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3rd edition of IMEX America gearing up with association focus

Smart Monday’s ‘conference within a conference’

With the third edition of IMEX America on the horizon, the trade show’s organizers have announced program details for Association Focus, its pre-show ‘conference within a conference’ uniquely dedicated to professional development and ‘hot topic’ education for association meeting planners and other association executives. The event is sponsored by Sands Meetings.

The free educational event, which is organized in active partnership with ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, PCMA and ICCA, takes place as part of IMEX America’s flagship education day, ‘Smart Monday’ on Oct. 14, which is powered by MPI and takes place one day prior to the three-day trade show.

The Association Focus program features each of the three leading industry associations responsible for designing and delivering one of three tracks of content: Executive (ASAE); Global (ICCA) and Meetings (PCMA). This allows association executives attending to tailor their education experience to match their individual needs, experience, interest levels, and current & future organizational goals.

Following a networking lunch, the event program will kick off with a keynote address, sponsored by Puerta Vallarta, by “people-centric business expert”, Tim Sanders. Sanders is a former Yahoo! executive, corporate consultant and bestselling author of Love Is the Killer App, The Likeability Factor, and Saving the World at Work.

Attendees will then choose between the three tracked sessions. In the executive track, “Culture Change: Channelling Your Resources for Greater ROI,” will be led by Janice R. Lachance, CEO of the Special Libraries Association and Susan Robertson, Executive Vice President of ASAE and President of the ASAE Foundation. The pair will share practical insights and guidance on rethinking how decisions are made in terms of the processes, products, and services that keep associations relevant.  The session will also focus on how to develop new organizational cultures that engender more flexibility. It will also give a glimpse into ASAE’s brand new Product Development Process.

In the concurrent global track, ICCA will be leading two “wisdom of crowds,” round table sessions to extract and share expertise on the themes “International Meetings are from Mars, Domestic Meetings are from Venus,” and “Going Global: Dangers, Risks, Problems, Challenges and Other Worries that Keep You Up at Night.”

“In today’s increasingly globalized world and to keep up with the resulting opportunities and challenges facing their members, US associations need to adopt an international mindset wherever they hold their meetings.  Our sessions will explore some of the fundamental ways international meetings differ from US domestic meetings and discuss implications for venue and destination selection, marketing, education content delivery, networking and risk management,” said Martin Sirk, ICCA CEO. “Aimed at being highly interactive, we’ll also be asking our audiences to share their successes and failures, objectives and fears -- and we’ll mix in perspectives from different regions of the world to generate a host of fresh ideas on how to deliver the most effective international events.”

In the PCMA meetings track, delivered by Katie Callahan-Giobbi of Minding Your Business, attendees will be given “3 Key Steps to Personalize Your Attendees Experience, Powered by PCMA.”

Later in the afternoon the Association Focus program offers delegates a choice of over 8 round-table discussions across all three tracks.  The facilitated group discussions will also be organized by track, with topics including “Strategic Alliances & the Role of Governments in Global Expansion”; “Growing globally – Keys to Success”; “Building Partnerships in New Markets”; “Hybrid and Virtual Conferences – New Learning Formats”; and “Using Social Media and Viral Marketing to Promote your Event”.

Come 6pm all Association Focus buyers will attend the popular Association Evening reception sponsored by Sands Meetings to meet and network with exhibitors and association partners. The reception provides a friendly and informal setting for many hundreds of industry professionals to start the business week with purpose.

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