Thank you to our sponsors, speakers, attendees, and volunteers who helped make #ESSAEHarvest possible and successful! 

Our Harvest Highlight is where Association Professionals and Business Partners can gather to reap the benefits of colleagues willing to share many years of ideas, insights and experience. Join your colleagues for a full day of discussion and walk away with ideas to take your business to the next level! This year’s program will feature discussions on motivating employees and supporting their professional growth, measuring data analytics, event budgets & contracts, ethics & fraud inside associations, advocacy & membership communications, and rejuvenating membership sales marketing. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018
The Desmond Hotel Albany
660 Albany Shaker Rd, Albany, NY 

Agenda | Session Descriptions | Speaker BiosSponsors Event Fees | 

Events App:
Go Paperless! Get the most out of YOUR event experience by using the ESSAE Events App! Find our app in Google Play or the iTunes StoreDownload the app and create an account to build your schedule, download speaker presentations, view speaker bios, connect with sponsors, and much more! Brought to you by MapDynamics!

Featured Keynote Speaker

Miranda VonFricken
Talent, Training & Culture Expert, Mastermind Coach, and Host of #LinkedInLocal.
Keynote sponsored by: Lake George Chamber of Commerce & CVB

The Secret Sauce to Employee Motivation…  It’s Not Your Grandma’s Recipe

Stability and consistency were two of the main on-the-job benefits for our grandparents. They worked in places like the Post Office, General Electric, or for “the state” and knew they were a success if they could “make it” to retirement with a full pension.  That was their definition of success. That’s no longer how it works.

When raises are reduced to cost of living only, benefits are minimal, and promotions come sporadically, how do we motivate and retain those we consider top talent? Luckily, there’s hope! The current range of generations in today’s workforce no longer craves routine or picks employers based on pension plans.  And we’re not just talking millennials; Gen Xers and even Boomers are looking for something a little more…. fulfilling.

The question then becomes, “how do you motivate and retain top talent when you run an organization with no clear advancement options, is mission vs. profit focused, and lacks resources?” The answer could be as simple as asking them.

In this fun and interactive workshop, we’ll review what you and your employees really want and how to get there with little to no financial resources.   You’ll leave with clear takeaways as leaders and team members that will have a positive impact not only on your organization, but as individuals. We may even dance a little… after coffee, of course! 

We LOVE our event partners! Special Thank You to: 

Host & Event Partner: The Desmond Hotel
Keynote: Lake George Chamber of Commerce & CVB
Lunch:  Destination Niagara USA
Breakfast: Albany Capital Center
Audio/Visual: CMIAV
Coffee Breaks: del Lago Resort & Casino, The Sagamore Resort
Breakout Sessions: Visit Rochester, del Lago Resort & CasinoDiscover AlbanyNESCO Resource
Event App: MapDynamics

Program Agenda

8:00 AM - Registration Opens / Breakfast

8:15 AM - ESSAE Member Benefits & Features Orientation
A 30-minute presentation, led by the ESSAE Membership Committee, that will focus on the benefits of being an ESSAE member, including a brief presentation how to log into and set up your online profile, use the Community Forum, and connect with others using the online directory. 

9:00 to 10:15 AM - Welcome Remarks and Keynote Address (Location: Town Hall)

10:30 to 11:30 AM - Concurrent Sessions

  • The Big Dance: Meetings Contracts That Make You Look Like a Hero (Location: Town Hall)
  • Creating a Culture of Accountability: A Panel Discussion on Ethics & Fraud in Associations (Location: 6 King Street)
  • Digital Analytics for Organizations & Associations  (Location: 8 King Street)

11:45 to 12:45 PM - Concurrent Sessions

  • Culture of YOU! Owning Your Success (Location: Town Hall)
  • How to Rejuvenate Membership Sales Through Smarter Marketing (Location: 6 King Street)
  • Effective Advocacy and Membership Communications in the Digital Age (Location: 8 King Street)
12:45 to 2:30 PM - Networking Lunch

Session Descriptions

The Big Dance: Meetings Contracts That Make You Look Like a Hero
Janeé Pelletier, MBA, CMP, DES, Vice President of Communications & Events, MdBio Foundation

This session will allow participants to move beyond logistics into strategic financial management of your meetings. Learn how to put your best foot forward in RFPs to communicate the full value of your business and negotiate favorable financial terms for key contract clauses. Practice negotiation skills in a hands-on scenario that encourages partnership between planners and suppliers. Use real hotel contract clauses to determine how you can make your contracts stronger. Learning Objectives:

  • Write a winning RFP that communicates the full value of your business, so you can achieve the best financial package for your contract
  • Diagnose and negotiate key financial hot spots including sliding scale room rental, F&B performance, cumulative attrition, and other key financial elements
  • Hone negotiation skills in a peer-to-peer role play activity

In addition, walk away from this session with…

  • A template with sample contract terms that you can use for your next negotiation.
  • A battle-tested meeting budget Excel worksheet that adjusts variable costs based on changing registration numbers.
  • Language and skills to represent your association and your meeting with confidence during financial and contract negotiations.
  • The Cheapskate’s Guide to Saving Money on your F&B.

Creating a Culture of Accountability (Location: 
A Panel Discussion on Ethics & Fraud in Associations
(Moderator) Joanmarie Dowling, Esq., Member, Dowling Law, PLLC
Kevin Testo, CPA, Partner, The Bonadio Group
Bob Schneider, CPA, CAE, Associate Executive Director & COO, NYS School Boards Association
John Vero, Delaney Vero, PLLC
Terra Carnrike-Granata, Information Security, NBT Bank

It’s something no association executive wants to experience. According to a 2013 Washington Post analysis, more than 1,000 nonprofit organizations in the United States had reported to the IRS a “significant diversion of funds” since 2008, when the IRS Form 990 first included a question about such losses. The typical reaction to news of embezzlement is, “How could this happen?” Fraud is a persistent risk that doesn’t discriminate by size or mission. Hear stories and share examples that show the common conditions that give rise to fraud, and the concrete actions that can prevent it rest on both policies and people. Learner Outcomes:

  • Understand better the ways that Fraud can manifest and the factors/underlying conditions that increase risk of Fraud;
  • Identify policies and processes that an executive can implement to reduce the likelihood of Fraud.

Digital Analytics for Organizations & Associations
Dan O’Leary, Senior Digital Strategist, Overit

Businesses leverage digital analytics everyday in order to coordinate marketing and sales efforts.Yet, many industry and nonprofit associations lag behind in their analytics capabilities and practices. While professional groups and associations face different challenges and responsibilities than individual companies, they still have many of the same opportunities when it comes to transforming data into insights and insights into strategies. This session will introduce Digital Analytics 101 to beginner audiences. Attendees will learn:

  • How to align digital analytics within organizational objectives and missions
  • How to adopt data driven cultures within existing organizations
  • How to choose the right technology solutions and platforms for digital analytics
  • How to identify, track, and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) for organizational life-cycle stages
  • How to report and communicate data to various organizational stakeholders

Culture of YOU! Owning Your Success
Miranda VonFricken, Talent, Training & Culture Expert, Mastermind Coach, and Host of #LinkedInLocal

Increasing employee motivation is a shared effort. As members of an organization we expect there to be a certain level of training and professional development, but what happens when it’s not enough? It’s time to take ownership of our own success and get creative with our network and resources? In this interactive breakout session you will discover your own set of core values and create non-negotiables for your personal and professional life. We’ll discuss mindset, specific behaviors, and concrete actions steps to set yourself up for success no matter what level you are at in your career.

How to Rejuvenate Membership Sales Through Smarter Marketing
Alexander Gutin, President, Web Scribble Solutions, Inc.

This session will educate association professionals on effective marketing tactics that will boost membership sales. The session speaks on multiple marketing factors associations should focus on in order to drive up sales and increase overall membership rates - such as brand awareness, social media outreach, and mobile marketing. With the incorporation of industry-related examples and important statistics, this presentation will teach audiences how to market smarter and rejuvenate membership sales. Learning objectives:

  • How to promote brand awareness within your association
  • How to reach members on marketing platforms they engage with
  • How to create a mobile marketing strategy that works

Effective Advocacy and Membership Communications in the Digital Age
William Van SlykePrincipal, Van Slyke Strategic Consulting

The digital communications revolution presents as many challenges as it does opportunities. The advent of Long Tail media the proliferation of digital/social and traditional media spaces means you need to be present in numerous comm channels continuously to break through the din. But what channels and approaches are right for you? Learn more about the communication strategies and tools you can use to improve your advocacy, more effectively engage your membership, and better demonstrate the value of your organization.

Registration Fees

Registration includes access to (3) three hours of professional development (CAE/CMP), interactive and engaging breakout sessions, continental breakfast with healthy options, coffee breaks between sessions, and a networking lunch. ESSAE Members: Please sign in to receive the member rate! If you have any issues with accessing your profile, please contact Rebecca Sheehan.

Full Day (Sessions & Lunch): Members: $85 | Non-Members: $165
Sessions Only: Members: $70 | Non-Members: $135
Lunch Only: Members: $40 | Non-Members: $65

Event Policies

Social Media: Connect with us! @EmpireStateSAE - Event Hashtag: #ESSAEHarvest

Event Fees: You must be listed as an ESSAE member representative (and in good standing) to receive member rates for registration to ESSAE events, webinars, etc. If you are not yet a member, you must submit a membership application with your registration. To do this online, complete the membership application and pay dues. After your dues are paid, complete your registration. (PDF of Membership Application)

Substitution Policy: Substitutions of attendees are permitted for paid registrations. The difference between the member and non-member price will apply if a non-member replaces a member. 

Cancellation Policy: Registrations must be made and paid for by Tuesday, October 2, 2018. Registration cancellations received prior to the deadline may be eligible to receive a refund less $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. 

Credits: This event will offer up to 3 credit hours towards the CAE/CMP designations. ESSAE is a CAE approved provider, formally registered with the CAE program and committed to providing education that meets the CAE Commission's standards for helping individuals earn or maintain the Certified Association Executive credential. CAE Approved Providers have received guidance on such standards and pledged to properly represent course eligibility for CAE credit. Details on how to track your points/clock hours, visit:

Questions? Contact ESSAE: 518-463-1755 or [email protected]