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10 Reasons to Attend ISAE's 2016 Annual Convention

Posted by Travis Skodack on May 18, 2016 12:00:00 PM

  1. The Location

    The Horseshoe Southern Indiana Hotel and Casino boasts plenty of things to do at a great location. You name it…great restaurants, bars, a full casino, golf course, pool and a spa! If you’re looking to enjoy yourself at the 2016 ISAE Annual Convention July 18–20, the location offers something for everyone.

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Topics: Conferences, Associations, events, Annual Convention

Conference Swag Ideas Your Attendees Will Remember

Posted by Kim Paugh, CAE on May 11, 2016 12:00:00 PM

How does your organization decide what this year’s conference swag item will be? Do you sit down with your conference committee and brainstorm ideas? Do you rotate through a list of the same items or order another bag, pen or padfolio? Swag is great advertising for your organization and your conference. Not thinking strategically about your giveaway items is equivalent to not having a marketing plan for your conference. Before you order your conference tchotchkes, read through these helpful tips and swag ideas to give your attendees an item that will represent your organization, event and goals.

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Topics: Conferences, Event Planning, events, giveaway items

Encourage Health and Wellness at Your Meetings

Posted by Kerri Begley, CMP, IOM on Dec 10, 2014 12:00:00 PM

As a meeting professional, I try to provide ways to energize our meeting attendees and offer a memorable experience. Too often I find myself solely focusing on the educational content, finding the best speakers and striving to hit our revenue goals. Those are all key to the success of our meetings, but providing our attendees with opportunities to meet new people, eat well and move more will not only energize them, but will also foster a positive connection with our organization and create an experience they are sure to remember.

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Topics: Meetings, Conferences, Event Planning, Planning

How to Pay for High-Quality Conference Speakers

Posted by Michael Reynolds on Oct 29, 2014 12:00:00 PM

Conferences can be a great way to bring people together, create a space for networking and deliver valuable education.

Most events have speakers that present educational sessions to help attendees learn new skills and get inspiration. These can be keynote and/or session speakers and as an event organizer, your goal is to provide as much value as possible to your attendees so they keep coming back.

In order to do this, you need great speakers. In order to get great speakers, you need to pay them.

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Topics: Conferences, Event Planning, events, speakers

[New eBook] Mobile Event App Best Practices Brief

Posted by ISAE on Oct 15, 2014 1:17:00 PM

Supporting your annual conference and events with a mobile event app will not only help attendees during events, but can aid in preparing beforehand and help create lasting connections afterwards.

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Topics: Conferences, Mobile, Event Planning, digital technology

ASAE 2014 Convention Highlights

Posted by Katherine Mandusic Finley, Ph.D., CAE, CFRE, CMP on Sep 10, 2014 10:00:00 AM


When I attend the ASAE annual meeting, I always assume I will garner a few new ideas that will ultimately result in either cost savings or revenue that will cover my expenses for the meeting. This year, I wasn’t disappointed and in fact attended several sessions that hopefully will result in more efficient association operations and more effective leadership.

Unfortunately, ASAE offers so many sessions so it is difficult to attend all of them. I highlighted a few of the sessions that were particularly interesting including:

  • “Give and Take” presented by Adam Grant
  • “Seven Steps to Develop Your Association’s Value Proposition” presented by Melynn Sight
  • “The True Cost of Free” presented by Rafi Mohammed
  • “Nimble Decision Making: Help Board Leaders Make Better, Timelier Decisions” presented by Elaine La Chappelle and Bill Shepherd of the Ontario Real Estate Association
  • “Five Important Trends in Membership” presented by Sheri Jacobs

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Topics: Conferences, Association, Learning, Associations

[New eBook] Star Award Winners: Association Management Case Studies

Posted by Katherine Mandusic Finley, Ph.D., CAE, CFRE, CMP on Jun 25, 2014 2:46:00 PM

In association management, we often get our best ideas from others. 

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Topics: Meetings, Conferences, Association, Members, Marketing, Event Planning, Success, Learning, Planning

New ideas: Trying new things to keep conference attendees interested and engaged

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Sep 18, 2013 11:40:00 AM

One of the challenges that face association meeting planners today are reduced travel budgets and the challenge to entice people to their conference instead of seeking out educational opportunities closer to home or online. One way to help combat the problem is to make sure that your conference is a forum for innovative ideas and sessions. Using feedback we received as well as new ideas that we thought would make the conference more successful, the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) staff added five new features to the 2013 SNEB Annual Conference.
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Topics: Conferences

The #ISAE2013 Annual Convention Recap Tweet Style

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Aug 1, 2013 12:18:00 PM

There sure was a lot to tweet about at the 2013 ISAE Annual Convention this past July in Bloomington, Indiana where over 170 association professionals gathered for two full days of networking and education. The #ISAE2013 hashtag received plenty of use with shares and check-ins at some of the convention’s famous Bloomington venues. 

The excitement builds (Pre-Convention): Attendees were not shying away from pre-tweeting the event to show their excitement. From early promotions of the new schedule, to the anticipation of the “Bloomington experience” there was a lot to look forward to.

A warm welcome to Bloomington: The welcome party/reception at Nick’s English Hut was one of the first informal events to kick off convention. The Visit Bloomington staff welcomed over 50 early arrivers to the city.


Giving back to the Bloomington community (Day 1): The first full day of convention brought in valuable education with two deep dive sessions- one on membership engagement and a branding session with Willow Marketing. To follow, convention goers could opt to play golf at the new 9-hole outing…

or attend the community service project at Teacher’s Warehouse where over 20 attendees volunteered their time.

A reception anyone? The New Member, CAE and Opening Reception wrapped up the first full day of #ISAE2013.


It’s all about education and networking (Day 2):  The 20+ exhibitors were early to set up shop before a morning of education.

Attendees settled down into great education with keynotes by Caroline Dowd-Higgens and Dave Stevens. The takeaways were endless.

There were also nine different breakout sessions offered throughout the day.






Lunchtime Learning: During the interactive lunch with special interest group (SIG) tables attendees could sit with like professionals to share their bits of knowledge (and possibly their dessert).

Closing out convention: By the end of the full day of education, networking breaks, and lunch, attendees were sticking around to hear from a panel of CEO’s with their take on current trends in the industry.




All good things must come to an end: While the staff celebrated an end to another successsful year with record breaking attendance, others were able to enjoy all the swag that attendees brought home.

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Topics: Social Media, Conferences

What Attendees Experienced at the ISAE 2013 Convention

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Jul 31, 2013 1:03:00 PM

What brought camaraderie, professional development, golf and community service together for one spectacular event this past month? The 2013 ISAE Annual Convention brought a full two days of excitement to Bloomington, Indiana with over 170 in attendance from July 16-18. Association professionals from around the state got the deluxe city tour during their stay with stops at famous locations like: Nick’s English Hut, Cascades Golf Course, FARMBloomington, Uptown Café, Oliver Winery, The Tap and more. The great education and array of unique event spaces created a memorable experience for many attendees while the staff celebrated a new record for out-of-town event attendance in over five years.

So, why was the event so successful this year? For starters, the convention saw a full makeover with the addition of a new 9-hole golf outing, bonus education offering with registration, CEO brunch and CEO panel industry update, as well as a community service project benefiting the teachers in the community.

Several convention goers commented with great feedback regarding the event and provided summaries of their experiences in the different sessions and networking events.

Energetic Camaraderie

By Mary Ann Passi, CAE- Corporate Housing Providers Association

Energetic Camaraderie- That sums up my recent experience at the ISAE convention in Bloomington, IN. Whether you golfed (I didn’t!) or volunteered at the Teacher’s Warehouse (I did!), every aspect of the event had a great vibe and created shared experiences among colleagues. From a warm welcome at registration, easy to use app and reminders, to the white boards asking us about best vacations and books, someone carefully planned for us to have fun while networking and learning.

Teacher’s Warehouse

A non-profit staffed entirely by volunteers, this was a treasure warehouse of school supplies – new and gently used. Why were we there? To get stuff organized and set up so teachers could come in and quickly find what they need – at no cost. Most of us began as strangers. After folding cloth, shelving office products, and magically transforming boxes of ‘stuff’ into organized sections of school supplies, we came out of the shared experience as colleagues. Together, with many hands and a little time, we made a difference and ‘paid forward’ to impact teachers that in turn, impact children and teach them to give back somehow in the future. It was a great kickoff to several days together – I was high-fiving fellow volunteers the rest of the week when we passed each other in the hallways.

Resilient Association Executive Breakout Session

We’re often ‘forced’ to be flexible but are we resilient? This session focused on the need for personal energy. With our organizations, we routinely make professional goals, staying focused on achieving tangible outcomes. Dr. Marc Tinsley helped us consider our daily activities from a different perspective. Are we achieving professionally at the expense of our health personally? What makes us good execs can undermine our personal health. Dr. Tinsley provided tips to focus some of our drive into taking care of ourselves – as being healthy will allow us to be better professionals, resilient in mind and body. This resilience helps us better serve our organizations. We left with suggestions on ways to take small steps that will eventually have a big impact both on ourselves and those around us.

Presentation & Facilitation Skills Breakout

Here, high energy and camaraderie crescendo-ed! With a former SWAT negotiator turned curriculum/organizational consultant, John ‘Biff’ Holloway of Growth Guiders challenged us to articulate differences between presenters and facilitator s. This fast-paced session flew as we moved around the room, creating a dynamic experience together – one that we will try to emulate with our own organizations. We circled the perimeter of the room, offering input on flipcharts set in 2-minute increments, ending with Biff recapping our shared knowledge. We then moved into a Knowledge Café setting (aka World Café), a small group learning community. Like Vegas, what we discussed at the table, stayed at the table. We even had playing cards that divvied up the group by suit! This session ended with several shared experiences from which to learn and examples of different room sets that already has me rethinking our (boring) annual conference room sets.

At one event over two days, I toasted my attorney at a winery, sorted and color-coded binders for teachers-in-need, met new colleagues and brainstormed outside of my usual ‘circle’. What was the end goal of this energetic camaraderie? Coming back to my day job refreshed. Win/win/win! Where else but at ISAE?

Afternoon Keynote: 7 Ways Your Association Communications are Killing Your Membership Value Proposition

By: Kim Paugh, CAE- AMOA National Dart Association

If this title doesn’t get your attention, I don’t know what will. Dave Stevens definitely delivered during his keynote lunch session at the ISAE Convention this year! Dave, a former Proctor & Gamble marketing executive and current owner of Stevens & Stevens Marketing and Communication Services, gave attendees simple ways to improve their member communications. Dave advocated keeping your organization’s value proposition at the center of EVERY association communication. He defined the value proposition in simple terms: why THEY care + proof you’re not lying. He also pointed out that many associations are afraid to “make a claim” about what they can do for the member and that you have to fearlessly tell your members what you do for them (make them $, advance their career, connect them to new business). Finally, Dave reminded us that the average person’s attention span (8 seconds) is scientifically proven to be less than a goldfish (9 seconds) so you have to get your message out there fast. Great reminders!

Stay tuned for more post-convention news including all event photos and the event recap from Twitter!

About Sarah Rosenberger

Sarah is a marketing and communication professional for Raybourn Group International (RGI), an Indianapolis based accredited Association Management Company (AMC) who manages over 15 national and international associations. Currently, Sarah serves as the Director of Sponsorship for the Indianapolis Social Media (IndySM) Executive Board in addition to her responsibilities as the Communication, Marketing and Membership Coordinator for the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE). Sarah is also affiliated with the Indiana Junior Chamber (JCI Indianapolis), along with the American Marketing Association-Indiana Chapter. You can follow Sarah on twitter @SarahIndyGal.
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Topics: Conferences

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