2020 Annual Conference

Sunday, May 3 - Tuesday, May 5
Colonial Williamsburg Hotels

This three-day event typically includes at least one keynote speaker, several break-out sessions on various topics relevant to the association industry, abundant networking time, and optional pre-conference activities. See below for a look at what the 2019 Annual Conference offered.

Registration Opens February 2020

VSAE’s vision is to be the best at making our members and their associations the best. This year’s annual conference focuses on that goal by highlighting four main content pillars: Data Management, Marketing, Leadership, and Networking. With three educational sessions per topic offering the knowledge and training you need to excel for your association and its members, this is one conference you do not want to miss.

In addition to top-notch educational content, this year’s event is full of networking opportunities for you and your colleagues. Enjoy receptions, golf, hiking, archery, or zip lining as part of your conference experience. This year’s pre-conference activities are a great place to unwind, have some fun, and meet fellow association leaders as well.    

See all this conference has to offer below. 

Other conference resources are linked here.



11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. - Golf on the Cascades
1:00-2:30 p.m. - Archery & Red Tail Racer Zipline (Group A)
2:00-3:30 p.m. - Archery & Red Tail Racer Zipline (Group B)
3:00-4:30 p.m. - Archery & Red Tail Racer Zipline (Group C)
2:00-5:00 p.m. - Cascades Gorge Hike
4:00-6:00 p.m. - Registration Open
6:00-7:30 p.m. - Opening Reception
7:30-9:00 p.m. - Dine on Your Own - Dining options are limited at the Homestead and in Hot Springs. Making your reservations early is highly encouraged.


6:00-7:00 a.m. - Yoga Wake Up
7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. - Registration Open
8:30-10:15 a.m. - Breakfast & Opening Keynote: The Relationship Driven Leader: Because People Do Business with People They Like
10:15-10:30 a.m. - Networking Break
10:15-11:45 a.m. - Breakout Sessions

DATA MANAGEMENT: Learning to be Data-Driven: Strategy Before Software
MARKETING: Find Your Fan Factor: Streamline, Organize & Leverage Your Social Media Marketing
LEADERSHIP: You - The Brand: Determine and Drive How Others See You
NETWORKING: Increasing Your Networking Effectiveness

12:00-1:00 p.m. - Lunch & Board Installation
1:00-1:30 p.m. - Lunch Keynote: YOU Can Be the Best Negotiator in the Room: Every Great Association Executive is a Great Negotiator
1:45-3:00 p.m. - Breakout Sessions

DATA MANAGEMENT: Governance - Questions Seldom Asked - Answers Needed
MARKETING: Reframe: The Power of Vulnerability to Unlock Peak Performance
LEADERSHIP: The Changing Workforce
NETWORKING: Take Your Negotiating Skills to the Next Level

3:00-3:15 p.m. - Networking Break
3:15-4:15 p.m. - Shared Interest Group (SIG) meetings
5:30-6:15 p.m. - Presidents & Emerging Association Professionals (EAP) Reception (invitation only)
6:15-7:15 p.m. - Reception
7:15 p.m.-10:00 p.m. - Dinner, Dessert Reception, and Entertainment


8:30-9:30 a.m. - Breakfast & ALV Ceremony
9:45-11:00 a.m. - Breakout Sessions

DATA MANAGEMENT: Technology Trends and the Effects on Associations
MARKETING: Using LinkedIn as an Organizational Marketing Tool
LEADERSHIP: What Hats Are You Wearing? Switching Hats to Facilitate Stronger Teams
NETWORKING: Mastering Your Memory

11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - IGNITE Sessions

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Your registration fee includes all educational sessions (over 6 hours of CAE credit), two receptions, all meals on Monday and breakfast on Tuesday, and both the opening and lunch keynote sessions.


Paid by Apr 5

Paid after Apr 5
$215 $245
$245 $275
Spouse/Guest* $180 $210

     * Spouse/guest registration must accompany a full member registration. It includes Sunday Night Reception, Monday meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner), Monday reception, and Tuesday breakfast.

(Sunday, May 5)

Paid by Apr 5
Paid after Apr 5

Cascades Gorge Hike
VSAE Member





Archery & Red Tail Racer Zipline#
(1:00-2:30 and 2:00-3:30 are full; 
VSAE Member







Golf at The Cascades
VSAE Member




  * All activities include lunch. 



1 ticket
3 tickets
9 tickets $50
20 tickets $100

Win a stay at a hotel or resort, a gift basket, a round of golf, a gift certificate for a restaurant or other great prizes. Typically there are 20-25 items to be raffled off.  


All registrations must be prepaid prior to the conference. Refunds will be made on the following scale: up to March 22 - less a $25.00 administrative fee, from March 23-April 5 - 75% of fees, from April 6-13 - 50% of fees. No refunds will be made after April 13. Substitutions are welcome at any time.

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Full session descriptions, including key takeaways are listed on the Official VSAE mobile app, Engagefully.

Opening Keynote

The Relationship Driven Leader: Because People Do Business with People They Like
Michelle Tillis Lederman*

Your ability to create meaningful and lasting relationships directly impacts your success from hiring, to being a trustworthy leader, to shaping the organizational culture. Growing a larger network with stronger relationships increases your value, influence, and impact. Discover how you can become a leader who attracts and engages an eager, committed team. Expand your role, build loyalty, and close deals on relationships not price. And when opportunities arise, be first in mind and someone they want to say ‘yes’ to!

Lunch Keynote

YOU Can Be the Best Negotiator in the Room: Every Great Association Executive is a Great Negotiator
Mike Hourigan*

Negotiating is not merely a business skill, it's a life skill too! Thus, an association executive's ability to negotiate is in many ways the most important skill a leader can have. An expert sales team trainer, Mike Hourigan has helped sales teams and individuals develop new strategies and solutions that result in improved performance and long-term benefits in a fun and engaging environment.

*Provided courtesy of Powell Kohne Associates, LLC.  Mike is replacing speaker Mark Grossman.


Monday Morning Breakout Sessions (10:30-11:45 a.m.)

DATA MANAGEMENT - Learning to be Data-Driven - Strategy Before Software
Michael Butera

Associations are awash in information of all kinds. Today, learning a few simple, but important rules and becoming data-driven is essential to the modern 21st century association. Learn the principles of being data-driven with the idea of being results-oriented.

MARKETING - Find Your Fan Factor: Streamline, Organize & Leverage Your Social Media Marketing
Meredith Oliver

Would you like to utilize social media more effectively, but you are lacking the time and resources to do so? This session will NOT load you down with more to-do tasks and complicated technology tips. You will learn to develop a process to streamline and organize your social media presence.

LEADERSHIP - You - The Brand: Determine and Drive How Others See You
Michelle Tillis Lederman

How you are known amongst your colleagues is a critical component of your future success. Learn how to strengthen the lasting impressions you make on your network, expanding upon lessons from the speaker's books, The 11 Laws of Likability, and The Connector's Advantage.

NETWORKING - Increasing Your Networking Effectiveness
Jim Roman

People join associations to make connections, but all connections are not equal. You will learn how to help your members by teaching them how to get the highest ROI from their networking activities.

Monday Afternoon Breakout Sessions
 (1:45-3:00 p.m.)

DATA MANAGEMENT Governance - Questions Seldom Asked - Answers Needed
Michael Butera

We are in a time of rapid change and societal upheaval. Explore the three pillars of adapting boards to this new environment; curiosity, action visioning, and sustainability with a baker’s dozen of questions that we should be asking.

MARKETING - Reframe: The Power of Vulnerability to Unlock Peak Performance
Meredith Oliver 

Would you like to be more creative, show more leadership, and accomplish more goals? Meredith will use humor to share how a series of lightning bolt moments reframed her world-view. Learn how to recognize your own lightning bolt moments and start taking massive action towards your goals. 

LEADERSHIP - The Changing Workforce
Brad Dawson

The basis for industry identification is changing, which brings with it a corresponding need to change the make-up and overall structure of organizations. This presentation highlights those new and emerging C-suite positions and skill sets that are evolving as businesses seek to adapt to the new paradigm.

NETWORKING - Take Your Negotiating Skills to the Next Level

Mike Hourigan

After Mike talks about some of the fundamentals of negotiation in his keynote, he will take you deeper into the minds of great negotiators. You will walk away with a wealth of ideas to add to YOUR wealth. Come to this session ready to participate!


Tuesday Morning Breakout Sessions (10:30-11:45 a.m.)

DATA MANAGEMENT - Technology Trends and the Effects on Associations
Reggie Henry

With the amount of disruption in (and caused by) technology today, it is important for associations to focus on what's really important - creating member value. Technology trends associations should be focused on will be discussed and demonstrated.

MARKETING - Using LinkedIn as an Organizational Marketing Tool
Teddy Burriss

LinkedIn has become much more than a career transition tool; it can be a powerful business tool. Attendees will be exposed to ideas and best practices which when adopted can provide the framework for increasing the benefits of using LinkedIn in your organization.

LEADERSHIP - Which Hats Are You Wearing? Switching Hats to Facilitate Stronger Teams
2018-2019 ALV Cohort Class

This highly interactive and engaging session will explore ways to develop a more cohesive and effective team. Participants will learn practical skills around building trust within a team and facilitating dynamic group discussion related to association management.

NETWORKING - Mastering Your Memory
Tyler Enslin

In this fun and highly engaging training program you will learn unique and exciting methods to increase your memory skills to extraordinary levels. Most importantly, discover how to use these new skills in daily life - instantly recall people’s names, give presentations without notes, and improve mental organization. 


IGNITE Sessions (11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m.)

Back by popular demand, this year’s conference will feature IGNITE presentations from attendees. IGNITE presentations are fast-paced five minute presentations with 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. Topics range from the personal to the professional.


All activities include lunch. Check-in 15 minutes prior to scheduled activity at Allegheny Activities, located in the Tower Corridor Shops hallway.

The Cascades Gorge Hike (2:00-5:00 p.m.)

During this three-mile hike you'll learn fun facts about the gorge from our expert naturalist. Learn about regional and unusual flora and fauna in this semi-tropical environment and the medicinal and edible properties of the many local plants. The 13 cascading waterfalls are the perfect spot for a picture. 

Archery and Red Tail Racer Zipline (Group A: 1:00-2:30 p.m. | Group B: 2:00-3:30 p.m | Group C: 3:00-4:30 p.m.) 

Try your hand at bow and arrow shooting! Ten stationary targets are set at varying distances for adults and children and a wide selection of bows accommodate right- and left-handed archers, both adult and youth. Seeking an extra dose of excitement or simply want to dive into the fun of a dual racing zip? Then the Red Tail Racer is the perfect course! At 1,300 feet long, the two dueling lines span from the ski area mid-station to the Mountain Lodge. Skilled guides will provide a detailed orientation, including safety and equipment procedures, and each participant will be outfitted with a harness and helmet prior to boarding the lift. This racing course is offered to adults and children 8 years and over, 80 lbs-250 lbs.

Golf at The Cascades (11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.)

(First tee time is 11:00 a.m.) Regarded as one of the finest mountain courses in the country, The Cascades offers challenging links set against the backdrop of Virginia's breathtaking Allegheny Mountains. Sam Snead launched his career on this fabled Virginia mountain golf course, which has the honor of being ranked among "America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses" by Golf Digest. Designed by legendary course architect William S. Flynn, The Cascades uses its varied terrain to influence play, rather than dictate it. Nationally ranked, The Cascades frequently tops the list of the best Southern Courses including #1 on Golfweek magazine's "Best Golf Courses You Can Play in Each State."


Omni Homestead Hotel Logo

Deadline for room reservations in the VSAE block was Friday, April 5, 2019. You may call the Homestead at the number below to inquire about available rooms at their current rate.

The Omni Homestead

7696 Sam Snead Highway
Hot Springs, VA 24445
(800) 838-1766

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To further enhance your conference experience, VSAE has partnered with Results Direct to bring attendees a mobile app: Engagefully. Download the mobile app (Download for Apple | Download for Android). The app is designed to help you navigate the conference, connect with other attendees, and engage on social media. You may view the mobile app on your desktop here.
To download the app to your phone or tablet.

  1. Download and install Engagefully from your phone's app store.
  2. Open the Engagefully app and search for VSAE.
  3. Tap VSAE.

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