Association Leaders Summit

16 – 17 November 2020 East Horsley, Surrey, UK Summit


The changing human, financial, and technological landscape in which associations operate presents us with unprecedented opportunities to evolve as forward-thinking associations.

Focusing on the creation of valuable experiences, embracing new technologies innovatively developing a multi-generational engagement strategy, nurturing a culture of leadership, and cultivating talent and change management practices will help associations address commercial threats, and remain competitive and profitable year after year.

To support leaders in meeting these challenges, the Association of Association Executives has developed the Association Leaders Summit 2020 which is taking place on 2nd & 3rd July, outside London.

The summit, carefully developed with association CEOs, by the AAE’s Programme Director will present thought-provoking ideas and valuable learning from key opinion leaders. Shared challenges are identified and discussed in a collegiate environment where association leaders are among their peers, in confidence.

Why we have created the Association Leadership Summit

We have been holding leadership forums within our congresses for nine years, and our members have asked for an event exclusively for CEOs where they can learn and engage at a high level.  I’m very pleased to be producing this Association Leaders Summit for our members and the whole association, society and federation community.

The summit is exclusive to leaders, with a collegiate environment, high-level talks, and discussion that addresses challenges that face even the very-experienced CEOs. An essential aspect of the event is the limited delegate places (40 delegates and 16 speakers) to ensure a very personal and valuable experience for delegates, in a high-quality private location.

I invite you to review more information at the website and to join this interesting and essential event.

Damian Hutt,
Executive Director
Association of Association Executives


The Five Pillars of the Summit:


A dynamic, cohesive leadership team, comprising the Board, the CEO and any senior staff, who have a clear vision of the future, the pathway to get there, and the motivation to achieve it.

Our Speakers Dame Alison Peacock, CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching, Bridget Shine, CEO of the Independent Publishers Guild, Anna Scothern, CEO of the National Home Improvement Council and Alison Corner of the Science, Engineering & Manufacturing Technologies Alliance are long-standing leaders within their sectors providing expert  leadership, with a talent for future thinking to achieve vision and success through their leadership styles.


A well-run, supportive Board that has up-to-date and sound governance in place, and that embraces innovation and strategic oversight.

Between our speakers Anne Godfrey, CEO of Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and Tom Grinyer, CEO of the British Medical Association (BMA) together have over 35 years’ experience working for membership organisations. Anne Godfrey has held leadership roles in seven very different membership organisations and specialises in change management within the not-for-profit space. Tom Grinyer brings with him considerable membership body experience, both of trade unions and professional associations.

Member Centricity

Associations will adopt more intuitive membership structures, fee schedules, and payment methods that better align with new business models and changes to the way people live and work.

Richard Lambert, Helen Gordon and Caroline Gumble have over 50 years’ experience at C-suite level in professional membership organisations and provide extensive leadership for key operating areas and creating diverse, high performing business environments.

Financial Sustainability

Strong, diversified income streams; revenue growth higher than inflation, pro-active minimisation of inefficiencies.

Speaker Alastair McCapra has been CEO of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations for seven years and has also served on the Finance Committees of Wikimedia UK and of ACEVO. Anne Kiem is Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and prior to that she had been Chief Executive of the Institute of Financial Services, part of what is now the London Institute of Banking and Finance.

Business Sustainability

Associations will move away from purely relying on the “provider of services” model to become a platform that facilitates positive outcomes for members as well as the professional or industry community. This will create a range of new revenue generation opportunities.

Speaker John Mark Williams is a problem solver and strategist, working with C-Suite executives and business owners to help meet the challenging uncertainties in the future of work, and to grow business performance. His special areas are disruptive innovation and emergent strategy. Peter Cheese is the CIPD’s chief executive and speaks widely on the future of work, and the key issues of leadership, culture and organisation, people and skills. Prior to joining the CIPD eight years ago, Peter was Chairman of the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Topics include

  • Creating a vision that provides the association with direction and meaning
  • Creating and implementing a change management strategy and culture
  • Successful succession planning
  • Bolstering business growth and sustainability
  • Education and development of staff to develop their leadership skills
  • Creating membership value and maintaining perceived personal relevance
  • Board’s resistance to change & good- governance practices
  • Building a proactive relationship with the board: aligning the strategy and vision

View Agenda >>

Who should attend

  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Chief Finance Officers
  • Managing Directors
  • Executive Directors
  • Divisional Directors
  • Secretaries General
  • Director Generals
  • Presidents and Chairs with executive responsibility