Winter Connections & Education: A Digital Holiday Experience

Why Attend? | Holiday Kits | Event FeesKeynote: Kathy Parry | Keynote: Dr. Michael Tatonetti  

Online Auction | Event Platform | Partners | Schedule of Events

A Digital Holiday Experience
A Two-Day Educational and Networking Event!
December 2 & 3, 2020

The best of our Fall Harvest Highlight and Holiday Party, rolled into one great event!

For years, you’ve enjoyed the ESSAE Fall Harvest Highlight, sharing ideas, insights and experience. Then the Holiday Party where we came together with peers, colleagues, clients, and friends.

This year, we’re combining the best of both into our first Winter Connections & Education: A Digital Holiday Spectacular. We’ll come together and connect our association community statewide and learn from industry experts, network with peers and engage in this brand-new two-day, virtual experience that will help accelerate the recovery of our association community. 

The Winter Connections will be a first-of-its-kind experience with the tips, topics and talent you need to get 2021 back on track. This is the can’t-miss event for all New York State association professionals. 

Featured Speakers: 

Kathy Parry, Corporate Energy Expert
Dr. Michael Tatonetti, CAE, CPP, Speaker, Consultant, and Founder of Pricing for Associations
Thomas P. DiNapoli, 54th Comptroller of the State of New York


Wednesday, December 2
Education - 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM
Holiday Celebration - 4:30 PM

Thursday, December 3
Education - 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Winter Connections & Education - Benefits:

  • Choose from more than 9 educational sessions, offering a total of 6 hours of professional development with a 2-day pass!
  • Access to networking activities between sessions
  • Complimentary Access to Digital Holiday Celebration (with purchase of education pass)
  • Holiday attendee kit for the first 100 registrants (must register by November 16)
  • On-demand access to recorded summit
  • Topics to be covered, include: 
    • Resilience, 2021 Budget Planning, Meetings/Events Post-COVID, Pricing Strategies for Virtual Partnerships, New HR Issues Impacting Associations, Managing & Engaging Your Remote Staff, and Advocacy Updates from the ESSAE Government Affairs Committee!

Holiday Kits - Brought to you by our Winter Partners!

Limited to the first 100 registrants! Attendees who register for the digital event on or before 12:00 PM Thursday, November 25 will be eligible to receive a Holiday Kit that includes sponsored items you can use at home or in the office!

**Due to deadlines to order with our cheese vendor, registrations received AFTER November 18 may still be eligible to receive a holiday kit with sponsored items, but kits will not include a tasty cheese board. 

Registration Options/Fees

2-Day Virtual Education Pass
Members: $85 | Non-Members: $135

1-Day Virtual Education Pass
Members: $55 | Non-Members: $90

Digital Holiday Celebration Only
Members: $20 | Non-Members: $35
Access to the Digital Holiday Celebration is included with the purchase of a virtual education pass. 

Keynote & Guest Speakers

Wednesday, December 2 @ 9:30 AM

Kathy Parry, Corporate Energy Expert
Keynote, Author, and Strategic Workshops

Rubber Band Resilience: How ESSAE Professionals Can Stretch without Snapping
With quotes like, "transform or die" and "disruption is king" it is pertinent that changes, especially those from technology, regulations and membership, be embraced association professionals. The ability to apply a disruption-friendly mindset to transitional shifts will be necessary to serve members, retain personnel and meet budgets. Equipping ESSAE conference participants with the skill set to move through transitions while continuing to produce is imperative to successful organizations.

Roadblocks and unforeseen adversity, both personal and professional, stretch us every day. In this powerful keynote Kathy will share how devastating news led her on a journey to discovering the keys to thriving in the face of challenging circumstances. While sharing her 3-R method for resilient behaviors (React, Reframe, Re-energize), Ms. Parry will engage the audience using questions and interactive exercises

Kathy will inspire and encourage your audience to stretch, not snap when faced with disruption. Known for her candid stories and optimistic approach, Kathy is an expert in creating energetic teams and engaged professionals.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the different reactions to adversity and how to use them to develop a positive outcome
  • Increase awareness of growth mindset to keep teams engaged and productive during transitional events
  • Discover their own unique coping mechanisms and how to employ them to gain control over situations
  • Learn to escalate both personal and organizational energy levels to decrease absenteeism and increase retention and productivity

Sponsored by: Albany Capital Center


December 2 @ 4:30 PM / Holiday Party Main Event!

Comedian Liz Miele

Liz Miele, originally from New Jersey, started doing stand-up at 16 in New York City. At 18 she was profiled in The New Yorker Magazine, at 22 she appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham.” She recently appeared on Comedy Central’s “This Week at the Comedy Cellar,” NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” Hulu’s “Coming To The Stage,” AXS TV’s “Gotham Comedy Live,” and was profiled in the March 2015 issue of Runner’s World.

She has several viral videos on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. She regularly tours internationally and has three albums out on Spotify and iTunes and released her first special “Self Help Me” in May 2020 free on YouTube.

She wrote and produced season one of her animated web series “Damaged,” voiced by great comics including, Maz Jobrani, Hari Kondabolu, Ted Alexandro, Jermaine Fowler, Dean Edwards, DC Benny, Joe Machi and so many more. She also co-produced and co-starred in 40 episodes of a web series called “Apt C3” with fellow comic, Carmen Lynch and fashion photographer, Chris Vongsawat.

Thursday, December 3 @ 12:30 PM

Dr. Michael Tatonetti, CAE, CPP, Director of Certification & Education
Professional Pricing Society

Pricing Strategies for Virtual & Annual Partnerships
Those same sponsorship and exhibitor packages that we sold in January 2020 are no longer what we are fully able to execute on in January 2021. For many associations, this has brought on panic and urgency to pivot. The good news? We've got this. There are others we can learn from. The great news? We get to rethink the value we can offer to our sponsors and how we price that value to bring revenue into our organization.

Join us as we journey through three options to find your yellow brick road, including a case study of sponsorship and exhibiting packages for both one-time virtual events and annual year-round partnership packages to keep the value (and revenue!) alive all year round.

We'll discuss:

  • Innovative ways to package sponsor opportunities
  • The conversations you should be having with your sponsors
  • How to navigate partnerships that provide value and financial sustainability 

Sponsored by: Destination Niagara Falls USA

December 3 @ 3:00 PM - ESSAE Government Affairs Committee Panel Discussion and Advocacy Update

Thomas P. DiNapoli, 54th Comptroller of the State of New York

A life-long Long Islander, Tom was raised in a middle-class, union household and saw the value of hard work and stretching every dollar in the example set by his parents.

In 1972, Tom won his first election and served as a trustee on the Mineola Board of Education, becoming the first 18-year-old in New York State to hold public office. He attended Hofstra University, earning a bachelor’s degree in history and graduated magna cum laude in 1976. He worked in the telecommunications industry for 10 years, and went to night classes and earned a master’s degree from The New School University’s Graduate School of Management and Urban Professions.

Public Service

In 1986, he ran for the New York State Assembly and was elected to represent the 16th District in northwestern Nassau County for the next 20 years. Tom was elected State Comptroller on February 7, 2007, by a bipartisan majority of the State Legislature. He was elected Comptroller by New York’s voters in 2010, 2014 and 2018. Tom is known for his integrity, independence and even-keeled leadership.

Holiday Online Auction

As we countdown to the end of 2020, we look forward to the holiday season and the ability to “pivot” one more time into a year with less COVID and more togetherness. This year, in lieu of an in person silent auction, ESSAE will be raising funds through an online bidding site - Bidding Owl. (more details coming soon!)

The Rita Lashway Scholarship Committee recommended, and our volunteer committee leaders and board of directors agreed unanimously, that funds raised during the Online Auction would be donated directly back to ESSAE to enable us to continue to provide access to the valuable resources you have come to expect. [MORE]

Click here to donate!

This is your chance to be creative! The holiday auction affords you the perfect opportunity to showcase your brand, services, venue and destination! We hope you will consider taking part in this special holiday experience that helps us support our association professionals.

Thank you to our Winter Partners! 



Digital Event Platform

Get the most out of YOUR event experience by using the official Winter Connections Event Platform. ESSAE has partnered with MapDynamics to provide you with access to all of the event information in one easy to navigate platform! Event participants will be able to create an account, build your schedule, download speaker presentations, view speaker bios, connect with sponsors, and much more!

Schedule of Events