The Idea EnthusiastThe Idea Enthusiast

Category : Events

By Greg Roth

4 recommended sessions at ACCE17 Day One

From 2002-2006, I was a communications and membership staffer at the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Among other things, I ran Chamber Executive magazine (seeing it through the redesign, which it still uses today), managing the councils and divisions, overseeing the launch of the Ford Fellowship program, and, my favorite, scripting the comedy and drama that is the mainstage of the ACCE Annual Convention. I have fond memories of those events and the cities they were in.

Here are 4 sessions I recommend going to on Day 1 of ACCE 2017 in Nashville, where I just was last week (visit LA Jackson for the rooftop views).

MONDAY, July 17

10–11:15 a.m: Hello, World. Meet Brooklyn
Andrew Hoan, President & CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (N.Y.)

I don’t know Andrew, because he wasn’t at the chamber back when our paths would have crossed. “Brooklyn” the branding term, is something bandied about in every city that wants a cool, up and coming neighborhood, such as East Nashville, which, when I was there last week, was described to me multiple times as “the Brooklyn of Nashville”. Brooklyn the chamber of commerce, is the largest in NYC, for good reason, it’s growth has been historic in the past 20 years. As a result, the hip factor is actually a bit past it’s heyday, if you ask New Yorkers anyway. Would love to hear Andrew’s take on this progression.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Leaders as Facilitators
Dave Adkisson, CCE, President & CEO, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

If you buy into the concept of living legend – someone who has accomplished a ton and is still going strong – David Adkisson is that guy for the chamber business. He was a pioneer in chamber benchmarking when I was at ACCE, then spearheaded the Public Safety Performance Project partnership with Pew, which I managed as a consultant to both orgs. His “leader as facilitator” session is something all industries are seeing the wisdom of. Every successful leader knows how to seamlessly weave in a facilitator skillset.

2:30–3:45 pm: Your Chamber is a Community Thought Leader
Dr. Garrett Harper, Vice President, The Research Center, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
Rebecca West, Director of Applied Research, The Research Center, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

We know the chamber paradigm changed years ago, from its too-often role of being a club to a true driving force, beyond convening other leaders. The Nashville Chamber has always been a strong organization and a great ACCE member. As someone who teaches the skills to translate ideas into reality, this topic and session is the one most up my alley. It’s also a chance for the hosts to put their city’s current transformation into context.

4–5 pm: Recruiting for the Long Run
Doug Holman, Partner, Holman Brothers Nonprofit Solutions

Not only is Doug one of the best friends I ever had in the chamber business, he’s also both a smart guy and a fun guy. Any session by him is always insightful, while feeling like you are talking with a guy you could hang out with all night. His approach to targeting the “right” type of members should be a good discussion about taking the long view in your recruitment efforts.

If you go, let me know what you think on Twitter using #ACCE17 or in the comments below.

By Greg Roth

My 11 Favorite Tweets from ASAE’s 2017 Great Ideas Conference

ASAE’s Great Ideas Conference just wrapped up yesterday in Orlando. This annual event, which usually has roughly 1,000 attendees, has become the “thought leadership” conference for association staff. It takes a much more intentional “what’s next” approach the Annual Meeting or the membership marketing etc conference.

Last year, I spoke at Great Ideas; this year, I followed along online. From what I could glean, I think the content was stronger this year than in 2016, which is a good sign.

There is serious need for innovative thinking and creative will in the association space, a land where R&D often means “rip-off and duplicate”. To that point, here are my favorite tweets from the #ideas17 hashtag, starting with opening keynote Srinivas Rao:


This tweet for the simple fact that Moira worked the word “parkour” in

I’d be lying if I said I knew what this meant, but it sounds right.

Hell, yes, Tamala. Also, apropos to conferences, I love that they appear to be in the “travel kits aisle”:

The good news is, we are what we do:

Watermelon helmets!

Good advice, but to go a step farther, regularly shake up teams:

OK, last one on teams:

Not one of my favorites, but an example of using “impact” as a verb, which I absolutely do not support, so an important tweet:

Really curious as to whether this got a laugh, reads edgy:


And, finally, better luck next year, Kev:

You can read ASAE’s series of recaps on the AssociationsNow website.

4 recommended sessions at ACCE17 Day One
My 11 Favorite Tweets from ASAE’s 2017 Great Ideas Conference