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IMEX Association Day programme announced

New education content devised and delivered by association executives for association executives.

With the international, award-winning meetings, incentive travel and events industry trade show, IMEX in Frankfurt, just two months away, the IMEX Group has announced the full education line-up for its hallmark Association Day, which takes place at the Messe Frankfurt Congress Center on Monday 20th May.

This year’s programme has been devised in consultation with association executives, many of whom have attended IMEX Association Day in the past. The result is a day of professional education, discussion and networking that addresses association professionals’ most important issues from the association perspective – focussing on case studies and group discussion. The sessions also take the overarching theme of ‘innovation’ for the first time.

Rich and varied – 10 seminars across 3 tracks
Following a networking lunch, the 300 delegates will have a choice of 10 education sessions which take place across three separate tracks to reflect the differing roles and responsibilities of the Association Day audience: ‘Executive’ (focusing on strategic development issues); ‘operations’ (focusing on logistical issues) and ‘meetings’, which will deal with implementation and delivery challenges. Speakers have been drawn from a diverse group of association executives, as well as reflecting the global nature of the audience.

The first executive track session will see Willis Turner CAE CME CSE, CEO, of Sales & Marketing Executives International, Inc. discussing “The quest for relevance: Free is a business model”. Turner will address the thorny issues of member subscription rates and attrition, long-term value and ‘fear’ of competition. Following him will be Carla Nagel, Director of the Neuromarketing Science & Business Association, who will explain how she developed a strategy for a new field by taking advantage of her online skills and open-minded attitude. Since she is not an association manager by experience, Nagel’s session is set to provide a fresh take on “How to develop an association in the digital age.”

In the first operations track of the day, Kevin Novak, Vice President of New Business Development and Digital Strategies for the American Institute of Architects (AIA), will share his expertise on “Virtualizing and Hybridizing your Events for Greater Impact and Participation.” At the same time “Innovative Ideas for Growing an Association” will be presented by Ajay Kakar, President Elect and Vice President of the Indian Academy of Aesthetic and Cosmetic Dentistry and International Academy of Periodontology.

Lady Gaga’s intriguing contribution
Elsewhere in the afternoon’s intensive programme, other sessions will include: “Marketing like Lady Gaga”, by Sheri Jacobs, CAE, President & CEO of Avenue M Group (an ASAE devised session); “Sustainability and Growth of Congresses in Difficult Times” by Davi Kaur of the ECCO European CanCer Association and, in the meetings track, “How to use different models for evaluating your event”, which will be moderated by Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA. Also in the meetings track, William Thomson, Founder of Gallus Events and Jo Lewis, Sponsorship Manager for The British Dietetic Association (BDA), will co-present a case study on how a new client brief – “create. excite. innovate” – generated a completely different approach to the association’s events. The meetings track rounds off with Sherrif Karamat, CAE, and Chief Operating Officer of PCMA, giving his perspective on “Innovative Delivery in Meetings and Events.”

Speaking about the quality of this year’s Association Day programme, IMEX Group CEO, Carina Bauer, explains: “I am delighted that, especially over the past two years, we have been able to devote new resources and fresh direction to Association Day, making it an even more valuable part of our extensive education offering for the show. The only way for the sector to flourish and grow is through empowering and educating those who work inside it. IMEX is extremely pleased to be part of this ongoing effort by providing a single day of free professional education of the highest quality, and also bringing together association executives for important networking and relationship building.”

15 round-tables are icing on the cake
The 2013 Association Day will finish off with a choice of 15 facilitated round-table discussions, including: ‘Entering New Markets: Keys to Success’; ‘Membership Recruitment and/or Retention Tactics’; ‘Social Media & Viral Marketing’; ‘Conference VAT’ and ‘The art of successful bidding.’ These small facilitated group discussions also act as a networking opportunity, in addition to the networking breaks scheduled during the day.

Finally, and as tradition now has it, Association Day will end in a ‘doors open’ evening reception at The Westin, which is open to IMEX exhibitors who are also members of the organising associations. This allows suppliers the chance to meet, network and do business with the association buyers who attended the earlier event.

Participation in the IMEX Association Day is either via the show’s hosted buyer programme or as a non-hosted buyer and is exclusive to association executives, allowing for more open and honest discussion.

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