Call for Speakers

Thank you for your interest in being a content leader at an ESSAE event. ESSAE is always looking for good speakers and presenters. There are several opportunities to speak at an ESSAE event. A list of some of those annual reoccurring opportunities are included below. ESSAE's current events calendar can be found here.

The BEST way to get your proposal in front of ESSAE's Program Committee is to submit your proposal via this online form.  Follow @EmpireStateSAE on LinkedIn and/or Facebook to get the most recent Call for Speaker announcements. 

All ESSAE members and industry leaders are invited and encouraged to submit education session proposals for the various types of programs ESSAE offers throughout the year. Please feel free to forward to non-ESSAE industry experts who you feel would be good presenter options for ESSAE.

Our Audience Are Association Executives in the Capital District
ESSAE’s primary members are the association executives and staff from the Capital District (Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Saratoga – and beyond) membership-based associations and non-profits. The membership is a diverse group and includes large association CEOs, small association CEOs, senior staff, and entry-level staff members. 
Our membership also includes those companies that provide a product or service to the association community. These companies (known as supplier members) include hotels, visitors’ bureaus, communication and marketing companies, as well as a variety of other vendor categories. Members attend ESSAE events looking for information on best practices and ways to deliver more value to their careers, their associations, and their members.

We have many different speaking opportunities.

Meetings, Membership & Marketing Institute:  This event is held annually at the end of March. The event begins with round-table discussion sessions, 2 rounds of 60-minute concurrent breakout sessions, an annual awards luncheon, and a 3rd round of 60-minute breakout sessions.

Annual Conference: This event is held annually in early June. There is an hour-long opening keynote presentation followed by a series of 60-minute breakout sessions. The event concludes with a trade show.

Harvest Highlight: This event is held annually in October. There is an hour-long opening keynote presentation followed by a series of 60-minute breakout sessions.

Association CEO Round-tables / CEO Symposium: Our Association CEO events, designed specifically for Association CEOs, Executive Directors, COOs, and CFOs, is a unique program which supports networking, fosters dialogue, discussion, and debate around critical business issues, sharing high-level interests, practices, operations and trends. This exclusive support network will be led by experts in our field and designed for leaders to leave informed, and better at what they do.

Other Events: ESSAE also plans to hold peer-to-peer meetings throughout the year where there may be a speaking opportunity. These events will be approximately 90-minute meetings and include a breakfast or lunch. Examples include the CEO & Senior Staff Forums and Lunch & Learn.

The Program Committee Chooses Content Leaders
ESSAE has a volunteer led Program Committee that meetings on a monthly basis to select content leaders for events. The group will review content submissions and extend invitations to potential speakers and content leaders.

Exposure to the Association Community!
Speaking at an ESSAE event is a marketing opportunity. Many of ESSAE’s members look to current and former ESSAE content leaders when they need to hire a speaker for an event. So, speaking at ESSAE is great exposure to ESSAE’s association community.

If you are interested in submitting an idea for a presentation to ESSAE, please complete the following form.

Education Topics

Association Leadership / CEO: Mindful Leadership, Emerging Leadership, Finance & Accounting, Tax Act, New Accounting Standards, HR/Labor Law, Board and Association Executive Relations, Internal Fraud and Audits, Fiduciary Responsibility of Board Members & Association Leadership, Advocacy and Lobbying, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Aging Workforce, Diversity & Inclusion, Succession Planning for Your Executives, Board Engagement / Governance / Performance, Leading Your Staff, Grassroots Activism, Creating an Annual Report, Budgeting & Financial Planning, Trends in Employee Compensation & Benefits, Membership Consolidation Issues (Mergers and Acquisitions), Managing Multiple Generations in the Workforce, Technology Needs and Trends, Working Remotely, Alternative Revenue Streams (Affinity Programs), Strategic Foresight, Preventing Burnout in a Small Organization, Working with an AMC, Creating Professional Growth Opportunities in a Small Association, Managing Professional Credits for Certification, Modern Day Staff Evaluations, Speaker & Program Cultivation 

Meetings / Programs: Sustainable Meetings, Contract Language, Clauses & Negotiations, How to Keep Attendees on the Show Floor, Crisis Planning & Event Disruption (Event Security), Inclusive Events, Trends in F&B and A/V, Technology/Innovation, Building an Event Budget, Hotel Commissions, Event Design & Trends, Working with the Event Venue, What Planners Need from a Venue and Why Venues are Not Selected, Future of Trade Shows, Unique Meeting Ideas, Facilitating Networking at Events, Trends in AV

Marketing / Technology / Communications: Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Marketing to the Next Generation, Is Your Marketing Plan Working and How to Improve It, Using Social Media for Sponsorships, Boosting the Effectiveness of Your Association’s Website, Social Media Tactics, Innovative & Effective Partnerships, Cyber Security, Adapting and Incorporating Technology, Social Media ROI, Selecting Your Next AMS, Strategies & Tactics, Graphic Design (Website), Digital Publications, Building & Marketing a Sponsorship Packet, How to Write an Effective RFP, Writing an Effective Newsletter/E-Newsletter

Membership: How to Get Volunteers Involved, Engaging Lapsed Members, Social Media – Connecting to Your Membership, Merging Associations (leading to decreased membership), Pivoting Your Organization to Serve a Changing Membership, Coping with Decreasing Membership, Turning Members into Volunteers, Attracting Young Professionals, Mentorship Programs

Submissions will be reviewed by the ESSAE staff and Program Committee. Submit your presentation proposal(s) to [email protected].

All submissions should include: 

  • Contact Information: Name, Credentials, Title, Organization, Email Address, Phone, City & State
  • Session Title, Description and Learner Outcomes
  • Speaker Biography
  • Information on minimum fees

Be sure to let us know if your presentation will include any of the following elements:

  • Live Polling
  • Small Group Discussions
  • Q&A or Panel Discussion
  • Facilitated Roundtables
  • Other Form of Audience Engagement (please provide details)

NOTE: Presentations must be educational. We understand that our speakers wish to network with attendees and showcase their services, but we kindly ask that your presentation not be a sales pitch. Networking time will be made available to speakers, sponsors, and attendees for this purpose. We appreciate your cooperation. We will keep all presentations and speaker information on file in the event your presentation is not selected for a particular program.

Tips for your proposals

Content is king - If you really want to impress the ESSAE audience, pack your presentation with powerful content. 

Make it compelling - The ESSAE audience is composed of association executives, their staff, meeting professionals, and industry partners who run the gamut from hotel sales managers to professional service providers and consultants. Learning levels are diverse, with the majority of participants being high level/theoretical to mid-level/practical. 

Be authentic and vulnerable - Don't be afraid to speak of failure as well as success.

Customize - Be sure your content truly speaks to the association audience and is customized to their unique situations.

Knowledge sharing is the most effective marketing - Sales pitches disguised as education will result in poor ratings and lost opportunities.

Other Topic Areas

While we have captured many topic suggestions from our event survey results, the list below is not an exhaustive one! Don't see your topic listed below? Submit anyway! We are happy to receive your creative presentation ideas. 

Association Executive
  • Employee Management & Engagement Trends
  • Compensation & Benefits Trends
  • Advocacy, Government Relations, Lobbying, JCOPE, PAC
  • Volunteer Board Relations & Management
  • Non-Dues Revenue
  • Incorporation (501c 3, 4, or 6 requirements)
  • 401k and Investment Options for the Non-Profit World
  • Volunteer Management & Recruitment, Association Management
  • Leadership and Succession Planning
  • Employment Contract & Negotiation
  • Technology and Internal needs
  • HR, Paid Sick Leave, Engaging Staff
  • Project & Time Management
  • Working from Home and Other Employee Benefits
  • NFP Revitalization Act 
  • Association/NFP Insurance, Legal Trends                                                                    
  • Engagement (Events and/or Membership)
  • Mobile Apps, Website, Technology
  • Event & Email Marketing
  • The Media & Your Message 
  • Social Media Trends for Associations
  • Using Social Media to Grow Business (Business Development Strategy) R.O.I.
  • Using LinkedIn to Engage Members
  • When Social Media Goes Wrong
  • Enhancing Online Visibility/Presence
  • Attracting Millennials, Engaging the Next Generation
  • Impacts on Association Membership
  • Volunteers & Committees
  • Ethics & Standards
  • Recruitment & Retention
  • Creating Membership Value
  • Surveys & Polling Techniques

Meetings & Events

  • Event Trends, Disruptors, New Engagement Tactics and Meeting Design
  • Housing Piracy
  • Trends
  • Social Media
  • Technology / AI
  • Hybrid Events
  • Webinars
  • Contracts and RFPs
  • Creating a Positive Working Relationship Between Planner and Supplier
  • Food & Beverage Trends
  • Program Development
  • Marketing & Sponsorship
  • Audio/Visual Treads and Hacks
  • Attendee Engagement
  • Sustainable & Inclusive Meetings