Association Leaders Summit

09.00–16.30 GMT, 16 December 2020 Online Summit

This very successful UK Association Leaders Summit is available on-demand now (after the event), including the videos of presentations and Q&A sessions, and you can join the post summit discussion forums for each session.


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 16 December, online.

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 combination of input from thought leaders in associations and peer-group discussions, to enable everyone to participate actively. 

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 Four Pillars of the Summit:

Leadership & Governance in Covid Times

A dynamic and robust leadership team, comprising: a well-run Board with up-to-date and sound governance in place, the CEO, and senior staff - all of which embrace innovation and strategic oversight, more than ever in a Covid world; a clear vision of the future, the obstacles to overcome in order to get there, and the motivation to achieve it.

Dame Alison Peacock, CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching is a long-standing leader within her sector providing expert  leadership, with a talent for future thinking to achieve vision and success.

Helen Gordon has several 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.

Member Centrics During a Pandemic and Beyond

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 has several 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.

John Scarrott has 7-years’ experience as a Membership Director. Since 2016 he has worked as a trainer and coach working with Association leaders sharpening their approach and mindset when it comes to presentations, public speaking and member engagement. John is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation.

Financial Sustainability in Challenging Times

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.

Business Sustainability in a New Covid Landscape

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 key issues of leadership, culture and organisation, people, skills and the future of work. 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