Attendees at CSAE Annual Conference and Showcase

3 Takeaways from the 2019 CSAE Annual Conference & Showcase

Held in beautiful British Columbia, this year’s CSAE Annual Conference & Showcase was charged with assisting associations in navigating an increasingly complex association environment.

This year’s conference brought together industry experts in an effort to establish how to effectively operate while adapting to ongoing and often unpredictable change, and make sense of all the information that is out there to make informed decisions.

Bespoke Audio Visual’s Mark Millar attended this year’s conference. Here are some of his takeaways.

1. Collaboration

For a company or association to be successful there must be collaboration. It is through collaboration that ideas are born that can change a conference or meeting. It forces different departments to speak to each other, work with each other and exchange ideas towards the overall success of that conference. In the audio visual world, we so often go with the same when it is no more effort to go with something new, fresh and innovative when all parties are involved. As partners with our clients, we can strive to achieve the same goal.

2. Time Well Spent

When attending a conference like CSAE, I am focused on connecting with those I work with and those I want to work with. It’s like that saying, “killing two birds with one stone” (though not altogether appropriate these days). If I can spend time with those I want to work with, I feel accomplished. If unforeseen meetings happen that is a bonus and makes the return on your attendance worth that much more.

Indigenous Canadians performing at CSAE
group on stage at CSAE Annual Conference

3.The Importance of Onboarding

More often than not, companies hire an employee, give them a laptop, a short review on their goals and what is expected of them. Then, they are off to the races, as they say. The importance of proper onboarding is imperative to build that person’s confidence in themselves and the company they have come to work for. A proper welcome to the company, meet and greet with other employees, and the roles of each employee will prepare that person to be confident, build comradery and feel they are part of the team. This kind of onboarding is more likely to keep that person engaged with your company for a longer period of time.

This year, I was fortunate enough to be a member of the Task Force Committee working towards changing the exhibitor portion of the conference. We decided to set up the exhibits in a different manner to see how it would work. Exhibitors were placed in different locations throughout the venue instead of a single room. This allowed for more interaction between exhibitors and potential business as delegates needed to walk by the exhibitors to get to their sessions. While the final verdict is not yet in on its success, we will know more once the surveys are reviewed.

With an attendance of approximately 550 delegates, I personally thought the 2019 CSAE Annual Conference was a success. The location (Vancouver) was great, the venue (Sheraton Wall Centre) was accommodating, and the staff was the best I have worked with in a long time. The topics and speakers were relevant to the association industry. No matter what, there is always something to learn that is applicable to improving as an employee or association/company.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the 2020 CSAE Annual Conference & Showcase in Halifax on November 4-6.

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