Tech Talks Education

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2018 Education Topics Coming Soon.

2017 Education

Tech Talks will offer more than five hours of targeted education in the areas of technology and communications for those working at small and mid-sized associations.

Tech Talks is not for the large association IT director, full time webmaster, or database guru. It is for the CEOs, Marketing and Communications Directors, Membership Managers, Associate Directors, Education Planners and more who wear many hats and want to grow their knowledge, stay on top of association trends and improve their organizations with the latest tools and tricks. Schedule subject to change.

Opening Session (8:30 - 9:30 am):

Virtual Reality Will Change Everything About Brand Experiences

Wilson Tang, VP, Digital Experience, FreemanXP
Virtual Reality is not just a buzz term, but a whole collection of technologies that will literally change everything that we do in the experience, event and exhibition business, from concepts, designs, fabrication, activations and amplification. Virtual Reality is the biggest game-changer to come to our business since the computer itself. Find out how your association can take advantage of this incredible technology in the not too distant future!

Concurrent Breakout Sessions (10:00 - 11:15 am):

Trends with Benefits: What Will Help Your Organization Grow in 2017

Sherry Milligan, CAE, Vice President of NonProfit Strategy, enSYNC
Mark Jones, CAE, President, enSYNC

Stay current to stay relevant. Trends come and go, but which ones will help you grow and be successful in 2017? We'll examine top technology trends that are shaping best practices and the way you communicate with and recruit members, manage events and create opportunities for engagement.

Creating a Culture of Innovation: It's Not as Hard as You Think

Mark Sedgley, CEO, MemberClicks
Many organizations are intimidated by the word innovation because they think it's only for large, well-funded associations. Innovation is a journey in culture and inclusion, and in this session you'll see real-life examples of how to create a culture of innovation in your organization, no matter how small. Understand what it truly means to be innovative and learn practical steps for improving communication and processes within your organization.

Creating a Strong Brand for Your Association

Dave Shaw, President, Arrow
A brand is so much more than a logo. Learn how to assess the strength of your association's brand, how to create a brand platform, and strategies for aligning your association's brand strategy. This session will offer case studies and practical advice for marketing and communications professionals.

NEW SESSION - Write to Rise Above Your Competition: Web Copy That Works

Andrew Buck, Content Marketing Manager, TradeMark Media
The Internet is bloated with bad copy—words and websites hamstrung by cliché, ambiguity, and misuse. But words matter! The right words can inspire emotion in your users. The right words can translate engagement into action. The right words can nudge your audience to act, to buy, to donate. So, does your website offer a compelling read—or is it just another word salad?

By the end of this presentation, you will:

  • Understand how your users read your website
  • Learn three simple ways to become a better Internet writer today
  • Discover how to instantly make your website more readable
  • Learn the six elements of "sticky" copy—i.e., messages that lodge in your user's memory

This lively, funny talk is filled with practical tips and examples meant to send you scurrying back to your keyboard, eager to obsess over every. single. word.


Concurrent Education Sessions (11:30 am – 12:00 pm)

How to Develop Videos on the Cheap

Christopher Williston VI, CAE, Executive Vice President, Independent Bankers Association of Texas
Video is in high demand and the rules for video production and quality have changed! If your association is thinking about moving towards using video but you are hesitant to get started, this session will provide the framework for getting started. The session will outline the process, identify the equipment needed as well as some hints and recommendations from an association executive who once felt your pain. 

3, 2, 1 Blastoff! Launching (and Maintaining) a Successful Online Community

Ashley Friedrichs, Member Engagement Manager, Texas Association of School Business Officials
Josh Spradling, Communications Director, Texas Society of Association Executives

Does the thought of implementing an online community make you feel as if you’re lost in the vast expanse? This warp-speed session explores how associations can set course for a smooth launch of their community, engage their audience after takeoff and avoid potential “Houston, we have a problem” moments.

Tech Solution Quick Pitch from Exhibitors (11:30 am – 12:15 pm)

Looking for a new Association Management Software, app developer, web designer, event management software, or communications consultant? Find out how our exhibitors’ technology may be the solution your association is looking in five-minute product overviews.

Lunch Session (12:15 AM – 1:15 PM)

Capitalizing on Technology & Human Behavior Shaping Our Future

Tim Hayden, President, Co-Managing Partner, Brain+Trust Partners
With new technological capabilities come a rising tide of changes in how we communicate and live. This means substantial shifts in human behavior and how businesses will operate over the coming decade. Let's talk about trends in the age of mobility, artificial intelligence and digital media that you may leverage to sustain success and grow your organization.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand how mobile technology, chat bots and marketing automation can help reduce operating expenses and save precious time.
  • Learn how research and behavioral analytics fostered from existing customers can empower greater marketing and communications success.
  • How to manage brand reputation and maintain your organization's story amid a post-factual media world, volatile public policy and discourse.


Promoting Member Engagement and Loyalty in a Virtual Environment

Calli B. Dretke, President and Chief Executive Officer, Next Wave Connect
Everywhere you look there's a new article explaining how to engage each generation that your membership represents. If your organization were a car, engagement would be the gasoline. For organizations like associations and user groups, member engagement fuels the core objectives. By consistently keeping members engaged, you won't just attract and keep more members-you'll have leverage to push through legislative wins, the ability to promote your brand and membership and an increase in event attendance and other types of revenue. This forum will help leaders discover tactics and strategies behind measuring and increasing effective member engagement in a virtual environment.

Buzzwords, Frauds, and Fads: The Information Technology Hunt

Dallas Emerson, Technical Sherpa, The IT Guys
Mike Emerson, Abiding Dude, The IT Guys

Associations hunt for IT solutions all the time, but sometimes it feels like IT consultants are hunting you. This session will help you understand the criteria so you can determine who is qualified to manage your association’s IT, detect empty buzzwords and identify the difference between a technical evolution and a fad. We’ll wrap it up with a question-and-answer period; giving you a chance to ask those nagging IT questions. A survivor of the IT hunt will join us for an in-person case-study.

The Real Science of Social Media: Fear and Experimentation

Sarah A. Parker, Social Media Manager, Union Metrics
Social media marketing is now an established and necessary part of all brand marketing, but fear holds most brands back from making the most of social platforms the way their fans, followers and target audience do. There’s a delicate balance brands have to strike in order to reach their audiences without coming across as inauthentic and “trying too hard.” The real science of social media is leaving enough room in a brand strategy to experiment with different ways of reaching a target audience that stays true to brand voice and values, backed by measurement with key metrics.

Avoiding the Critical Mistakes of Hybrid Meetings

Courtney Muehlmeier, Chief Productivity Officer, Teamings
Brian Sbrocco, Chief Productivity Officer, Teamings

Live streaming your event sounds terrifying. In this session you will learn the crucial factors to conduct a truly successful webcast or hybrid event.  

Closing Session 3:00 – 4:00 pm

Neighborhood Peer Exchange

Come together with your peers to exchange ideas and find solutions to some of your most challenging questions. This framework for knowledge sharing will provide a great learning opportunity.  You will be able to select multiple neighborhoods which include topics such as communicating effectively to members, effective uses of social media, and using communities to create engagement (final topics to be determined). Be prepared to actively participate!


TSAE is a CAE Approved Provider. Every program that we offer which qualifies for CAE credit will clearly identify the number of CAE credits granted for full participation, and we will maintain records of your participation in accord with CAE policies.