Association Focus Opening Keynote: Mark Sanborn

LAS VEGAS [ ABN NEWS ] — IMEX America 2012 promised association executives a dynamic and highly tailored education and networking experience before the show floor even opened and yesterday it delivered with Association Focus & Evening.

Sponsored by the Sands Meetings and a part of Smart Monday, Association Focus was a day-long program of free education which brought together 200+ association executives plus experts and leaders from PCMA, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership and ICCA for an energetic day of learning and networking.

New Executive, Global and Meeting Tracks Bring
Inspired & Individualized Learning

Bigger and better than Association Day at the inaugural IMEX America in 2011, Association Focus & Evening 2012 was again laser-focused on the challenges, opportunities and solutions for association executives but featured more peer-to-peer learning opportunities, a morning keynote, and specific learning tracks allowing each attendee to personalize their day based on their unique professional needs and interests.

The program kicked off with a networking brunch followed by keynote speaker Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE – author of the best-selling “Fred Factor” book and one of the world’s top 30 leadership experts. Sanborn got the audience thinking about leadership, change, teamwork and customer service – themes that would reverberate throughout the day alongside topics of global management, technology and community building.

Following the keynote, the association executives owned their learning destiny for the rest of the afternoon choosing between ‘Executive’, ‘Meetings’ or ‘Global’ tracks.

Executive Track Majors on Leadership Smarts

Those who chose the Executive Track, hosted by ASAE, participated in a 3-hour, highly-interactive Deep Dive called “Managing through Change” which zeroed in on technology trends, community meanings, and leadership. Wrapping up their day the executive trackers had the chance to further roll up their sleeves at two 45 minute round tables where they could choose from several topics ranging from certification & accreditation, sustainability and AMC or PCO approaches to strategic planning & relationship management, board & governance issues and committee management.

Global Track Expands Meeting Horizons

Participants that went on the Global Track route, hosted by ICCA, dove into two intense sessions on taking meetings worldwide moderated by Martin Sirk CEO of ICCA and featuring “crowd panels and round table discussions. “Entering New Markets” connected global suppliers and experienced association leaders and participants to share and explore strategies as well as set realistic objectives for hosting meetings outside the U.S. The second session “Planning Global Meetings – Focus on Asia” brought in the AACVB (Asian Association of Convention Visitor Bureaux) and region-wide and country-specific experts to build an understanding of local business cultures and infrastructures.

Meetings Track Schools on Sustainability, Creativity and Technology

Delegates who took the Meetings Track enjoyed a PCMA session called “Science (and Fun) of Creating Effective Learning” which focused on delivering brain-friendly education experiences for meeting delegates. Meeting trackers that were technology-minded chose to learn about “Meetings Going Mobile,” also from PCMA, moderated by Event Mobi President Bob Vaez. Another option was “The Strategic Impact of Digital Events on Meetings”.

Finally, for the green and sustainability-curious crowd, the Meetings Track also offered the new opportunity to go on a first ever ‘IMEX America Sustainability Safari’, hosted by ASAE and led by IMEX’s sustainability consultants, MeetGreen. This unique jaunt included a behind-the-scenes tour of IMEX’s sustainability approach and taught tour members about LEED certification, green hotel room features, LED lighting and power conservation, recycling and more.

Speaking about her experience of the day, Leslie Wright of Fletcher Wright Associates, Canada, said: “I enjoyed the morning session and especially the keynote. I’ve made lots of notes to take back and it’s been particularly useful to have expert endorsement of some the things I know already but hearing them again today reinforces my resolve to follow them through when I get back.”

Adding his comments, Winston Welch, Executive Director of the World History Association said: “I came away from the ‘Managing Through Change’ session realizing that the issues we all face are complex and that there are no easy answers. We need to make changes to ourselves, to our communities and to our leaders and also step back and take a longer-term view if we are not to become obsolete. The discussion around traditional models now being outdated and needing revision was also important for me.”

Rounding-out the event, Association Evening which took place in the stunning Venetian Ballroom, offered a relaxed networking dinner sponsored by Sands Meetings. Here association buyers, IMEX America exhibitors, and association partners networked the night away building new relationships and expanding existing ones.

Said Ray Bloom, IMEX Group Chairman: “This year we wanted association executives and professionals to walk away with even more learning and connections and we think Association Focus & Evening achieved that. It’s a unique event that’s invitation-only and also exclusive to association executives. As such it can really focus in on their individual needs. This special conference within a conference was a great success and my thanks go to ASAE, ICCA and PCMA, and our sponsors – The Sands Meetings – who helped ensure it was a memorable part of Smart Monday.”




Read more Hundreds of Association Executives Gather for a Blast of Custom Education and Networking at IMEX America 2012’s Association Focus Evening

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