Our Story & Features

5 years of creativity, innovation and change... celebrate with us! No “same-old, same-old” topics; No talking heads flogging their services. “Association executives deserve to have a place where they can air their concerns in a safe, collaborative space, among peers.”

Peer-to-Peer Exchance

We help you go beyond networking by facilitating exchanges with other professionals like you.

Thought Leadership

Our speakers don’t just talk high-level, they provide valuable information that is actionable when you return to the office.

Innovative Education

We believe that maximizing the knowledge sharing of our participants is just as important as choosing great speakers.

Networking Fun

Ample time to connect, and network – meeting new people can help create change!

Engaging Meeting Design

Lectures are SO yesterday… Be ready to problem-solve, share ideas and contribute your opinion.

Healthy Food

We feed your body and your soul with fuel so you can maximize your engagement!

Sponsors

Check out our AMAZING 2018 Partners!

Request our Partnership Menu

The Engaging Associations Forum is open to Partnering Suppliers ONLY, with no exceptions. We would love to chat with you about our partnership options. Please give us your details below, and we will forward you a copy for review!



Our Speakers

Keep returning to have a look at the speakers being added for the 2018 roster. Here is the current list:

Meagan Rockett
CEO & Association Ambassador, Greenfield Services

As the Association Ambassador, I have the pleasure of working closely with Professional and Trade Associations to help them grow and prosper, through consultation and execution of programs relating to engaging current members, and their community.

Meagan Rockett
CEO & Association Ambassador, Greenfield Services
Mark Thompson
President and Chief Engagement Officer, McKinley Solutions Exchange

Mark is a nationally recognized speaker in leadership, teambuilding, motivation and human capital. Mark is also a sought after lead trainer for groups of all sizes from small leadership retreats to large groups of 500 plus, known for his high energy engaging passion style.

Mark leads active hands-on teams involved in training and development, project management and business development. His expertise is in the areas of team and leadership development, program facilitation, and innovative instructional design.

Mark Thompson
President and Chief Engagement Officer, McKinley Solutions Exchange
Cathy Bouwers
Communications Specialist

Cathy Bouwers is a communications professional who has enjoyed working in the not-for-profit sector for over ten years. She has been in the association community since 2011, navigating the ever changing landscape of communications. In her role at CSMLS, she creates imaginative communication solutions that solve real business challenges. Cathy’s passion for creating meaningful membership experiences has contributed to her success in several award winning projects.

Cathy Bouwers
Communications Specialist
Joanne Charlebois
Chief Executive Officer, SAC Canada

Joanne Charlebois has years of senior not-for-profit association experience and several years of high-tech experience. Joanne has always applied innovation and technology to improve the member’s experience in the numerous associations she has worked for. Seeking partnerships such as the one SAC established with Industrial Media Inc., has proven to be very exciting. Having worked for years with traditional Association Management Software, she was excited to see a company take a more modern approach to technology that will benefit so many associations.

Joanne Charlebois
Chief Executive Officer, SAC Canada
EA Clarke
Partner, Stonewood Group

Following a successful 25-year entrepreneurial career, EA Clarke joined StoneWood Group as a partner. As a former senior executive and CEO of his own company, EA understands the fundamentals of a successful business, and is well positioned to identify and qualify high calibre executive talent for his clients.

During his career, he has been involved in acquisitions, private placements, strategic partnerships and IPOs. He has also been a corporate director, shareholder and founder of companies involved in the high-tech market space.

EA has leveraged the early success of the Ottawa practice, incorporating large multinational customers as cornerstones of the practice’s growth. His executive search consulting experience spans engagements ranging from President & Chief Executive Officer to a variety of Vice Presidential and other senior-level executive positions.

In addition, EA has spearheaded StoneWood Group’s success in the Not-for-Profit market, and continues to provide leadership for this community as a current member of Campaign Cabinet for the United Way.

EA Clarke
Partner, Stonewood Group
David Coletto
CEO & Founding Partner, Abacus Data

David Coletto is CEO and a founding partner of Abacus Data, a full-service market research and public opinion research firm based in Ottawa. With almost a decade of experience in the industry, David and his partners founded Abacus 7 years ago, and since then it has grown into one of Canada's most respected market research firms.
David is also the lead researcher for Abacus Data's Canadian Millennials Practice and has advised organizations and corporations on how to engage and manage generational change. He spoken to groups all over North America on how his generation is disrupting work, politics, and the consumer market.

David Coletto
CEO & Founding Partner, Abacus Data
Joel Elliott
Songwriter & Bandmaster

Joel (Jumpin’ Joel Flash) Elliott is an entertainer, composer, and community builder who developed his on-the-fly style and triple-octave range through pure repetition; non-stop performance with various bands and theatre productions over the course of 15 years.

Joel spent a decade at The Conference Board of Canada, and despite his best intentions, managed to learn quite a bit about the economy as well as the people & industries that inhabit it. But marketing economic reports and risk management conferences proved to be a little too exciting, and so in March of 2017, he quit his job, sold his house, and focused on the music.

Joel Elliott
Songwriter & Bandmaster
Michael Grant
Director, Marketing & Communications

Michael Grant has spent fifteen years working in marketing and communications for the not-for-profit sector. He moved to the association world in 2010 when he joined the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science. In his current role, Michael oversees CSMLS’s web presence, social media, advocacy, publications, and member recruitment & retention campaigns. Always looking to be innovative with small budgets, Michael’s work has garnered national and international awards for marketing and communications excellence.

Michael Grant
Director, Marketing & Communications
Jeff Horne
Founder & CEO, Wicket

Jeff is passionate about modern technology and believes that the non-profit sector has been underserved and misled by vendors. He is a disruptor, and considers the traditional AMS approach to software to be deeply flawed. He runs two companies: Wicket, a software company bringing a new approach to membership data management; and Industrial, a digital agency that has worked with associations for 18 years to deliver highly effective online solutions. He firmly believes in the use of small, modern, cloud-based technology solutions as part of a forward-thinking digital strategy.

Jeff Horne
Founder & CEO, Wicket
Mahoganey Jones
Owner & Founder, Event Specialists

Versatile, results-oriented Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and Digital Event Strategist (DES), with proven skills and track record in all aspects of meeting management. Specializing in associations and medical meetings, I ensure all details are considered and that all targets are met and/or exceeded. She was also one of the 1st Canadians to receive the Digital Event Strategist Certificate and most recently awarded a Top40 Under 40 by Connect Meetings.

Mahoganey Jones
Owner & Founder, Event Specialists
Meredith Low
Principal Consultant, Meredith Low Consulting

Meredith Low (BA, MBA, CAE) provides guidance for the strategic choices and actions that helps forward-thinking associations create value. She conducts quantitative and qualitative research and uses sophisticated analysis, working with association leadership to develop evidence-based strategies – and the robust tactical plans that make them real. Her background includes strategy consulting across levels and sectors, from Fortune 500 companies to grassroots organizations. Meredith can be found at meredithlow.com and @lowmeredith.

Meredith Low
Principal Consultant, Meredith Low Consulting
Louis Moubarak
Executive Director, Public Relations Without Borders

A values-based executive with a practical, “make-things-happen” approach, Moubarak always brings vision, experience and a passionate commitment to his challenging mandates. A calm, determined focus on priorities and results, combined with sound judgment and superior interpersonal skills, enables him to meet his objectives and those of the organizations he serves.

A 20-year veteran of the international public affairs management field, Moubarak’s work prior to Public Relations without Borders allowed him to acquire knowledge and experience in international cooperation and program development, as well as valuable experience working with the Canadian government apparatus, funding agencies and political community – relationships and experiences which he has successfully leveraged at Canada World Youth.

Louis Moubarak
Executive Director, Public Relations Without Borders
Heather Reid
Founder & CEO, Planner Protect

Heather Reid is the Founder and CEO of Planner Protect Incorporated. Planner Protect brings together Heather’s 24+ years of expertise as an entrepreneurial event and conference planner, and her unique zeal for digging deep into the language and intricacies of venue contracts! With more than 300 venue contracts reviewed and over $8 million savings in avoided risks recorded for clients - Planner Protect has quickly become the Canadian go-to resource for venue contract education and negotiation support in the events industry.

Heather Reid
Founder & CEO, Planner Protect
Kristy Sadler
CMO, EventMobi

Kristy Sadler is CMO of EventMobi, a Toronto based Event Technology company. With over 20 years of experience growing marketing teams and programs, Kristy has lead the development of successful content marketing programs for several companies. She also has a background in events. Kristy spent 7 years involved with User Conferences during her time at Intelex.

Kristy Sadler
CMO, EventMobi
Bettyanne Sherrer, CMP, CMM
Principal of ProPlan Conferences & Events

For over 20 years, ProPlan has provided full service strategic design and event management to the Corporate, Association and Non-Profit/Charitable sectors. Bettyanne has also served as the planner of record for the MPI Global Foundation, MPI Foundation Canada (Meeting Professionals International) and the BEICC (Business Events Coalition of Canada) now known as MMBC (Meetings Mean Business Canada).

A strong proponent of the Events Industry, Bettyanne has volunteered on many committees, is the current co-chair of the MiET (Meetings Industry Euchre Tournament to benefit Princess Margaret Foundation) and is a Past President of CanSPEP (Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners).

Bettyanne was recognized in 2010 as the inaugural recipient of the CanSPEP Joy Fox Award for Innovation, in 2017 as the inaugural recipient of the CanSPEP President’s Award and she is the M&IT 2013 Hall of Fame Industry Planner inductee.

Bettyanne Sherrer, CMP, CMM
Principal of ProPlan Conferences & Events
Perry Tsergas
President + CEO, spark*advocacy

Perry Tsergas
President + CEO, spark*advocacy
Anthony Vade
Experience Architect

For the last 20 years, Anthony has been helping event stakeholders use technology to make tangible connections with their attendees.
Anthony’s consultative and collaborative approach to customer engagement has resulted in thousands of successful events traversing four continents.
He has contributed to many award-winning productions both in live events and the film industry. He has been actively involved with ILEA and MPI on a local and national level and is well known for his advocacy and support of the entire live event industry. He has been awarded Event Professional of the Year by ILEA Vancouver and received the Presidents Choice Award from MPI British Columbia Chapter.
A Tech Nerd at heart he loves to talk about how our lives are now intrinsically linked by technology. He believes that events, meetings and experiential activations are only successful when produced a well-aligned team. He believes that technology is important, but the right analysis, design and execution are fundamental. With that winning combination, smart technology can create experiences that, not only, connect and deliver the key messages, but also achieve the event stakeholder’s business objectives.

Anthony Vade
Experience Architect
Ryan Young
Associate Director of Sales, Brookstreet Hotel

Ryan Young is one of the brain child’s behind ‘the EVENT’, a joint MPI Chapter education initiative that focuses on new technology, event design, and fun learning formats. He also sits on the MPI Ottawa Chapter Board of Directors as the Immediate Past President. His interest in creative events goes back to his days with the Banff Centre, an Art Institute and Conference Centre in Banff Alberta, where he was first introduced to the concept of Meeting Architecture. If you ever want to talk disruption or innovation in the meeting industry, he’s all ears.

Ryan Young
Associate Director of Sales, Brookstreet Hotel

Event Schedule

The Preliminary Program is NOW Here! Check back often for updates.

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Pre-Event Reception

Hosted by Greenfield Services

Come meet our speakers, partners and fellow association colleagues and start engaging early!

Enjoy a hearty first meal of the day, including gluten-free and vegan options.

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Get oriented and up to speed about the Forum's ``rules of engagement`` and new engagement features such as the Ah-Ha! Wall. Get clear about your intentions and jump right into the conversation!

Meredith Low
Principal Consultant, Meredith Low Consulting

Does everyone in your association understand your strategy?

Does everyone – staff and volunteers – know how their work connects to the overall strategy?

Do you adapt your strategic plan based on what you learn as you work with it?

Strategy isn’t a document, or a single event. It isn’t just for the board and the senior management. In this session, we will share ways for associations to weave their strategies into the everyday life of an association.

10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

You can choose to continue the strategy conversation, or take a well-deserved break!

David Coletto & Perry Tsergas

Consider this: In 2006, the five largest public trading companies in the world were ExxonMobil, General Electric, Microsoft, Citibank, and British Petroleum. At the start of 2018, the five largest were Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook. What does this have to do with advocacy today? Everything.

Join Abacus Data CEO David Coletto, and spark*advocacy President & CEO Perry Tsergas, as they share a story about how technological and generational change is radically impacting public affairs, and how you and your association can evolve and adapt your advocacy efforts.

How do you engage political leaders in the age of social media? How do you frame issues in a world increasingly dominated by millennials? And how can even the smallest associations punch above their weight and make an impact in today's distracted, digitally saturated environment? You won't want to miss two of Canada's leading next-generational public affairs leaders share their engaging, data-filled story about the shift in how to approach public affairs.

12:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Healthy food & lively conversation!

How does technology, the design of a room and a venue engage attendees? Join us for a panel and find out!

Jeff Horne & Joanne Charlebois

In the world we live in today, every business is impacted by the ever-changing digital technology landscape. There are so many trends and buzzwords that association executives may hear or read about: cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, software as a service.

As an association leader, how do you make sense of it all? And, most importantly, how can you effectively leverage technology to increase engagement and retention with your membership?

Joanne Charlebois, CEO of Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC), and Jeff Horne, Founder & CEO of Wicket, will walk participants through the amazing transformation in software that has occurred in the past several years. You’ll learn first-hand about how SAC has adopted a modern approach to technology, and is leveraging a suite of software to better serve their membership, increase engagement, and provide internal efficiencies for their staff.

You’ll walk away with a high level understanding of how modern technology works, and the opportunity that it presents. We’ll talk about the pitfalls of the traditional approach to membership software that has been around for decades, and how you can make choices now that will ensure your association is future proofed by choosing a technology strategy focused on flexibility.

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Grab a quick refreshment and join us for the final session of the day!

3:45 PM - 4:45 PM

Participants have told us they want to MORE ``real-life`` solutions from their peers. We continue to be happy to oblige.

In this session we have two association executives step into the ``heart seat`` and tell us about their challenges.

Through a ``clarity council`` approach, as a group we'll help each volunteer to explore different strategies and brainstorm solutions. It's peer-to-peer learning in action!

Sponsored by Via Rail Canada

Join us to celebrate the end of the first day, and 5 installments of Engaging Associations!

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Get Your Fuel Breakfast

More healthy, tasty food to start the day.

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

What were your big takeaways from Day 1?

A follow-up on issues and key discussion points.

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Back by popular demand, this ``TED-Style`` format lets you try before you buy...

Hear from 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 include:

-- Costly Case Studies: Venue Contract Clauses You Need to Know!
-- Adventures in Podcasting
-- Musically Engaged: Turning your Membership into a Fanbase
-- Technology Design Refresh
-- Succession Planning for the Modern Association

During the break, be prepared to pick two of the five sessions for deeper dives before lunch!

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM

On your way to the next session grab a snack & go!

Heather Reid
Founder & CEO, Planner Protect

Can you imagine owing $92,000 for a conference that was never held? Could you sustain a $10,000+ hit because your conference venue cancelled your contract and you weren’t protected? Would you be surprised to receive a $13,000 invoice for attrition when the hotel was sold out? Join in the conversation of this presentation as Heather Reid presents Canadian case studies of associations’ distressing and costly oversights when negotiating their conference and/or meeting venue contracts. This presentation will identify the key contract clauses involving logistical and financial risks to your association – as well as identify new Canadian resources available to association professionals.

Michael Grant & Cathy Bouwers
Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science

Are you looking to enhance engagement and build a greater sense of community? If so, you might consider adding podcasting to your member engagement toolbox. Learn from one association’s adventure into the world of podcasting. This presentation will give you a frank and honest look at what it took to bring a podcast series to life, the unexpected challenges encountered, and lessons learned along the way. Podcasting might be the secret to a more personal and intimate relationship with your members, or a giant sucking hole of time and energy that will make your communications team stress-eat far too much cake. Come find out which one.

Joel Elliott
Songwriter & Bandmaster

Music, like any art form, often speaks for itself. The problem is getting people to stop and listen.

In our constantly-connected reality, getting your group some attention is daunting. Folks are busy, and the internet gives them a literal world of communities to interact with. So what makes your association so special? How can you navigate the clutter to find and foster your own lifelong fans?

Musicians struggle with the same question many small organizations do: How can we connect with the folks who are the most interested in listening? Just like potential fans, potential members are out there! But getting their attention (and keeping it!) isn’t as easy as tossing up a post on the socials. Before you try to sell them anything, you must first try to build their trust.

Join Joel (Jumpin’ Joel Flash) Elliott as he dons his corporate hat and shows you how with just a few simple ideas, you can build and foster a more engaged, more active, and more vocally supportive membership. Building on his accidental decade of networking experience, Joel will explore the human side of community building, and how by ditching the templates, you can slowly turn your quiet membership into a roaring fanbase.

This is not Marketing 101! In this high-energy session, Joel will explain:
- How humans are all the same, while also completely different in every way
- Why you can’t build a fan without first building a relationship
- Always On Stage: Why every single message is an important one
- Always Be Creating: The ABC’s of relevancy
- How to foster a ‘Community over Competition’ mindset
- Why networking is the single biggest key to your success (duh)
- And much more!

Technology evolves at a rapid pace. As new solutions come to the market it can be hard to understand where to invest your association budget. Key to effective return on investment is understanding how technology design and solutions can impact your event stakeholder objectives.

This session will provide a quick overview of how various methodologies and principles like Event Model Generation, Design Thinking and Lean can be applied when choose technology solutions and designs.

Once event owners are informed regarding the important objectives, technology solutions can be applied to achieve fiscally responsible outcomes. But what if the association industry lacks obvious solutions in its traditional event technology arsenal? In the second part of this session we will present technology solutions and design applications that can borrowed and adapted from other segments of the events and experiential marketing industries. With smart adaption and intentional design choices, event owners can generate great return on investment while creating positive and memorable event experiences.

When do you start talking to the Board of Directors about a succession plan for the Executive Director/CEO?

When does the team internally needs to start having conversations about replacing senior positions?

Join this session to have an honest discussion about these, and work on figuring out which type of handover (the quick, or the longer transition) would be best for you.

Of course, stay for the best practices on how to conduct the search!

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Keep that energy up!

Heather Reid
Founder & CEO, Planner Protect

Can you imagine owing $92,000 for a conference that was never held? Could you sustain a $10,000+ hit because your conference venue cancelled your contract and you weren’t protected? Would you be surprised to receive a $13,000 invoice for attrition when the hotel was sold out? Join in the conversation of this presentation as Heather Reid presents Canadian case studies of associations’ distressing and costly oversights when negotiating their conference and/or meeting venue contracts. This presentation will identify the key contract clauses involving logistical and financial risks to your association – as well as identify new Canadian resources available to association professionals.

Michael Grant & Cathy Bouwers
Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science

Are you looking to enhance engagement and build a greater sense of community? If so, you might consider adding podcasting to your member engagement toolbox. Learn from one association’s adventure into the world of podcasting. This presentation will give you a frank and honest look at what it took to bring a podcast series to life, the unexpected challenges encountered, and lessons learned along the way. Podcasting might be the secret to a more personal and intimate relationship with your members, or a giant sucking hole of time and energy that will make your communications team stress-eat far too much cake. Come find out which one.

Joel Elliott
Songwriter & Bandmaster

Music, like any art form, often speaks for itself. The problem is getting people to stop and listen.

In our constantly-connected reality, getting your group some attention is daunting. Folks are busy, and the internet gives them a literal world of communities to interact with. So what makes your association so special? How can you navigate the clutter to find and foster your own lifelong fans?

Musicians struggle with the same question many small organizations do: How can we connect with the folks who are the most interested in listening? Just like potential fans, potential members are out there! But getting their attention (and keeping it!) isn’t as easy as tossing up a post on the socials. Before you try to sell them anything, you must first try to build their trust.

Join Joel (Jumpin’ Joel Flash) Elliott as he dons his corporate hat and shows you how with just a few simple ideas, you can build and foster a more engaged, more active, and more vocally supportive membership. Building on his accidental decade of networking experience, Joel will explore the human side of community building, and how by ditching the templates, you can slowly turn your quiet membership into a roaring fanbase.

This is not Marketing 101! In this high-energy session, Joel will explain:
- How humans are all the same, while also completely different in every way
- Why you can’t build a fan without first building a relationship
- Always On Stage: Why every single message is an important one
- Always Be Creating: The ABC’s of relevancy
- How to foster a ‘Community over Competition’ mindset
- Why networking is the single biggest key to your success (duh)
- And much more!

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

You've worked hard this morning and deserve more yummy food!

We all need advice at times. We have encouraged you to sign up for topics of interest to discuss challenges you may be facing, and hope you did so!

Join your group now to chat further about what has worked, and what has not in these topic areas! Meet new people, and ideally, get to know them enough to be able to call on them for advice when you are back in the office!

Associations exist to innovate and change their industry for the better.

Rather than close the Engaging Associations Forum with a keynote speaker, we wanted to take this opportunity to create an open space for all involved to have an honest dialogue about what we see as challenges, threats and opportunities.

As associations, we all need to learn from and lean on each other. Lets crowdsource ideas on how to thrive and survive for years to come

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Time to wrap-up, share lessons learned and key takeaways.

Plan to stay till the end to get the BEST takeaways...and win prizes!

Calling ALL Association & NFP Executives

Association suppliers: Please note, the Engaging Associations Forum is for Association and NFP executives only. If the not-for-profit sector is one that you sell to, you may be able to attend as a Partner. Please contact us for details.

The Stakeholder
Regular Registration Fee
$369
What it includes:
Pre-Forum Reception
Education Sessions July 18-20, 2018
All Scheduled Meals and Breaks
Time to Collaborate, Network & Create Change
Birds of a Feather Dinner Ticket Extra ($69)

Blog

What you need to know about the Engaging Associations Forum!

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out the FAQs to find the answers to common questions. Can't find your question answered here? Contact us.

When will the conference take place?

The 2018 Engaging Associations Forum will take place July 18-20, 2018.

On July 18, 2018, participants are invited to a pre-Forum Event Reception, where you can meet and start networking with fellow participants, speakers and partners!

July 19, 2018 features a full day of innovative education and meeting design.  We will close out the day with our traditional reception, but this year we will raise the bar to celebrate our 5th anniversary!

For the evening, association executives may join us for the Birds of a Feather Dinner, for an extra fee, or by invitation.

Returning for our final day, July 20, 2018 we will have another full day of innovative education & meeting design, and close out with our wrap up session and our prize draws!

What are the registration rates?

Registration rates are simple and are listed in the pricing section of the website.  Starting at $185 (depending on when you register) participants will have access to all in-person events, with the exception of the Birds of a Feather Dinner, at an additional cost ($69).

Are suppliers allowed to attend?

Suppliers may attend the Engaging Associations Forum, provided they become a partner of the event.  Please contact us for partnership details.

What can I expect?

It’s simple – a unique experience.  We believe in:

  • Creating an event that enables maximum interaction between participants; because hearing about experiences, regardless of whether they are successes or failures, offer valuable lessons.
  • Securing speakers and facilitators who are forward-thinking and challenge us to do better.
  • Delivering meetings in well-designed, aesthetically pleasing environments. Meeting design is a great facilitator of human relationships. People will learn, connect, and interact more genuinely when their environment allows them to be at ease.
  • Making learning, exchanging and co-creating FUN.

How can I reserve a hotel room?

Guests of the Engaging Associations Forum can reserve a room at the Brookstreet Hotel by using the following booking link: https://book.passkey.com/gt/216252839?gtid=a5d21e93f6875bcf7383196bd00f2f76

If you have questions or challenges, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Event location

Here, you will find directions to the conference venue. More space to meet and network!

JOIN US

Brookstreet Hotel
525 Legget Drive, Ottawa, ON K2K 2W2
Block your room here.

EMAIL US

engagingassociations@greenfield-services.ca

CALL US

613-288-4517