through social media. The importance of knowing your audience is key to successful outcomes.
Julie Enichen (Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association)
Small changes can have a big impact! Four ways to spice up your boring sessions are:
- TED style talks – short sessions without Powerpoint (approx. 10 minutes)
- Blended approach – send out prework to your attendees to engage their learning, incorporate mock trials, debates
- Gamification – use any type of game to make learning fun (Bingo, Jeopardy, etc.)
- Open space – create a place for attendees to post topics that may not be at the conference that they want to learn more about. They can meet one of the days to discuss in an open type fourm
Amanda Pairitz (Metal Construction Association and National Frame Building Association)
My biggest takeaway was from the keynote regarding the disruptors in the hospitality industry (F&B (e.g. bird flu), Weather (e.g. El Nino) and Airlines (e.g. Open Skies Agreement). They all affect hotel expenses! He also mentioned that organizations should be forecasting based on their 2008 budgets, as this more accurately reflects the current hotel industry.
Steve Smith (American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine)
In the CEOnly session, we heard from two excellent presenters. I especially liked Andrew Miller’s talk on innovation. He discussed how to assess association “culture” related to development and implementation of new ideas. Key factors include levels of proactivity and ability to execute. He also reminded association executives that being “first to market” is not always best. In many cases, it is the second or “next” to market that is able to refine and further innovate a successful concept. Finally, Miller reminded us that innovative leaders search for opportunities that lead to success but expect failure. Idea generation is the means to innovation and needs to be encouraged and rewarded – regardless of the outcome.
Louise Ristau (Awards and Personalization Association)
In the CEOnly session, Susan Lucia Annunzio asked this question and provided these answers:
What grows high performance?
- Feeling valued
- Optimizing critical thinking
- Ability to seize opportunities
* Post photo is Michael Dominguez, Senior Vice President of Sales for MGM International, who served as keynote speaker at the Holiday Showcase Brunch.