November 27, 2015


Tentative Program, Infinity Convention Centre
2901 Gibford Dr, Gloucester, ON K1V 2L9 (This schedule and topic lineup is subject to change without notice. The final program and speaker assignment will be announced March 31, 2017)

Wednesday, July 19th

5:30-7:30 PMPre-Event Reception

This was such a success last year that we're doing it again, just with more fun and surprises. Come & meet our speakers, partners and fellow association colleagues and start engaging!

Thursday , July 20th

7:30-8:30 AMWake-Up! Registration & Welcome Breakfast

Enjoy a hearty first meal of the day, including gluten-free options.
8:30-9:00 AMKick-Off

Get oriented and up to speed about the Forum’s “rules of engagement” and new engagement features. Get clear about your intentions and jump right into the conversation!


9:00-10:15 AM

Association Management and Leadership in a Trump World – A Town Hall

This isn’t about politics (though political figures inevitably are part of the story).

It’s about CHANGE: the speed of change and the magnitude of which can knock even the best of us down.

In this Town Hall format we’ll hear from YOU. What you’ve experienced, what you should be aware of. We’ll talk about negative engagement – from social media bullying and protests to fake news – and discuss real life strategies with which associations and the non-profit sector can promote sharp but respectful debate, affect change and yes, maybe even turn a negative into a positive...
10:15-11:00 AMTime Out #1

After a big Town Hall topic, you can choose to continue the conversation or just c-h-i-l-l…
11:00-12:15 PMEngagement for Time & Resource-Starved Association Executives

You WANT to engage your stakeholders, but you lack time and money. Or both. In this session you’ll hear from two association staff teams who managed to create impressive public engagement and member engagement campaigns, on a shoestring, and while doing their regular day job.
12:15-1:30 PMLunch

Healthy food and lively conversation… in a completely NEW format with optional table discussion topics!
1:30-3:00 PMIn the Heart Seat about Membership

In the 2016 Forum evaluations many commented how you wanted to hear MORE “real-life” solutions from your peers. In this session we’ll invite two associations – one trade and one professional association – to be in the “heart seat” (vs. HOT seat!) and tell us about their unique membership recruitment or retention.

Through a “clarity council” approach, as a group we’ll help each volunteer to explore different strategies and brainstorm solutions!

Wanna be IN the Heart Seat? Sign up to volunteer here!
3:00-3:30 PMTime Out #2

Stay in and enjoy cool and tasty refreshments or join us outside for some summertime treats!
3:30-5:00 PMIdea Lab

Last year we had a Hack-a-Thon. Building on this peer-to-peer format, this year we’re trying something slightly different: an IDEA LAB is a where hack-a-thon meets round table discussions.

Led by an association executive/expert facilitator, each round table will tackle a different problem area and brainstorm solutions. You’ll have the opportunity to choose from 10 different topics and sit at 3 different tables for 25-minute each.

All conversations will be captured by professional scribes so we can produce the 2017 Engaging Associations Idea Book!

Based on survey input, we’ve come up with the following table topics:
1. Creating profitable fundraising events & programs
2. Succession planning for your association staff
3. Succession planning for your association board
4. Recruiting and managing Millennial volunteers
5. Increasing event engagement with social media
6. Increasing advocacy with social media
7. Demonstrating the value of certification programs
8. Creating engagement in a regulated industry
9. Collaborating with like-minded organizations
10. Managing an association with a staff of ONE
11. Risk management and mitigation for association events
12. Keeping your board out of operations
13. Alternative revenue streams
14. Running webinars and virtual events for your association
15. When to hire, when to outsource?

You get to VOTE on your top 10 or suggest a wildcard topic by clicking here.
5:00-6:30 PMDay One Celebration!

You know we love to have fun… Join your peeps for a cold one and yummy hors d’oeuvres!
7:00-9:00 PMBirds of a Feather Dinners

You can continue the conversation with fellow Forum participants during a gourmet dining experience. Choose which “flock” you wish to join: the small association table, the large association table, the single-manager association table or the “anything goes” table. An additional fee applies.

Friday, July 21st

7:30-8:30 AMBreakfast

More healthy, tasty food to start the day.
8:30-9:00 AMRe-Cap Day 1

What were your big takeaways from Day 1? A follow-up on issues and key discussion points.
9:00-10:00 AMBig Picture Talks

Back by popular demand, this “TED-Style” format let's you try before you buy… Hear from up to five speakers who will give the “bird’s eye view” of their topic and how it relates to engagement. Each topic will either be led by a subject-matter expert or an association-executive-with-an-expert team.

Topics under consideration include:
• Government Relations & Advocacy: Getting Heard by Policy-Makers
• How to Fire a Board Member (who is not engaged)
• Recruiting and engaging the Best Talent
• Re-Designing and Re-Thinking Your Event for Greater Engagement
• Freedom in the Cloud: A Modern and Flexible Approach to Technology for your Association
• Cyber-Security and Protecting your Association from Hackers
• Renovating Your Tradeshow for Better Engagement

During the break, be prepared to pick two of the five sessions for deeper dives before lunch!
10:00-10:15 AMMini Break #1

On your way to the next session & grab a snack to go!
10:15-11:00 AMDeep Dive Stream 1

Move to your first chosen topic; be prepared to ask lots of questions!
11:00-11:15 AMMini Break #2

Keep that energy up!
11:15-12:00 PMDeep Dive Stream 2

More time to get tactical on another topic.
12:00-1:15 PMLunch

You’ve worked hard and deserve more yummy food! Plus get ready for a wonderful surprise from our friends and partners at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts!
1:15-2:15 PMUplevelling Your Association Sponsorship Program

We’re bringing it back, bigger and better! Hear from our panel of corporate and sponsorship experts on how to renovate your association’s sponsorship program and attract more cash.
2:15-2:30 PMMini Break #3

Something sweet for the home stretch!
2:30-3:30 PMChanging Your Association’s Business Model

We truly believe with have kept the best for last… Change is a challenge for many and hearing from colleagues how they have transformed how their association does business is a feel-good story!
3:30-4:00 PMBringing It Home

Time to wrap-up, share lessons learned and key takeaways. Plan to stay till the end to get the BEST takeaways… and win prizes!