6.50 CAE Hours


Full session descriptions, including key takeaways are listed on the Official VSAE mobile app, Engagefully by RD Mobile.

Opening Keynote (9:15-10:15 a.m.)

TipJar Culture: How Piano Bar Secrets Can Improve the Experience at Work
Gregory Offner, Jr.   (Provided courtesy of Powell Kohne Associates, LLC)
There is a moment in the employee experience when a choice is made. They choose to disengage or to commit fully. How we handle that moment is critical, yet most organizations have no idea what that moment is. In this program, you’ll learn what that moment is, discover how one simple question flips the script and enables your organization to create a Tip Jar Culture ™, and gain a competitive advantage in the area of employee engagement and retention. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to create and increase emotional buy-in from employees.
  • Discover two actionable steps you can take to instantly perform better personally and professionally, even in times of high stress or low support.
  • Identify the precise moment where disengagement starts.
  • Learn the secret to delivering a performance that leaves your “audience” wanting an encore.

Monday Morning Breakout Sessions (10:30-11:45 a.m.)

Building Better Boards: Building Governance Excellence
Lowell Aplebaum, FASAE, CAE, CPF
The efficacy with which our boards work together directly impacts an organization's ability to advance its mission. Particularly this year, as we emerge from a time of virtual and distance, we have new volunteer leaders who may have never had time with their board members, making it harder for the board to feel like a team. This session will time explore the differences between a board orientation for new board members, a board refresh for returning, and a board onboarding for the team as a whole. Session attendees will walk away with new ideas and practical approaches on how to structure their board for greater success as individual leaders and together as a unit. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Redefine organizational definitions of orientation, refresh, and onboarding.
  • Customize an annual process of board training through these three lenses.
  • Discuss and design what success will look like for the whole process. 

Love 'em or Lose 'em! Onboarding with Intention for Retention
Jenn Norma, CAE
You got a new member. Now what? The number one reason why members lapse is “lack of engagement with the organization.” So how do we onboard new members in a way that engages them early and at the right frequency? Learn the strategies for-profit tech use companies use to perfect the art of onboarding and how this translates to your new members. Attendees will walk away with sample onboarding projects, email cadences, and retention ideas to take back and use immediately. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Improve your onboarding campaigns.
  • Learn strategies to keep members engaged, no matter where they are in your association’s member journey.
  • Discover new tech tools to help your team execute these ideas.

Work Smarter, Not Harder: Tips and Tools to Power Your Productivity
Shameka Jennings, MTA, CAE, CMP
If there's anything people struggle to achieve it is better productivity. However, being more productive isn't rocket science. The key is to work smarter, not harder. As the saying goes, “it’s not the number of hours you put into work, it is the amount of work you put in those hours.” In this session, we compiled productivity tips and tools to help you in your day-to-day work. You’ll find shortcuts to speed up routine tasks, tools to enhance your workflow, as well as ideas to stay organized, improve communication with your team, and power your productivity. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to maximize personal productivity.
  • Discover how to avoid burnout by changing the way attendees work.
  • Create processes and systems that help attendees to work smarter and not harder. 

Monday Afternoon Breakout Sessions (1:30-2:45 p.m.)

Ethics for the Association Professional
Nabil El-Ghoroury, PhD, CAE
In an era of increasing distrust in societal structures, ethics is becoming more and more important for associations and the professionals who run them. This session will provide an introductory overview of ethics for the association professional. In this session, attendees will recognize the difference between ethical, legal, and moral issues. Three examples of ethical challenges in association management will be reviewed. Finally, attendees will learn at least 3 strategies for managing ethical issues. This session is intended to meet the one-hour ethics requirement for association professionals seeking or renewing their CAE.  

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the difference between ethical, legal, and moral issues.
  • Review 3 ethical challenges for association professionals. 
  • Identify at least 3 strategies for managing ethical issues.

Leadership Through Changing Norms: What Sticks, What Should Stick, and How Do We Make it Stick
Donté P. Shannon, FASAE, CAE
The pandemic forced associations to embrace a dynamic, yet uncertain world. In many ways, this global crisis fundamentally changed how we now operate in our organizations to simply remain relevant. Now that we’ve sustained new ways of working, including adjustments to leadership styles, tackling diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice issues, let’s explore how to level set what change needs to look like in the future. 

Leverage Your Network: The Bucket List Challenge
Sara Stehle, CAE, CMP, DES
Your network is a valuable tool that can be used for more than just job recommendations. Have you ever leveraged your network to make new connections, get to a certain location in the world, or met someone you really wanted to meet? This session incorporates the tools to leverage your network while going through a fun and interactive exercise on how you can do just that. Attendees will work together to make one (or more!) person’s bucket list dream become a reality, all while learning the importance of using your network to your advantage. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the importance of building and using your network.
  • Participate in a real-time example of putting your network to work.
  • Learn how to have your network work for you to advance your goals at the precise moment when disengagement starts. 

Tuesday Morning General Session (9:15-10:15 a.m.)
What’s in Your Event Contract? Knowing What to Ask and Planning Smartly
Moderator: Lori Leib, CMP
Panelists: Heather Buss, CHSE, Colleen Briley, and Justin Beale

With the return of in-person events, association executives and planners are discovering that event contracts are often not what they used to be. The hospitality industry continues to deal with the after-effects of COVID, rising supply costs, and persistent staffing shortages, while associations are finding it more difficult to project future meeting space and food and beverage minimums, and room block requirements in a post-pandemic world.

In this uncertain and rapidly shifting environment, how can associations smartly contract for future events? Our panel of experts will discuss key contract components (e.g., attrition, cancellation, food & beverage, additional fees) and how to negotiate in a way that protects your organization’s interests while ensuring a memorable experience for your attendees. 

Tuesday Morning Closing Keynote (10:30-11:30 a.m.)
Do You Even Know Me? How Curiosity Sparks Loyalty & Retention
James Robilotta (provided courtesy of Powell Kohne Associates, LLC)

The opposite of curiosity is apathy. No organization wants its people to be apathetic towards its community because community ignites loyalty and drives retention. Events are ideal opportunities to authentically connect, reflect, validate, and innovate. In this hysterical and motivational keynote, we will talk about how to ask better questions, change the way we hear people’s stories and insights, and adopt the mindset of curiosity. Let’s stop the apathy and the assuming and start learning about each other because curiosity creates community. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to ask questions that spark a connection.
  • Analyze your own listening patterns with new and old connections.
  • Reflect on how you listen during moments that are comfortable and moments that are uncomfortable.

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