New Ideas Annual Conference

2018 Education Sessions

2018 sessions listed for reference, 2019 education will be posted in April-May.

Sunday, September 16

Learning Lounge Session (1:30 - 2:15 pm)

New Ideas Highlights

2018 New Ideas Task Force

Join New Ideas Annual Conference Task Force members as they highlight some elements, sessions, and networking opportunities at this year’s event!

Opening Keynote (2:30 - 3:45 pm)

Art of Innovation

Noah Scalin,The Frontier Project

This is not about getting out of a box or coming up with a Big Idea. It’s about being able to consistently draw out the potential in any situation. Listen as Noah Scalin shares his unusual story of how he completely overturned his own working practices to develop a new way of sustaining innovation in his work and life. He explains The Big 7 practices that he uses to continually learn and grow in his work including "let go of perfectionism", "work with the unexpected", and "embrace limitations" while sharing examples of how others have put this to use in different contexts.

You’ll have the opportunity to put these concepts into practice immediately following this high-energy, hands-on presentation. Explore personal leadership practices that foster a culture of innovation, learn an iterative process for continuous improvement, determine organizational and individual practical applications, and develop a resourceful "inspiration everywhere" mindset. (Domain 4: Programs, Products and Services)

Concurrent Education Sessions (4:15 - 5:30 pm)

5 Secrets to Conquer Stress & Unleash Your Ultimate Productivity

Kathy Gruver, Speaker and Author

Stress is responsible for 60-90% of our doctor’s visits, plus missed workdays, impaired cognitive function and communication, and strain to professional relationships. But we must recognize stress is not the problem – it’s our reaction to our stress. The good news? We can learn to control it. With less stress comes more productivity, less absenteeism and increased job satisfaction. Acquire cutting edge self-care techniques - affirmations, visualization, mindfulness techniques and mini-meditations (specially made for Type A, high stress individuals) for better workforce results.

  • Recognize the emotional, physical and behavioral signs of stress.
  • Examine current research on meditation, positive self-talk and visualization and how it can be incorporated into your workday, even if you don’t think you have time.
  • Understand how you can use your daydreams to boost business outcomes and increase communication.
    (Domain 5: Leadership)
Results-Driven Event Marketing for the Discerning Attendee

Scott Oser, Scott Oser Associates. Inc.
Aaron Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA, Event Garde LLC

Education attendance and revenue are trending down, right? Not at all! In fact, a 2014 study found that between 2009 and 2012 participant volume at meetings and events increased by 10%. With the right marketing campaigns in place you, too, can see this kind of growth, or more. Your experienced presenters will demonstrate how attendee marketing is a three-phase process that begins well before the event, continues during the event and concludes weeks (if not months) following the event. In this session, you will learn tactics and techniques you can immediately apply to the pre-planning, implementation and post-event phases of your marketing campaigns. Moreover, gain exposure to new ideas and thought leader resources while co-creating with fellow participants a custom plan that’s specifically designed to maximize attendance and revenue for your organization’s upcoming events. (Domain 9: Marketing, Public Relations, and Communications)

From Design Thinking to Doing: A One-Week Problem Solving Journey

Greg Roth, The Idea Enthusiast

Design thinking is one of the hottest trends entering the association space. But, how do staff members, new to each other and new to this methodology "become designers"? Using a one-week framework, this case study presents the ins and outs of using "design sprints" to instill creative thinking, solve key business problems, and develop new ideas in short blasts of individual work and team collaboration. Inspired by the call from senior management at one association to "be more creative" (with little other direction), the session will review specific project examples while discussing tips and pitfalls for executing design sprints in your organization. The result is a leaner, repeatable framework that allows the individual to do better work as the team develops the chemistry and culture needed to launch successful initiatives. (Domain 4: Programs, Products and Services)

The Future Is Now

Lori Gracey, CAE, Executive Director, TCEA

The way we do things in the world is about to change dramatically, and associations must be prepared to help their members manage the change. This interactive session will showcase top tech trends you need to see coming our way, including the Internet of Things, drones, artificial intelligence, robotics, and much more. Then, you'll discuss as a group how to help our associations and members make the leap forward successfully. (Domain 1: Strategic Manangement)

4 Steps for Growing, Engaging, and Retaining Your Association Membership

Jan Spence, Jan Spence & Associates

Research finds that 49% of association members left the organization because they experienced a lack of engagement with the organization. In this informative session, you’ll learn the importance of having an integrated membership program and addresses the challenge many associations face in finding new members and engaging existing members. Drawing from her extensive experience working with associations, Jan Spence will provide you with a 4-step process to grow and stay connected with your members. Walk away with a fresh perspective of your growth plan for the association and gain concrete tools you can use to use to stay in front of current members and engage with prospects in a relevant, meaningful way. (Domain 3: Membership Development)

A Balanced Approach to Member Engagement: Keep Your Members’ Attention Through Your Association Communications

John Kilchenstein, Senior Director of Business Development, Naylor Association Solutions

There has never been more pressure to find ways to cut through the cluttered communication landscape, communicate to members effectively and through the channels in which they want to be communicated. How do associations balance it all and still reach their goals? Find out in this session! Giving association leaders a comprehensive look at results from Association Adviser’s annual Association Communications Benchmarking study, this session covers topics including membership communication trends, best practices and communications challenges that associations of all sizes and industries throughout North America are facing. (Based on the results from the 2018 Association Communications Benchmarking Study)

Additionally, the presentation will offer key takeaways and recommendations to help associations recognize their current communications strengths and opportunities and actionable ways to improve.

For an interactive discussion on challenges faced in particular by associations in attendance, you are encouraged to take the benchmarking survey and download your best practices report card prior to the presentation:

(Domain 9: Marketing, Public Relations, and Communications)

Learning Lounge Session (4:30 - 5:15 pm)

IT Apocalypse Now

Dallas Emerson, Director of Business Development, IT Guys 

The IT Apocalypse always seems to be around the corner. Your IT apocalypse doesn’t have to be as dramatic as a natural disaster or cybercrime. Maybe its user error leading to massive data loss, or a disgruntled staff member misusing technology.

In this session, we’ll be discussing how to recover from disasters like these, how to reduce their impact, and, ideally, how to disaster-proof your association.


Opening Night Party Hosted by VisitDallas (7:00 - 9:00 pm)

Open to all conference participants. 


Monday, September 17

Special AMCI Sessions

TSAE and the AMC Institute have partnered together to offer additional programming on Monday, September 17 at New Ideas. These sessions, included in registration, are geared both for those working at an AMC (Association Management Company), as well as professionals working at individual associations. See full schedule of AMCI sessions

General Session (9:00 - 10:00 am)

Fail Faster! Building Resilient Leaders

Anne Grady, Speaker and Author 

There is no success in safety. Great leaders fail fast, learn from their mistakes and adapt quickly. At a time when associations are tasked to do more with less, increase engagement and provide greater value, it’s easy to forget one simple fact: If you aren’t failing, you aren’t doing it right. Success is achieved by using failure as a catalyst to propel you toward the best solutions to the toughest problems, and there is a formula to get there.

Great leaders practice building their resilience muscle, and have been proven to be more productive and higher performing. They harness the power of their potential, refuse to let fear hold them back, and break through the barriers keeping them stuck.

Now more than ever, it is time to be bold, grow some grit and use failure as a way to catapult you to success. With her signature “tell it like it is” style, Anne Grady challenges you to think differently, and gives practical tools and strategies that can be applied immediately at work, home and everywhere in between.

After this engaging, inspiring, and dynamic session, you will be able to:

  • Identify habits that are supporting or sabotaging success and personal motivation
  • Apply research-based, practical tools to curb stress and avoid burnout
  • Develop a personal resilience toolkit that can be used immediately
    (Domain 5: Leadership)

Concurrent Education Sessions (10:30 - 11:45 am)

The Key to Increased Productivity and Enhanced Health

Kathy Gruver, Speaker and Author

Finding a way to balance work responsibilities with home life and personal needs is increasingly more difficult in this fast-paced world. Explore ways to decrease stress at the office while making healthier choices at home. Learn how to fit in fitness plus stretching and nutrition hacks that will keep you energized, healthy and feeling fab! Reframe negative experiences and explore a growth mindset to help you find equilibrium and grounding in your life.

You’ll leave this session knowing:

  • Ways to eliminate the stress response in a matter of moments using the breath or a simple mini meditation.
  • What foods, including snack and breakfast, to add and subtract for better health.
  • Practice How to reframe negative experiences so that you are living in the present and exploring a growth mindset.
    (Domain 5: Leadership)
Who Is Afraid of the Big Bad Camera?

Dorien Morin-van Dam, More In Media, a division of Highland Strategic, LLC

Hiding behind the camera is no longer a viable option for those who are looking to grow and nourish their business using social media. Storytelling, vlogging and live video all require someone to be on video to connect with your brand and grow your online audience. Getting to know, like and trust your brand, or you, requires... you! Yet often, fear wins and video loses. Dorien Morin-van Dam is ready to help you knock down the walls of fear and build a strong foundation for video success. (Domain 9: Marketing, Public Relations, and Communications)

We Want You Back: Tools to Re-engage Lapsed Members

Scott Oser, Scott Oser Associates. Inc.

An association’s goal is to provide meaningful experiences so that members stay engaged, but what happens to the lapsed members? What can you do to bring them back? In this session, get the tools you can use to re-engage lapsed members and bring them back into the fold. (Domain 3: Membership Development)

Designing the Future State for Your Association’s Learning Strategy: Part 1

Tracy Petrillo, EdD, CAE, Chief Learning Officer, CSI

This masterclass will engage CEOs and Executive Directors in a team learning approach with key staff who lead conferences, online learning, IT, marketing and member services to collaborate and develop actionable scenarios for small and large associations. Through aspects of design thinking, explore ways to break the cycle of “this is how we’ve always done things” while implementing innovations that meet members at their point and time of need.

In Part 1 of this session, you’ll explore the reliance on traditional learning/conference models as primary non-dues revenue sources. Determine how to shift resources and staffing to focus on application of knowledge, job skills development and competency impact for the professions you serve. Assess the issues behind poorly attended workshops and limited users in online learning platforms that reach a small percentage of total membership annually, but cost valuable time, energy, staffing and financial resources.

This interactive program is designed to engage executive leaders with their association staff.

  • Bring your team to participate in a facilitated deconstruction of traditional learning products.
  • Reframe a fresh outlook what is possible and necessary for the future of your association and the workforce that it creates.
  • Formulate an innovation plan that meets today’s “learning on demand” culture while driving expertise within your association.
    (Domain 4: Programs, Products and Services)
Savvy Sponsorship Solicitation

Aaron Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTAEvent Garde LLC

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 your sponsorship pricing structures, factors and packaging; how to identify the right organizations to solicit for sponsorship; and how to deliver your sponsorship sales pitch and demonstrate the return on investment (ROI). (Domain 4: Programs, Products and Services)

Minutes Should Not Take Hours!

Kay Allison Crews, CPP, PRP, President, American Institute of Parliamentarians

Meeting minutes should NOT take hours -- either to prepare them or to review them. Get answers to your burning questions on the most efficient way to handle this sometimes-burdensome chore! Questions to be addressed include “Who Takes the Minutes?”, “What Should be in Minutes?” and “How Should We Approve Minutes?”

Additionally, you’ll follow up "Power Tips" for:

  • Taking Minutes
  • Approving Minutes
  • Alternate Formats for Minutes
  • Minute Books on Paper and Electronically
    (Domain 2: Governance and Structure )

Learning Lounge Session (10:45 - 11:30 am)

Taking Your Career to the Top Spot: Insights to Working with an Executive Recruiting Firm

Pamela L. Donahoo, CAE, CEO, USFN - America's Mortgage Banking Attorneys
David S. Martin, CEO and Managing Partner, Sterling Martin Associates

If you are a CEO or aspiring CEO and you wait until you want to find a new job, or worse yet until you HAVE to find a new position, to contact executive search firms, then you’ve missed a critical opportunity to begin what can be a career-enhancing relationship. Executive Search firms or recruiters play a crucial role in not only the selection of a CEO but in helping to guide and establish the right relationship with your new board. They can become a key supporter during those important first few months on the job. Hear about this win-win relationship from the president of an Executive Search firm with hundreds of CEO searches under his belt, as well as a CEO who worked with several executive search firms before landing her new CEO role.

Leave this session knowing:

  • How to develop a relationship before you start your search.
  • How a recruiter works with boards before during and AFTER a search.
  • What important questions to ask the recruiter.
  • Mistakes to avoid that can hurt your future search options.
    (Domain 5: Leadership)

Awards Luncheon (12:00 - 1:30 pm)


Concurrent Education Sessions (1:45 - 3:00 pm)

Conversation, Connection & Collaboration: Attracting & Leveraging Relationships with Vision & Intention

Patti DeNucci, DeNucci & Co LLC

Patti DeNucci will shake up your networking beliefs and habits as she shares stories, strategies, and perspectives from her award-winning book, The Intentional Networker. You'll leave her presentation ready to get the most from your conference experience and return to your regularly scheduled leadership duties (and life) with a refreshed and updated outlook on the importance of being more visionary and intentional with every conversation, connection and collaboration. (Domain 5: Leadership)

You Say You Can't Design: Create Stunning Visual Social Media Content for Free

Dorien Morin-van Dam, More In Media, a division of Highland Strategic, LLC

Are you lacking when it comes to design skills? The truth is, you don’t need to be a graphic artist to come up with engaging images for your social media posts. Learn how to produce attractive graphics for your blog and social media posts in minutes for free using Canva. This interactive session will provide step-by-step instructions on how to create beautiful images of all sizes, quickly and easily. Are you ready to stand out online? Design help is on the way! (Domain 9: Marketing, Public Relations, and Communications)

Designing the Future State for Your Association’s Learning Strategy: Part 2

Tracy Petrillo, EdD, CAE, Chief Learning Officer, CSI

Attending Part 1 (10:30 – 11:45 am) is strongly recommended for a deeper learning experience. In Part 2 of this session, learn to design a future state for your learning strategy! Participate in active creation of new learning and product models that meet your members at their point of need. Create a change management plan for staffing structures that engage and empower staff and members to implement innovation so they can move toward what is possible and needed.

This interactive program is designed to engage executive leaders with their association staff. (Domain 4: Programs, Products and Services)

Everything You Wanted to Know About Membership but Were Afraid to Ask

Timothy Brooks, Director of Membership
Kanice Spears, Membership and Fund Development Director
Pamela Anderson, Director of Membership Services, Texas Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus
Jan Spence, Jan Spence & Associates

In this riveting, mind-opening session, Jan Spence leverages the knowledge and insight of four experienced association executives on what it takes to create successful association membership. Bring your biggest challenges and most burning questions regarding membership and be prepared for an insightful conversation through roundtable discussion and learning from the wisdom in the room. Get your specific questions answered and walk away with valuable information regarding association membership that addresses your particular needs. (Domain 3: Membership Development)

Sexual Harassment in the #MeToo Era:  Employer Obligations and Responsibilities

Ted Smith, Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, LLP
Board Certified Labor and Employment Law attorney Ted Smith will present best practices to help employers meet their obligations and responsibilities regarding workplace sexual harassment laws.  This practical and informative presentation will include topics such as:

  • How is sexual harassment defined by law?
  • Identifying sexual harassment in the workplace
  • Manager/Supervisor responsibilities and accountability
  • Employer obligations
  • Internal complaint processes and investigations
  • Corrective actions
    (Domain 6: Administration)

Learning Lounge Session (2:00 - 2:45 pm)

Healthy by Association: A Personal Journey Powered by Intention

Aaron Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA, Event Garde LLC

Stress is no joke; it’s your body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic and alert. But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships and your quality of life. Hence, the Healthy by Association movement was established as a space for association and hospitality professionals to set goals, share their workout accomplishments, exchange healthy recipes and, above all, stay motivated.

As a result of this session, you will:

  • Identify the value in putting yourself first through meaningful self-care activities.
  • Examine "healthy" changes that can be implemented around the office.
  • Explore health and wellness trends for attendees at association events.
    (Domain 5: Leadership)

Deep Dive Session (1:45 - 4:45 pm)*

Solutions for the Things that Keep You Up at Night: Human Resources, Finance and Your Board

Julie Hart, President, CFO by Design
Karen M. Kennard, Shareholder, GreenbergTraurig

Are you losing sleep as an association executive worrying about what you don’t know?  Human Resources, Finance and Board Governance can be BIG scary topics…but they don’t have to be.  This session will provide with practical, useful tips to help you avoid common nightmares, such as:

  • Employee classifications
  • Hiring the right employees
  • Employee performance recourse and terminations
  • Performance reviews and documentation
  • Handling employee complaints
  • Embezzlement and theft
  • Phishing emails
  • Internal controls
  • Bylaws
  • Board policies/communication
  • Board roles and responsibilities
    (Domain 1: Strategic Management)

*Attending this education session will prohibit you from attending an excursion. Deep Dive attendees earn an additional 1.75 CAE hours.


Excursion in Dallas (3:45 - 6:00 pm)

Included in Full or Monday-Only registration.

Skyline Reception Hosted by Omni Hotels & Resorts (8:30 - 10:30 pm)

Open to all conference participants.


Tuesday, September 18

Exclusive CAE Breakfast and Education Session (8:30 - 9:45 am)

From Travel Hell to Travel Well: Top Secrets to Stay Energized, Healthy and Balanced When You Travel for Business!

John Ayo, Chief Balancing Officer, Travel Balance

What if you could maintain your poise, your good mood, your energy and your health no matter what crazy stuff happens on your trip?

  • Is there a way you can stay energized and balanced when traveling for business?
  • Have you ever been sick on day 2 of a 10-day business trip?
  • Have you ever been so jet lagged you just couldn’t think straight?

Anyone that travels for business will tell you that it can be very stressful from almost every perspective. We are traveling for business for a reason, and if we can’t perform at our best, it could impact the profitability of our business (the sale, consulting engagement, speech…)

This session will cover tips and hints that will:

  • Get to your destination in a healthy way - smart packing, getting through security, thriving on the plane and creating a homey hotel room experience.
  • Optimize your experience, both business and personal – staying well, reducing jet lag and sleeping on the road.
  • Maintain the balance of good health and business profitability – ways to exercise and experience your destination and perform at your best… and thoughts on how to maintain this balance after you return
  • Arm you with insider tips from a traditional naturopath (natural health doctor) that spent 30+ years traveling around the world for IBM… and lived to tell the stories.
    (Domain 5: Leadership)


Concurrent Education Sessions (8:30 - 9:45 am)

Moving from Panic to Purpose: Responding to Changes in Your Career

Amy Waninger, Lead at Any Level

Your industry is likely changing more rapidly than ever before, bringing a barrage of discussions about disruption, agility and resilience. Professionals who adapt quickly can seize new opportunities and manage their careers. You will be introduced to various models for understanding personal and organizational change, as well as techniques for identifying and overcoming fear, resistance and uncertainty. Work through a guided exercise to prepare for a current or eminent change and leave with an action plan that you them in the driver’s seat.

  • Recognize different models for understanding change from an organizational and personal perspective
  • Evaluate productive behaviors and resilience strategies
  • Create a personalized action plan for a current or eminent change in your life or career
    (Domain 5: Leadership)
Customer Experience (CX) For Associations

Adrienne Bryant, CAE, IntrinXec Management, Inc.

For the past several years, in the for-profit world, improving customer experience (CX) has been viewed as one of the most important things any organization can do to drive value. CX industry leaders have figured out a “secret” - the importance of a consistent, integrated framework for understanding and managing CX. By following this framework, organizations consistently drive better results, including greater value for employees, customers, and shareholders. Association leaders must do the same to build and embed core CX competencies across their ecosystem if they hope to create experiences that deliver outcomes members want. Explore the six core competency areas of customer experience, lessons learned from top CX leaders and get started on a CX initiative for your organization. (Domain 4: Programs, Products and Services)

Under-Performing Education Programs: Seeking Out Hidden Pain Points

Aaron Wolowiec, Event Garde LLC

As education providers, we routinely inherit programs with unclear or undefined outcomes, we operate in an increasingly competitive professional development environment with fewer resources and budget-strapped attendees and we consistently grapple with unrealistic revenue and attendance targets while forgetting to sunset programs that are past their prime. During this session, we’ll identify the hidden pain points most likely to result in an under-performing education program. We’ll then leverage an innovative framework for knowledge sharing, known as The Solution Room, to provide each participant with a brief but powerful consulting session on a personalized pain point of their choosing. You can expect to walk away with a variety of ideas and resources that can be immediately applied to your unique challenges, resulting in a stronger brand, an elevated reputation and more loyal participation. Come prepared to actively participate! (Domain 4: Programs, Products and Services)

From Hurricanes to Heart Attacks: Apps for Emergencies

Beth Ziesenis, Your Nerdy Best Friend  

Meeting organizers must be prepared for every situation, but the number of natural disasters and high-stress incidents has increased the need for advance planning. This critical session will share apps and technological strategies to help your association deal with everything from event cancellations to personal safety and health concerns. Drawing on real-world examples of crises at meetings, the session will focus on practical solutions for technology that keeps you prepared. This is not a risk assessment session... it's a nerd preparedness conversation. (Domain 1: Strategic Management)

Improving Volunteer Engagement and Communication

Stevie Dawn Blakely, CEO, Orange Compass

People are the number one resource in every organization and keeping misunderstandings to a minimum creates a more positive workplace. Working with volunteers is no different. We must learn how to communicate and engage with them on a personal/individual level to keep them engaged with the purpose and passion that first drew them to the organization.  Therefore, it is not just about what you say, but also how you say it. This can be especially difficult when you are communicating with people who work in different areas; communication strategies have to be adjusted when you are not face-to-face.

Understanding the unique perspectives of volunteers and the reasons that they engage is important in being able to empathize with them. There are specific strategies that can be used to provide more clear communication, set boundaries and expectations, as well as increase individual accountability. This interactive workshop will have you try out new techniques to see the impact they can have on communication. (Domain 2: Governance and Structure)

Learning Lounge Session (8:45 - 9:45 am)

Your Next Steps: Certification & Accreditation


Learn about industry offerings to better yourself and your organization through certification and accreditation. Explore the Certified Association Executive (CAE), the Certified Meeting Planner (CMP), and the Certified Exhibits Manager (CEM) designations. We’ll also discuss AMCI Accreditation program for Association Management Companies. Come with your questions on how to best prepare to obtain these designations and get a chance to speak with those that have earned them.


Closing Brunch Session (10:00 - 11:30 am)

Fun Is Good

Fran Zeuli , Co-Founder & Chief FUN Officer, Fun Is Good – Employee Engagement Consultants

What do food fights, cat videos and vasectomies have to do with building a great culture and running a successful organization?  Or, said another way, can a mixture of FUN, passion and creativity lead to companies being more profitable?  The answer is a gigantic YES according to Fran Zeuli, President and CFO (Chief Fun Officer) of the employee engagement consulting firm called Fun Is Good!  Fran “thrived and survived” many years as a successful Senior Exec in the business world, running large customer call centers and aggressive advertising, sales and marketing teams.  But when he finally discovered the power of Fun and Engagement, the light went on for him and everything changed for the better!  Fran now shares these positive messages with organizations across the country – even the ones about cat videos! (Domain 5: Leadership)

CAE Hours

Full Conference: 9.5
Monday-Only: 3.5
Additional Deep Dive: 1.75

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