Seminar Series

VSAE's Annual Seminar series includes six (6) two-and-a-half (2.5) hour educational seminars. Topics cover nearly all aspects of association management including communications, leadership, membership, strategic planning, and so much more. VSAE is an approved provider of CAE credit hours and each seminar in the series is worth up to 2.5 CAE credits. See the CAE Information page for more, including a printable chart to track your CAE credits.

Each seminar is accompanied by a networking reception and breakfast or lunch. You can attend the seminar, the networking event, or both. VSAE members can attend the networking portion (including breakfast or lunch) for free, and the seminar for $50, provided they are registered by the deadline. Please see the FAQ's below and VSAE's registration policy for more details.

All VSAE events for the remainder of 2020 will be virtual.
Please see the Online Seminars Series page.
We hope to see you in person in 2021!

Past 2020 Seminars

Powered Productivity: Super Tech Tools to Get Stuff Done

Beth Ziesenis, Your Nerdy Best Friend *

Friday, February 7 

Exasperated by email? Peeved about passwords? Tired of tedious tasks? You're not alone. Join Your Nerdy Best Friend, aka Author Beth Ziesenis, for a research-based look at common productivity problems, followed by the technology to solve them. Discover how to use free and bargain technology tools you never knew existed to work more efficiently with your teams, get organized, and finally get stuff done.

Key Takeaways
After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Discover low-cost, high-value apps and tech tools that you can start using right away.
  • Learn great tech tips and app ideas from your colleagues.
  • Get new ideas to increase efficiency, improve relationships and get things done

* Provided courtesy of Powell Kohne Associates, LLC

 The 7 Disciplines of Authentic Leaders for Association Leaders

Chris Jones, Authentic Leader

Friday, March 6 

Establish Predictability, Communicate Clearly, and Demonstrate Confidence With Your Team and Association. Most association leaders recognize the need to continue to grow in their leadership. This keynote presentation highlights where association leaders can unknowingly erode their effectiveness as a leader. The seven disciplines that leaders practice to lead their teams more authentically include rich examples and real-life stories from my own experience as a leader and leader clients I work with.

Key Takeaways
After attending this session, participants will be able to: 

  • Define the attributes of an inauthentic leader vs. an authentic leader.
  • Commit to simple actions from each of the seven disciplines that association leaders can immediately apply.
  • Determine which of the disciplines you are already effective, and which is your greatest opportunity to improve.
  • Panel interview with association executives to share their lessons in leading their associations.

2019 Seminars

Courage & Conflict - Critical Conversations! 
Melissa and Tom Laughon, Catch Your Limit 

Friday, February 1 

Constructive conflict is essential to building relationships, high-performing teams, and strategies for success. In this interactive session, explore strategies to foster improved interpersonal relationships, idea generation, and increased productivity. Become a catalyst for courageous communication with your staff, board, legislators, and other stakeholders and encourage others to follow your lead. Presented by Tom & Melissa Laughon, owners of Catch Your Limit, a leadership development firm in Richmond, and VSAE's partners in designing and facilitating the Association Leadership Virginia (ALV) program

Key Takeaways
After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explore strategies to foster improved interpersonal relationships, idea generation and increased productivity.
  • Become a catalyst for courageous communication with your staff, board, legislators and other stakeholders.
  • Encourage others to follow your lead.

Shifting from Informal to Intentional: Pathways to Innovation
Carol Hamilton, Grace Social Sector Consulting, LLC

Friday, March 1

Recent research shows that most associations have yet to establish intentional practices to cultivate innovation within their organization. Using a human centered design approach builds focus and intention into innovation processes. Design Thinking is a human-centered and systematic approach to problem solving and innovation. By focusing on empathy and iteration, the design thinking process helps you create solutions that are grounded in the experience of your stakeholders and informed by their feedback through a co-creation process. This helps protect your organization from costly program development that you ultimately discover has no audience. 

Key Takeaways
After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Review findings from recent research on associations and innovation.
  • Learn principles and phases of design thinking processes.
  • Practice using design thinking tools such as customer journey mapping or personas to discover unmet member needs.

Unconscious Bias - Making the Unconscious Conscious

Charm Bullard, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities

Friday, April 5

Many organizations have provided training on unconscious bias for their employees with great success.  Once employees are aware of their unconscious biases, however, they are not always clear on what they can do to reduce the impact of those biases in the workplace.  This session will provide practical tips and approaches that organizations can implement to help employees make better, bias-free decisions.

Key Takeaways
By completion of the engagement, participants will:

  • Express an increased awareness of why organizations should be committed to diversity and inclusion.
  • Reflect on ways that all employees benefit from an inclusive workplace.
  • Consider individual actions that can be taken to foster inclusion.
  • Build comfort in discussing issues of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The Marriage of Meetings and Membership
Dan and Nicole Ratner, The Next Steps, LLC

Friday, June 7 

Exploring the relationship between an organization’s meeting planners and its membership team to grow membership enrollment as well as attendance. Meetings are at the heart of the membership value proposition while members are at the core of a successful meeting. Your annual meeting is a living portrayal of the purpose of the organization as members and other constituents come together to get closer to its mission. Learn how these two significant areas of associations work synergistically to drive organizational growth. This session will look at the four types of constituents, the In It ForEVER™ Principle (which focuses on the four major needs of members and attendees: experience, value, engagement, and relevance), strategies and techniques for collaboration between meetings and membership stakeholders, and ideas and activities to implement at meetings and conferences to support membership development.

Key Takeaways
After attending this session, participants will be able to: 

  • Analyze current offerings in both membership and meetings to determine where they stand currently.
  • Determine how those offering can be improved in four key areas (experience, value, engagement, and relevance

Trust Based Leadership - Proven Ways to Stop Managing and Start Leading
Mark Given, Mark Given International

Thursday, September 5

In this important seminar, you will learn how improved leadership skills and people-centric leadership techniques can eliminate poor communication, employee and consumer complaints, and difficult misrepresentation and legal issues related to all your leadership and customer service scenarios. We will collaborate on the important difference between managing tasks and leading people. We will also discuss leading with the intent to serve, utilizing better listening skills, understanding what clients and team members want, and clarifying the needs and wants of those we serve. You don't want to miss this program!

Key Takeaways
After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how improved leadership skills can eliminate poor communication and increase trust. 
  • List the four facets of having a trust-based philosophy.
  • Understand the difference between a job, career, and calling.
  • Create a more powerful introduction - your NEW 3-step greeting.
  • Lead with the intent to serve.
  • Perform more listening and less talking

Telling Your Association's Story
Jeff Kelley, Kelley Communications

Friday, November 1

The media relations landscape is ever-changing — once a picturesque park and now a mine-filled jungle. Hear from former Richmond Times-Dispatch business reporter and current public relations professional Jeff Kelley, who is coming to help you navigate and master your organization’s public message. You will learn four key aspects of public relations: Storytelling, Elevator Pitches, the Art of Persuasion, and Media Kits. As part of each segment, enjoy an energizing, hands-on workshop and group discussion. Come ready to learn, engage, and share your stories. 

Key Takeaways
You'll leave with new ideas you can implement right away, such as:

  • Stories you can tell and the members you can engage.
  • New messaging for your marketing materials.
  • Persuasive messages to make people take action.
  • The basics of your organization's (first?) Media Kit. 

Registration Fees

By registration deadline*
Late registration
On-site registration
VSAE Member
Seminar: $50
Lunch/breakfast: Free**
Seminar: $60
Lunch/breakfast: $14
Seminar: $60
Lunch/breakfast: $35
Staff of an
Exec. member
Seminar: $50
Lunch/breakfast: $25
Seminar: $60
Lunch/breakfast: $30
Seminar: $60
Lunch/breakfast: $40
Seminar: $90
Lunch/breakfast: $50
Seminar: $100
Lunch/breakfast: $55
Seminar: $100
Lunch/breakfast: $55

* Deadline is typically three days before the event.
** Executive non-Resident, Semi-Retired, and Lifetime members pay $15 to attend the reception and luncheon/breakfast.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a limit to how many times a non-member may attend?

Yes, non-members are limited to three events per calendar year.

How do I use my Seminar Pass to register?

Register for the event and use the Seminar Pass discount code on the Summary page. The code is in the confirmation email sent to you when you purchased your Seminar Pass(es). If you need your code again, please call the office at (804) 747-4971.

I am a member. How do I register a staff member who is not a member?

You will need a code to register them on the website. Call the office at (804) 747-4971 to verify your membership and receive the code.

Can I register multiple people from the same organization at the same time?

The main contact for an organization can register multiple members during registration using the "register linked profile" button. See the registration form for details.

How do I register a guest?

If you would like to register a guest, the guest will need to login/create a profile online or you may call VSAE at (804) 747-4971.