IMEX America has completely reimagined the 2016 program and format of Association Focus, its unique education and networking event for association professionals.
The new approach follows extensive feedback gleaned from IMEX attendees, and research conducted over the last nine months with North American Association partners and the wider meetings industry by an independent consultant who specializes in association-tailored, trends-driven education.
As a result, Association Focus 2016 will be an entirely new learning experience for the association professionals taking part.
Gone are the concurrent afternoon sessions and round table discussions – replaced by two independent learning streams, each chaired and directed by a senior association executive.
John H. Graham, IV, FASAE, CAE, CEO and president of ASAE, chairs the new Leadership Stream, which is set to tackle the long-term strategic issues currently dominating the minds and plans of the association C-suite. Topics will include: the impact of strategic governance on profitability and planning; how to ready a membership organization for a possible cyber attack; and how to engage with a generationally and geographically diverse membership base.
Commenting on the value of the program and his involvement Graham said, “I’m very pleased to be involved with IMEX’s Association Focus this year. Providing high-level learning as well as peer-to-peer knowledge sharing for meeting professionals at the C-suite level is critical for the continued success of our industry.” He added, “The track I’m chairing highlights the challenges and opportunities our industry is facing. It’s vital for association meeting leaders to participate in this highly customized, powerful day.”
Additionally, Martin Sirk, CEO at International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), will lead the new Association Meetings and Events stream, where the spotlight falls on the tactical and managerial challenges facing association meeting and event planners. This stream will explore the power of building strong relationships with CVBs; how to negotiate hotel contracts for maximum value, and the very latest approaches on how to leverage sponsorships.
“Associations face more challenges yet more opportunities then even before in a global meetings marketplace,” said Sirk. “IMEX’s Association Focus is a first-rate learning day where association meeting professionals can really dig in together and look to innovate and adopt best practices. I’m very happy to be a part of it and to be leading a track.”
“We’ve taken an entirely fresh approach and invested strongly in this year’s program,” says Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO.
“We knew the content needed to evolve to truly satisfy the unique education and networking needs of a diverse set of association meeting experts. For the C-suite, we want to reward their investment of time with level-appropriate learning and connections. For professionals and planners, we want them to feel we’re fighting in their corner… helping them stay ahead of the game, both personally and professionally. Last year one delegate described Association Focus as ‘worth its weight in gold’. That set the bar high but we’re determined to reach beyond it this year,” said Bauer.
Association Focus takes place on the afternoon of Smart Monday, powered by MPI, on October, 17th 2016. The program will be punctuated by a networking lunch, networking breaks and a wrap-up Association Evening cocktail reception from 5:30pm at the stunning Foxtail outdoor nightclub (SLS, Las Vegas).