New Ideas Annual Conference

2020 Education Sessions

Subject to change.


Pre-Conference TSAE Lab* (9:00 AM - 12:00 PM)

After Lockdown – Meetings & Events Post-Crisis

Jessie States, CMP, CMM, Director, MPI Academy for Meeting Professionals International
Join your peers for this critical conversation on how the Coronavirus crisis has changed the execution of meetings, events, conferences and trade shows. Discuss new guidelines for social distancing, sanitization and food preparation and review ways meeting professionals are utilizing technology to expand the reach of their events to include those impacted by travel restrictions.

What you will get from this session:

  • Discover important data insights from MPI’s Meetings Outlook related to the Coronavirus’ impact on events
  • Share some of your biggest challenges with planning meetings over the next 12 months
  • Learn best practices on how to adapt meeting strategies to include technology for both in-person and hybrid events

Sponsored by Marriott International. 

*Requires additional registration

Kick-Off Orientation (October 6, 2:00 - 2:45 PM)


Sponsored Activities and "Excursions" (3:45 - 4:30 PM)



Opening Session (9:00 - 10:00 AM)

The Art of Perception: Seeing What Matters

Amy Herman, Historian and Author
Are you looking closely? Visual educator Amy Herman explains how to use art to enhance your powers of perception and find connections where they may not be apparent. Learn the techniques Herman uses to train Navy SEALs, doctors and crime scene investigators to convert observable details into actionable knowledge with this insightful talk.

Amy is a lawyer and art historian who uses works of art in a keynote presentation to sharpen observation, analysis and communication skills. She developed her Art of Perception seminar to improve medical students’ observation and communication skills with their patients when she was the Head of Education at The Frick Collection in New York City.

She subsequently adapted the program for a wide range of professionals from the New York City Police Department, the FBI, the Department of Defense, the State Department, Fortune 500 companies, first responders, the military and the intelligence community. In her highly interactive keynote presentation, she demonstrates the relevance of visual literacy across the professional spectrum and how the analysis of works of art affords the participants in her program an innovative way to refresh their sense of critical inquiry and reconsider the skills necessary for improved performance and effective leadership.


Concurrent Education Sessions (10:30 - 11:30 AM)

The Art of Perception

Amy Herman, Historian and Author
In this follow-up to her keynote, The Art of Perception will use images of painting, sculpture, and photography as tools to reconsider biases, assumptions, cultural competence, and related ethical issues that factor into critical decision making. The workshop will challenge participants’ assumptions, foster creative problem-solving -- individually and collectively -- and augment critical analysis skills by incorporating multiple perspectives into their thinking. Looking at works of art as a group will enable participants to reconsider how they communicate observations and perceptions – both orally and in writing – which, in turn, helps to dismantle long-held assumptions and implicit biases that can impede an organization’s best practices and strategic thinking. Understanding and implementing a broader concept of inclusion without the constraints of implicit biases underlies a more objective, informed, and effective response to the complex problems and unfamiliar landscapes we are currently facing.

Managing to Higher Revenue Results

Charles Popper, President, The Wyman Company
When speaking with executives about advertising, sponsorship, and exhibit sales, they can speak to their results, but not in the context of their full revenue potential. Do association executives truly understand the full potential of their organization as it relates to sales? Are those responsible for generating non-dues revenue performing to their (and your organization’s) full potential?

At the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Understand the unique value proposition your association has to offer as compared to B2B players and other associations in your market
  • Learn how to put competitive offerings in context with your own
  • Learn what advertisers, sponsors, and exhibitors expect these days in return for their investment with your association
  • Employ sales management best practices to set and manage expectations for your staff
  • Apply the metrics that top-performing organizations track to better manage their respective sales teams (in-house and outsourced)
  • Break down the silos within your organization to ensure maximum revenue and return for sponsors
The Future of Work

Lori Gracey, CAE, CEO, TCEA
Join in a discussion of the trends that may have been prompted by COVID-19 but are becoming best business practices for the future as well. We'll look at everything from how to shift to outcome-based goals to eliminating tech burnout to helping staff get to the "deep work" and more as we get ready for the "new norm."

Revenue to Maximize Your Return

Scott Oser, President, Scott Oser Associates
Aaron D. Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CLEA, CTA, CTF/QT, Chief Executive Officer, Event Garde       

Why is it that when attendance, engagement, and revenue are down, the answer seems to lie most often in a brand new program, product or service? What if instead of always trying to overcome the incredible barriers and burdens of launching something new, we simply did a better job of collectively inventorying the stuff we already have, then dusting it off, polishing it up and using it in a new way? During this program, take a page out of Flea Market Flip by utilizing your current association assets to achieve membership, education, and non-dues revenue growth goals.

Culture of Engagement: Why/How to Build A Passionate, Engaged Membership

Joshua Evans, Founder/CEO, Culture Consulting Associates             
Every member of your organization joins from an engaged, passionate place. During their first event, they were excited and intrigued. However, with such demanding roles in their workplaces, it's understandable that their association membership would take a back seat. It can be easy for them to rationalize skipping networking events or educational sessions because of the demands of their daily life. What if your members looked at your association as not just a respite from their work, but as a place where they could derive meaning and fulfillment that they could take back to their daily lives? What if your members were so impassioned about what their membership meant to them that they actively promoted every event? In this session, you will learn how to positively impact your members to ignite passion and re-engage their commitment. You will walk away with tools to help them look beyond what your organization is and what your organization does to reveal what your organization truly means to them and their professional success.

Deep Dive (10:30 AM - 12:00 PM)*

Brave Work...Difficult Conversations-Embrace Vulnerability

Jen Mauldin, Certified Professional Coach, M.Ed, CPC, ACC
According to the research in Dr. Brene' Brown's current best seller, Dare to Lead, the top behavior that leaders identified as getting in the way of courageous leadership is the avoidance of tough conversations, including giving honest productive feedback. As any leader can attest, these types of conversations require a high level of courage and vulnerability for both the person giving the feedback and those receiving it. This session will explore vulnerability, dispel the myths surrounding vulnerability, and how vulnerability leads to courageous leadership. Concluding the session will be guidelines on how to give and receive feedback in a way that moves people and processes forward.

*Included in registration; limited to 30 participants. Sign up during registration. The session will not be recorded.

"Hallway" Conversations (11:30 AM - Noon)

General Session (1:00 - 2:00 PM)

Business as Unusual: How to Future-Proof Your Business in Transformational Times

Jack Uldrich, Global Futurist, Speaker, Author, Unlearning Fanatic 
The pandemic has catapulted the world into a future of deep change. This engaging, provocative, and insightful keynote session will not only explore how coronavirus is transforming the world of tomorrow, but will explain why it is accelerating many of the trends that were already at work prior to the epidemic. History reminds us that great crises produce great change--as well as great opportunities. To take advantage of these extraordinary opportunities, businesses must position themselves now to operate in a world where business as unusual is the new usual. This session will help leaders at every level of an organization leverage ten unconventional techniques to succeed in today’s - and tomorrow’s - transformational times.

"Hallway" Conversations (2:00 - 2:30 PM)


Concurrent Education Sessions (2:30 - 3:30 PM)

The Great Reset: The Emerging Age of Reimagination, Reconnection and Renewal with Generation RE    

Jack Uldrich, Global Futurist, Speaker, Author, Unlearning Fanatic 
"A great reset is now upon us. Less obvious is the reality that the world was quietly being reset prior to the pandemic. The rules of business were being rewritten by an extraordinary cadre of individuals, enterprises, and organizations willing to rethink long-held assumptions, reinvent products and processes; and reestablish new and innovative ways to re-engage with both their employees and the wider world. These leaders are at the vanguard Generation RE--an ageless cohort of change agents working to recreate the world anew.

In this refreshing, entertaining, and insightful keynote presentation, global futurist and best-selling author Jack Uldrich shares key insights from his forthcoming book, The Great Reset: The Emerging Age of Reimagination, Reconnection and Renewal (Greenleaf Book Group, 2021). He also explains how leaders can embrace and leverage the principles of “Generation RE” in order to reframe problems into opportunities, restore communities and our natural world, reconnect with employees and customers at a deeper, more meaningful level, and reimagine a better, bolder and more beautiful."

Behavior-Based Interviewing

Max Muller, Attorney    

Hire smart – fire less. Hire smart – reduce costly employee turnover. It’s that simple. The better job you do interviewing applicants the more successful your organization will be. All too often untrained interviewers engage applicants in a conversation – not an effective, probing analysis of the applicant’s strengths, weaknesses and chances of success. And, the normal challenges inherent in interviewing have been exacerbated by the pandemic forcing many interviews to be conducted remotely. Today’s best practices dictate that you use behavior-based interviewing. Why? Because of the recognized principle that past and present behavior is the best indicator of future performance. Whether an interview is conducted in-person or virtually (remotely), behavior-based questions allow interviewers to effectively determine if an applicant truly has the KSAO’s (knowledge, skills, aptitude/attitudes, other characteristics) necessary to be successful in the job in question.

Participants will learn how to:

  • Prepare for an interview through job analysis (Analysis templates included in session materials!)
  • Write position descriptions that attract remote employees
  • Draft position descriptions to attract onsite employees comfortable in working in environments requiring direct contact with the public
  • Select candidates to interview efficiently through the use of key words (Key word lists included in session materials!)
  • Use interviewing as a predictive tool rather than as a conversation
  • Structure behavior-based performance questions • Utilize various virtual interviewing approaches (e.g., live; shared questions with video responses)
  • Avoid charges of discrimination by decoupling pre-interviewing actions from actual interview events
  • Employ silence as a vital interviewing tool
  • Avoid asking questions that may violate the law (Chart included in session materials!)
  • End an interview immediately
  • Comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) interviewing mandates
  • Recognize the STAR interview response technique used by many applicants
The State of Digital Marketing in 2020  

Aidan Augustin, Co founder, Feathr
The state of digital marketing has changed- has your approach changed along with it? Digital marketing is constantly evolving. New tools and approaches seem to arise on a daily basis, as old favorites fall flat and become outdated sometimes without us even realizing. As busy association marketers it is hard to keep track of the many changes in digital marketing.

This session sets out to clear up any confusion and outline the best marketing practices in digital marketing in 2020.

  • Participants will leave with knowledge on how to modernize their approach to digital marketing.
  • Participants will learn about the latest tools in digital marketing.
  • Participants will receive tips on how to maximize their ROI in 2020.
  • Participants will be able to improve their digital marketing knowledge.
Authenticity and Ethics are Vital to a Great Reputation

Nikole Fridenmaker, CMP
While there are over 16 million people who work in the greater hospitality industry, however, the professional events and meeting industry are much smaller. And it will feel even smaller when you keep running into the same people, in the same circles, over the course of your career. It is absolutely vital that you are true to yourself and have a set of values and ethics you consistently uphold. All Planners have all heard the dreaded stories of poor behavior in the meetings industry. Whether it’s capitalizing on points that were not theirs, asking for perks and favors that are for personal reasons versus for business, it happens all the time. The more involved you are in the industry, the more your name is recognized, the easier it is for those tales to have a negative impact on your career growth and advancement.

Legislative Advocacy on a Limited Budget

David Mintz, CAE, Vice President of Government Affairs, Texas Apartment Association        
The Texas Legislative convenes in January 2021.  How do you represent your members’ interests at the Legislature when you’ve got a small staff and limited budget?  Do you need a PAC?  Learn tips and strategies to be an effective advocate for your association, including monitoring legislation, participating in coalitions, and ethics compliance.

Association Law: What Every Association Executive Needs to Know… and Then Some

Jeff Tenenbaum , Esq., Managing Partner, Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC
From one the country’s most experienced and notable association attorneys – and a fixture on the ASAE and association speaking circuit – come armed with your questions and curiosity as we explore the most pressing legal issues facing associations these days. From meeting contract cancellations and negotiations to mitigating liability for in-person meetings and office re-openings, from member codes of ethics and conduct to sexual harassment and discrimination, from federal tax exemption and UBIT to corporate governance and board challenges, from remote workforce liabilities to antitrust risk, from lobbying and political activity regulation to copyright and trademark protection, licensing and infringement, from independent contractors and CEO employment contracts to exempt vs. non-exempt employees, and from fundraising regulation to affiliates, subsidiaries and chapters, explore some of the hottest topics and legal risks creating buzz in the association legal world. In plain English and a very interactive setting, learn the key red flags you need to be able to spot, what you should do when you spot them, and practical tips and suggestions for protecting your association and mitigating risk.

Sponsored Activities and "Excursions" (3:45 - 4:30 PM)



Concurrent Education Sessions (9:00 - 10:00 AM)

Creating an Ethical Leadership Mindset That Sticks

Bob Lewis, Principal, Lewis Training and Consulting

During this 60-minute presentation, participants will be engaged in learning, investigating and participating with the following leadership strategies to increase the “Ethical Leadership Mindset”:

  • Learn what it means to have an ethical mindset
  • Create an ethical guiding principle for yourself
  • Investigate the four leadership mindset strategies
Hidden Danger – When the ADA Crashes into the FMLA

Max Muller, Attorney

Managing the interplay between the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Families and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is challenging for employers subject to those federal laws – or their state equivalents. Adding to the complexity are the provisions of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Extension Act (EFMLEA). One of the most vexing issues for employers is how to handle an employee’s request for leave beyond his or her regular FMLA entitlement based on the real or alleged disability of the employee or a covered family member. And, a variation of that same issue when it is now raised as a requested accommodation because an employee does not wish to return to the workplace out of fear of contracting COVID-19 him/herself, and/or infecting a family member who has a compromised immune system. This example rich, interactive presentation provides information to employers and employees regarding when and how leave must be granted for reasons related to an employee's disability in order to promote voluntary compliance with the ADA. What you don’t know can hurt you. Find out what you don’t know about tricky leave issues related to the ADA and the FMLA or similar state or local laws – and, how to handle them.

Topics Covered:

  • Four core steps in the ADA Interactive Process
  • Legally obtaining medical information
  • Understanding the nature of ADA Accommodations
  • Analyzing what constitutes an undue burden
  • Applying the Direct Threat Exception
  • Interfacing your organization’s leave policies with the ADA duty to accommodate, EPSLA, and EFMLEA
Our Shifting Landscape: Associations as Key Industry Voices & Communities

Lowell Aplebaum, President, Vista Cova 

This year has already been a year defined by the speed and magnitude of change. Every industry has seen impact, with the nonprofit sector as no exception. Based on prioritized topics, identified by TSAE members and aligned with overarching areas that are guiding associations through these rocky times, we will explore what we have learned and what we can take back as we design paths of possibility for what's ahead.

Leaders Eat Last: Secrets to Building the Highest Performing and Most Innovative Teams

Marlon Argueta, PMP, TMP, The Mindset Productions

Employee engagement has long been an important topic for organizations. In fact, over the past decade, HR professionals and researchers have linked employee engagement to business outcomes, employee turnover, low employee morale and overall workplace satisfaction. Research has shown that employees engagement levels are often determined by the strength of their relationships with supervisors and coworkers, as well as their belief in their own ability to perform their jobs effectively and contribute to their organization. As Tony Robbins would say, ultimately what determines a person’s fulfillment is their ability to grow and contribute. Likewise, some studies have concluded that Companies with increased engagement levels exhibit lower voluntary turnover rates, better safety stats, better service, higher quality, and higher sales. All of which ultimately lead to increased profits and growth.

Team building involves more than just having the right team members or even the techniques to develop team members. Leaders need to guide their team members to develop within new and expansive roles and responsibilities. The fact is that people want to feel valued, included and challenged. Trust and Freedom allow team members to explore and contribute to their teams. Over the years, I have seen talented and productive teams struggle because of misunderstandings, miscommunications, and unspoken conflicts. Learning how to best work with others is something that prevents leaders and organizations from derailing and stalling. On this session, we will learn practical tools to maximize team engagement by building connection and trust. We will dive into some of the best practices I have extracted from working on teams in major construction projects, and corporate initiatives.

Meetings in a Time of Covid: The Art of Change

Mandy Begley, CMP, Senior Event Manager, Board Development Services, Texas Association of School Boards
Lacy Compton, M.A., Account Director, Strategic Association Management
Nikole Fridenmaker, CMP (moderator)
Wendy W. Kavanagh, CAE, President, Georgia Society of Association Executives
Theresa Parsons, CAE, CMP, Executive Director, Texas Association for Special Education

You won’t want to miss this lively panel discussion hearing what has worked and what has not worked so well during these fast-changing times. Senior meeting professionals will walk you through the upsides and pitfalls of how they managed to create agility within their departments and meetings and shift their events to virtual. They will also share though, what is missing from virtual events and what the future of events can look like. Nikole Fridenmaker, Owner of Fridenmaker Consulting and Build Better Meetings will moderate the panel and tease out the unexpected keys to meeting and event transformation and how all Associations can apply these lessons learned.

"Hallway" Conversations (10:00 - 10:30 AM)

Concurrent Education Sessions (10:30 - 11:30 AM)

Ditch the Jitters! Public Speaking Mastery for Uneasy Communicators

Shakira M.Brown, CEO & Award-Winning Branding & Business Communication Strategist, SMB Strategic Media LLC
Serving the mission, vision, and values of your organization requires excellent communication skills. And there is no question that having strong public speaking skills is a key ingredient to success in any profession but for some, standing before an audience of any size is a nerve-wracking experience even for the most confident communicators. Nevertheless, an invitation to speak before an audience provides an excellent opportunity to promote organizational initiatives and your career. To maintain the confidence of your audience, you must learn to captivate and motivate through the power of delivering an impactful message while leaving your nervousness at the door. In this presentation, Award-Winning Branding and Business Communication Strategist, Shakira M. Brown, will reveal the secrets behind creating a lasting impression as a public speaker. Attend this session to acquire techniques for how to best present ideas clearly and convincingly to win over your audience.  Participants will depart with fresh confidence and the skill set to compel audiences to listen and be inspired to take action.

Proactive Crisis Media: How to Effectively Communicate and Manage During an Emergency

Susan Young, CEO, Get in Front Communications, Inc.     
Managing a natural disaster or crisis requires having a strategy in place before the emergency strikes. A proactive approach with leaders who are knowledgeable, confident, and prepared for the spotlight is essential. After all, the reputation of your organization and its stakeholders are on the line. Susan Young, an award-winning visibility strategist, is a former radio news reporter. Her 30+ years of experience in news, association consulting and state government provides leaders with critical communication and brand management strategies to ensure organizations are prepared and relatable. 

In this training program, attendees will learn:

  • The 5 Rs of Crisis Communication
  • The Framework of a Crisis Media Plan and How to Implement It
  • How to Stay on Message When Managing the Media
  • Tips for Integrating Social Media into Your Crisis Strategy
Strategic Planning: Best Practices and Next Practices

Lowell Aplebaum, President, Vista Cova 
Organizations will invest heavily in volunteer and staff time and resources to compose a strategic plan that creates a meaningful organization vision and then sits on a shelf.  This session will start with a review of the comprehensive components associations are considering when composing their strategic plan.  We will then explore some of the supplemental strategies and tools used to ensure that the plan becomes part of the everyday operations of the organization – tools such as core audience prioritization, a programmatic impact matrix, and a fresh look at the volunteer architecture.

CEO Roundtable

Steven Stout, FASAE, CAE, CEO, Texas Society of Association Executives
Chief executives face a broad range of challenges in maintaining and growing their organization. This facilitated roundtable will dive into your challenges and lean on your experienced colleagues for options, solutions and insights. Be prepared to share what’s keeping you up at night and some words of wisdom.

Barbarians at the Virtual Gates--Planning your IT Defense

Dallas Emerson, Technical Sherpa, The IT Guys
Cyber-crime is rising, and it often feels like all we can do is shake our heads and hope we won't be hit too badly. Small businesses, large corporations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies have all been hit by an increase in cybercrime. Some of these attacks have been merely inconvenient—others have been devastating. This session will give you a step-by-step plan on how to assess threats, protect your information, and think proactively about cyber-security. Attendees will be trained to think like a cyber-criminal to identify vulnerabilities in their own offices. We will be covering the obvious threats like ransomware and phishing, and the hidden, sinister weaknesses in almost every office.

"Hallway" Conversations (11:30 AM - 12:00 PM)


Closing Session (12:00 - 1:00 PM)

Because I Said I Would

Alex Sheen, Founder, Because I Said I Would
We live in a society that often does not respect the importance of a promise. It is too easy to say "I'll get to it" or "tomorrow." In many ways we have become numb to disappointment and broken commitments. This expectation starts to fade into our character as individuals. Alex believes every individual has the strength to become a person of their word. As the Founder of an international social movement, Alex shares his insights and actionable ways to become better at fulfilling commitments. He inspires others to become more accountable to their promises through compelling and real-life examples from the because I said I would movement. Alex convincingly illustrates how integrity and keeping your promises are forever interwoven. He discusses how holding ourselves and each other accountable truly changes humanity for the better.

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