AMC Retreat

July 10, 2018
The Graduate Hotel - Richmond

View attendees

This year’s AMC Retreat is aimed at helping AMC owners, principles, senior leaders, and other staff focus on growing their AMC. From client prospecting to email marketing to branding to networking, this one-day event is packed with content to help you grow. And back by popular demand, there will also be case study presentations from other AMC executives.

At the end of the retreat you will have tools to implement a comprehensive business development strategy in your office and you will be able to communicate effectively through email and social media – for your AMC or your clients. You will know the power of your brand and how to deliberately communicate that value to clients and potential clients. You will be a better networker and have an opportunity to network with fellow AMC colleagues at one of Richmond’s newest roof-top bars.

Regardless of your position, you’re sure to walk away with at least one idea to help you, your AMC, or your clients.

This year’s retreat is being hosted by The Graduate Hotel and Richmond Region Tourism. This newly re-opened property in downtown Richmond is knee deep in the 400-year-old history of the city. Discover an experience unlike any other while you relax with colleagues on the roof-top bar and leave with tools to strengthen your AMC.


Tuesday, July 10

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - 4 Proven Strategies for Effective Business Development
Neal Lappe | Selling Forensics, LLC
In this session you'll learn ways to get your staff involved in business development, including personnel who may not be directly involved in business development. Nothing can change unless you change behavior, and you'll learn about a method that gets people doing things differently that contributes to business development goals. You can only manage what you measure, and you'll learn what to measure and report on that keeps the team engaged and accountable. Day-to-day, week-to-week execution of a few tactics is the key to getting results, and you'll learn how to achieve unprecedented levels of execution.

12:00-1:00 p.m. - Networking Lunch

1:00-3:00 p.m. - Case Study Presentations
AMC executives will present case studies on successes they have had at their AMC.

3:00-4:00 p.m. - Creative Communication
Joe Baker and Louise Strickland | Pixelstrike Creative
Learn how to cut through the digital clutter in your social media and emails. You'll hear best practices to make your marketing and emails stand out. Whether you are communicating a client's event or promoting your AMC, this session will give you the tools to help ensure your message reaches its audience. 

4:00-5:00 p.m. - Brand Implementation Workshop: How Organizations Make Branding Work
Kelly O'Keefe | VCU Brandcenter
We’ve all heard about the importance of branding to businesses, associations and causes, but why is branding important and how do you build and maintain a strong brand? These are the questions O'Keefe will be taking on in this highly interactive training session. Participants will learn why brands are more important than ever. How association leaders are channeling the power of branding to strengthen ties to membership, the industry, influencers and the general public. How reframing your organization’s purpose can significantly improve outcomes. And how to shape brands that are sustainable for years, even decades. The talk will be punctuated with examples from O’Keefe’s own work with organizations like the NAB, the BSA and the Colombian Coffee Federation. 

5:00-6:00 p.m. - Networking With a Purpose
Jim Roman | Association Leadership Institute
This hands-on session will teach you how to network with a purpose, and that purpose is building strategic relationships to grow your business. In the first half of the session, you will learn the tips and tricks to purposeful networking. You will learn how to plan beforehand, how to stick to the plan, and how to leave with meaningful connections. This is not just networking to build your rolodex. This is networking to build relationships and help your company grow. In the second half of the session, you will grab a cocktail and practice the principles of networking with a purpose. At the end, you will have the tools you need to be an efficient and effective business networker and you will have a ton of fun in the process.

6:00-8:30 p.m. - Reception at the Byrdhouse Roof-top Bar & Dinner, courtesy of Richmond Region Tourism

[Return to top

Content Leaders

Joe Baker
Operations Director | Pixelstrike Creative
Louise Strickland
Brand Strategist | Pixelstrike Creative

Pixelstrike Creative is a Richmond, VA based marketing + design agency specializing in cutting through the digital clutter and enabling companies to be their best by fulfilling marketing needs with a team of dedicated industry experts. Joe and Louise will share social media and email strategies to help you stand out from your competition and communicate with your members.


Neal Lappe
Founder & CEO | Selling Forensics, LLC

Since becoming an entrepreneur in 2004 after an 18-year career as an executive with Circuit City Stores, Inc., Neal has built a digital marketing agency, launched a sales consulting firm, and written two books. His work has revolved around strategic marketing, creating organizational clarity, leadership development, establishing a culture of execution, and developing sales organizations for success.


Kelly O'Keefe
Managing Director | VCU Brandcenter

Kelly has been a marketing innovator for over 20 years. Prior to becoming a professor and managing director of the VCU Brandcenter, Kelly led O’Keefe Marketing, a pioneer in digital marketing and branding, which received over 100 major awards and is cited in numerous books and journals. Kelly was named Virginia Entrepreneur of the Year and Richmond Ad Person of the Year, and has served as a founding board member of both the VCU Brandcenter and the Ad:Tech conference.


Jim Roman
Founder & CEO | Association Leadership Institute

Jim is a highly respected business development expert who specializes in helping associations increase the value of their membership, so they can grow their membership. He is well known for his role in building a regional membership organization from zero members to 1600 members in a few short years. He has since then been consulting with association executives on how they can achieve the same kind of growth. 

[Return to top


This retreat is limited to AMC owners, staff, and sponsors. 7 CAE Hours.



(By June 8)


(After June 8)

VSAE Members

$50 $75


$100 $130


Refund Policy

Cancel by Friday, June 8 - 75% refunded.
Cancel by Friday, June 22 - 50% refunded.
Cancel after Friday, June 22 - no refund.

[Return to top]


 The Graduate Hotel | 301 West Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23220

(804) 644-9871 |

Contact The Graduate at (413) 821-3323 for room reservations or click here to make your reservations online. The cutoff date for reservations is Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Room rate: $139 (plus taxes) for Monday night, July 9.

[Return to top]



[Return to top]