Engage, Excite, Experience!

Empire State Society of Association Executives, Inc.
38th Annual Conference & Trade Show
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Albany Capital Center
55 Eagle St, Albany, NY 12207

Join us on Thursday, June 1, 2017 in the brand-new Albany Capital Center for the Empire State Society of Association Executive’s (ESSAE) 38th Annual Conference & Trade Show. This is the premier conference and trade show in upstate New York for association and meeting professionals. The annual one day event centers around professional development, networking, and discovering new products and services. It is the place you want to be to interact with key decision makers in the association and meetings industries.

Every year over 100 exhibitors come with their best to showcase the services they can offer. Educational sessions throughout the day (CAE/CMP Points!) offer modern and timely information to help you stay ahead in the ever-changing world of association and meeting management. Come prepared to learn and enjoy networking & community with fellow association executives, meeting professionals, and industry partners.

Featuring Keynote Speaker
James Spellos, President
Meeting U.

How will technology impact your association and/or business?
Jim’s engaging and informative keynote style presentation will not only showcase advances in technology, such as artificial intelligence, security, virtual and augmented reality, but help you to understand how to manage the flow of information and keep up with current advances. Join us for this exciting lunch presentation and identify new technologies that are changing how business is done.


At the start of registration, you will be asked to log in and/or enter your email address. If you are a new user or you're not sure if you have used this site before, on the registration page enter your email address and click register. The system will check to see if you have logged in previously. ESSAE Members: To view/receive the Member Rate for this event, please sign into your profile. If you have any issues with accessing your profile, please contact Rebecca Sheehan.

Registration & FeesAccommodations | Exhibitors | Sponsorship Options (updated)! | Prizes (Coming Soon!) | Floor Plan | Sponsors

Schedule at a Glance (Subject to Change)

8:30 - 9:15 
Breakfast with Exhibitors - Appointments
Registered attendees only. Contact ESSAE for a list of exhibitors to select from!
New this year! Appointments with exhibitors will be made available to qualified buyers. You can add your name to the list by selecting YES within registration and we will email you a form to complete! The form will allow you to select which exhibitors you are interested in meeting with at the conference. 

Concurrent Sessions 
9:30 – 10:30 AM 
- Click for Descriptions

Session A: Creating a Culture of Flexibility: Attracting Millennials
Session B: Event Planning Mistakes that Destroy Your Budget
Session C: Protecting Your Tax Exempt Status in Changing Times

Concurrent Sessions
10:45 – 11:45 AM 
- Click for Descriptions

Session A: [Association & Advocacy - Coming Soon!]
Session B: 10 Commandments of AMS Transition
Session C: Events Maximized: How to Utilize Tourism Agencies in Event Planning

11:45 – 12:30 PM
Networking Reception

12:30  - 2:00 PM
Lunch and Keynote Presentation
Featuring James Spellos, President - Meeting U.
Wristbands required, pick up at registration desk!

Concurrent Sessions
2:10 – 3:10 PM -
Click for Descriptions

Session A: Please Don't Make Me Do This!
Session B: Building a More Strategic Board through Trends Awareness
Session C: Employee “Engagement” – Court them and They'll Never Leave

2:30 - 5:30 PM
Trade Show
Complimentary to qualified buyers. 

6:00 - 7:30 PM
Post Trade Show Reception (Off Site)
Location: Cornerstone at the Plaza

Sponsored by Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Registered attendees MUST pick up wrist events bands at the ACCVB Booth (limited attendance)


Registration & Fees

Purchase a full day pass and save $45!  Full Day Pass Registration includes access to (4) four hours of professional development (CAE/CMP), Networking Reception, Lunch & Keynote Presentation, and Trade Show!

Can't attend all day? Attendees have the option to purchase sessions and/or events a la carte. Let us know which session, program, or event you plan to attend, using the form below. 

Full Day (Sessions & Lunch)
Members: $170 | Non-Members: $245

Concurrent Sessions
Each Session Sold Separately
Members: $55/session | Non-Members: $75/session

Lunch & Keynote Presentation Only
Members: $50 | Non-Members: $65

Cancellation Policy: Registrations must be made and paid for by May 22, 2017. Registration cancellations received prior to the deadline may be eligible to receive a refund less a $25 service fee. Cancellations received after the stated deadline will not be eligible for a refund. Refunds will not be available for registrants who choose not to attend an event (no-shows). Cancellations will be accepted in writing only and must be received by the stated cancellation deadline. All refund requests must be made by the attendee or credit card holder. Refunds will be credited back to the original credit card used for payment. If you are unable to attend, you may send an alternate to the event without additional charge.

Keynote & Breakout Sessions

9:30 to 10:30 Concurrent Sessions...

Creating a Culture of Flexibility: Attracting Millennials
Evelyn Neale, President
Successful Change

Want to have members of your team who are creative, engaged and flexible?  Then it is time to embrace the largest generation.  Discard the stereotypes and generalizations and review your workplace culture.  Grow a team that will take your organization to the next level.

Learner outcomes:

  • Learn what is important to your workforce
  • How to review your workplace culture
  • Create programs that will recruit and retain an awesome team

Event Planning Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Budget
Megan Higgins, CMP, HMCC                                              
Independent Planner & Event Marketing Consultant

Associations all suffer from one common threat to their success: profit over product. Conferences take a great deal of financial outlay to be successful. They often contribute to more than half of an associations annual profit and expenses. However, there are several simple ways (a few more complex) in which you can trim the expenses and mitigate your risks to ensure your organization’s event budget turns a profit. We will open the discussion to audience members to help some real budget problems in real time. Some of the ideas covered in this interactive session include:

  • Proper budgeting methods as recommended by association financial experts.
  • Should our association overhead be parceled into the event budget?
  • Determine if hotel room rebates are helping or hurting your overall profit.
  • Could multitasking by pulling other association staff away from their normal jobs be hurting our efficiency?
  • Always doing things the way they have been done or blindly following the squeakiest wheel.

After attending this session, you will understand more clearly how focusing on the bottom line first, enables you to pave the way for enhanced money making opportunities such as: Virtual Audience Monetization, Special Sessions like Deep Dives or Case Studies, and Digital Advertising or Web Traffic strategies. These and other new strategies for making more money with conference content will be featured at the upcoming ESSAE Annual Conference in June. 

Protecting Your Exempt Status in Changing Times
Thomas Simcoe, Esq.
Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC

The changing governmental and economic landscape is leading many nonprofits to re-evaluate their operations and sources of funding to ensure viability in the years to come. This presentation will help nonprofit leadership recognize and avoid common legal issues that can jeopardize an organization’s tax exempt status or cause it to fall out of compliance with the laws governing nonprofits in New York State when organizational transformation is occurring.

Using real world scenarios, this presentation explores topics such as the corporate and regulatory processes for changing corporate activities and purposes, considerations for entering into joint ventures or creating taxable subsidiaries, generating revenue through leases, licenses and other business activities, complying with the prohibitions against transactions with insiders, and properly managing and using assets held for charitable purposes when organizational changes have occurred.

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10:45 to 11:45 PM Concurrent Sessions...

10 Commandments of AMS Transitions
Teri Carden, Founder

Does the thought of selecting a new Association Management System (AMS) give you an instant headache? If you answered yes, attend 10 Commandments of AMS Transitions. During this fast-paced session, you will gain insights on navigating the AMS selection process and hear from an experienced association professional on how to make this process as painless as possible. 

You'll learn:  

  • How to get started
  • Pitfalls to avoid
  • Resources available to help with selection
  • And more! 

If you're embarking on the AMS search now or in the near future, you don’t want to miss this learning opportunity.

Events Maximized: How to Utilize Tourism Agencies in Event Planning

  • Ross Levi, Vice President, Marketing Initiatives, Empire State Development (I LOVE NY)
  • Jill Delaney, President and CEO, NYS Tourism Industry Association

Tourism is a term used to describe the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists. So, what does this have to do with your organization’s conference, travel, and general business efforts? Connecting with the right organizations can help you maximize attendance and enthusiasm for your own events. This session will be a workshop encouraging attendees to explore the role of tourism promotion agencies, convention and visitors bureaus, and other tourism organizations in creating more well-rounded, desirable events that feed the heart of the tourist in all of us.

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2:10 to 3:10 PM Concurrent Sessions... 

Please Don't Make Me Do This! 
James Spellos, President
Meeting U. 

Do you work for an organization that serves food to others?  If so, what do you do with the excess food that was prepared but not served? Organizations throw away millions of dollars of food annually that could be properly (and safely) used to feed those in need.  This session will separate fact from fiction about what you can do with excess food, and identify one organization that can facilitate that process at no cost.

After participating in this session, the attendee will be able to:

  • Identify the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act, which protects those choosing donate their leftover event food
  • Understand how Rock and Wrap It Up! can serve as a no cost resource for you to help feed those in need
  • Use Whole Earth Calculator to quantify and socially share your food, paper and plastics recovery

Building a More Strategic Board through Trends Awareness
Sue Pine, CAE, VP of Professional Development at AH
Senior Director, NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers)  

If you are a little intimidated or unsure of how big global trends could or would have an impact on your association, you’re not alone! This session will drive home the value of incorporating trends-watching into your association’s strategic planning process and provide concrete steps for integrating this when you return home.

Join us for this hand-on session where you will have a chance to understand the difference between environmental scanning (trends-watching) and strategic planning.  Session attendees will hear the latest information from the ASAE Foundation Foresight Project and have a chance to have a peer-to-peer discussion relative to the potential impact of the trend and then possible responses that would drive association tactics.

Designed for any staff person who has responsibility for strategic planning and/or program development or who thinks about keeping their association relevant in the future, this nuts and bolts interactive session challenges attendees to roll-up their sleeves and walk through a process that they can replicate with their own association leaders.

Employee “Engagement” – Court them and they’ll never leave
Whitney W. Merrill, Partner, Retirement Planning Specialist
Angelo Planning Group, LLC

In a non-profit companies world, some employees are like rolling stones, coming in for a few years, gathering moss, then rolling out, leaving you to clean up the physical and mental mess.  “Why do they leave?!” you say to yourself, drowning your sorrows thinking about the hours ahead of you needed to train the next employee who rolls into your organization.  “We’ll throw more money at them, that’s it,” you tell yourself.  People leave for better opportunities for advancement, better leadership needed from above their position, and yes, better compensation and benefits.  But, they don’t leave if they are “Engaged!”  You suddenly realize, “ I’ve been missing the real issue.”

Learn how to Energize employees, Engage them, Actively involve them, and Create a team that both they and you will help grow the Organization through the strongest will of mankind:  Goodwill.

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We love our conference partners! Thank you!

Interested in sponsoring? We have a creative list of options to choose from! Don't see something that fits in your budget? Call us to customize!

Lane Press
Virtuous Circle Media
Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism/Lake Placid CVB



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