Booking online is now closed. If you are from an association, please call +44 (0) 20 8004 6305 to register. ×

Associations World Congress 2022

5 – 7 September 2022 Lisbon, Portugal Congress

Tuesday 6 September

  • All Sessions have specific table plans where delegates are in groups of six at round tables, specifically allocated together for their similarity according to the topic of the session.
  • Association Case Studies are included in all the Association Leadership & Conference & Events Strategy sessions (except Session 4)
Key to session elements
Presentations Presentations Questions & Answers Questions
& Answers 
Exercises Association
Case Studies
Exercises Exercises Discussion Discussion
at tables
Reflection Reflection


Plenary: Opening Session 
Association Leadership
1. A New Era for Associations: how to deal with major disruptions and lead your members to a better future?

Many associations have been faced with an existential crisis: Disruption of our largest projects (annual conferences), damage to our revenue, disruption in our relationships with major sponsors, and now the Covid19 pandemic effects are ending, members are not engaging or utilising associations as much as before. How to regain and retain relevance as an International / European association? Whilst engaging your members in the creation of a sustainable and social future for the profession or industry.

In this session we look at how 

  • Case Studies: Comparison of Member activity Before, During & After the pandemic
  • What do members want now?
  • How have their priorities changed and why?
  • Can we venture into new activities to provide value?
  • What are the implications for the association strategy and governance?

Session elements

Presentations Case Studies Questions & Answers Discussion Reflection
Session Leader

Tim van der Rijken



Conference & Events Strategy
2. A Difficult future for International Conferences? Ensuring a sustainable business!

Associations have become more agile, creative, resilient and flexible, learning key skills to deliver online and hybrid conferences. However, many organisations are hoping to return to mostly-onsite attendees and prioritizing them. Is this possible with what the future holds?

In this session we consider the effects on our conference business, of these factors:

  • Potential unacceptability of long-distance travel
  • Global and personal health issues
  • The changing nature of work
  • Influences on those who approve / pay for the delegate fees & expenses
  • How sponsors and exhibitors are re-acting
  • Continued international conferences vs. a mix of regionals - and all those inbetween
Hybrid Conferences: Can they ever make a profit, and if so, how?

Associations have learnt that online delegate participation is going to be of major importance for the future, and probably growing. Not only are there new audiences that will only attend online, but a substantial proportion of previously-onsite attendees can't attend physically or won't.

The session addresses:

  • Introduction to the landscape of Hybrid & Online events
  • How profitable have association's hybrid events been in the last 9 months?
    • Case studies from associations - large and smaller size events
    • What has made the events successful
    • What has caused major financial deficits
  • What models can work, and where to compromise so you can make a profit?
    • Presentation from the session leader on the models and related financial advantages of each
    • Input from delegates on their challenges of quality over profit, and what constitutes a minimum viable option

This session, the first of two during the congress, is led by Sasha Frieze, one of the most recognised conference consultants and producers with decades of conference industry experience, adving associations and other non-profits as well as commercial organisers. Sasha is AAE's Masterclasses tutor on both hybrid and online conferences, and has provided advice to many AAE member associations.

Session elements
Presentations Case Studies Questions & Answers Exercises Discussion Reflection
Session Leader

Sasha Frieze

Managing Director
The Business Narrative


Executive Skills
3. Coaching to support change in your Association

Your team are under pressure. They’re being asked to do more, do different, be flexible, respond and adapt like never before. This is as true for leaders and managers as it is for those they lead. If you want the association to be successful, as a leader, you need to encourage and support your people to do this work. To take the steps you’re asking them to take, coaching is a powerful ally, both for you and your people. It can get you to where you want to go, faster and more comfortably.

In this session, ICF-accredited PCC coach John Scarrott (who worked in associations for over 10 years) will provide a practical guide to coaching for leaders. You’ll leave with everything you need to start using coaching to support your people.

  • An introduction to coaching: the key principles of professional coaching
  • Key Skills: the four key abilities, Attention, Curiosity, Expanded Listening and Speaking (ACES) that leaders can nurture in order to become better coaches.
  • In depth exploration of the ACES in discussion and exercises
  • Practical steps: how to introduce coaching, set things up and move things along and complete
  • Barriers: what can get in the way of coaching and how to handle it
  • Discussion: raise questions and discuss challenges
  • Action: develop a plan to begin to work on these skills beyond the session
Session elements
Presentations Questions & Answers Exercises Discussion Reflection
Session Leader

John Scarrott

Trainer and Coach
John Scarrott Training and Coaching


Refreshments, Networking & Appointments
Sessions 1,2 & 3 continue
Lunch, Networking & Appointments
Round-table Meetings

A selection of meetings hosted by trusted suppliers, destinations and venues, where delegates discuss their challenges around the table with other associations, and the supplier provides their best advice, and references to how they have helped address these issues with other associations. 

Association Strategy
4. New & Diversified Revenue: Innovative & Online services

The reduced revenue from events is just one factor that challenges associations to create new revenue streams and to diversify their activities, for more secure revenue.

Over the last 18 months, a wide range of new activities have funded associations, from sponsorship offerings, wholy new activities and new types of small easy-to-deliver online activities.

This session, led by Dan Torjussen-Proctoer, will include:

  • Case studies of new revenue-generating innovative and online services
    • Presented to the room as a whole
    • Presented at each table (delegate's table allocation is to facilitate this)
  • Case studies of new sponsorships (that rely less on the physical events)
    • Presented to the room
    • Presented at each table (delegate's table allocation changes for this part of the session, to facilitate this)
Session elements
Presentations Case Studies Questions & Answers Discussion Reflection
Session Leader

Dan Torjussen-Proctor

Commercial Leader & Management Consultancy





Conference & Events Strategy
5. Pricing online delegate fees, Providing value & Communicating it

Before the pandemic, conference content was provided online in multiple ways and formats, and provided for free or priced in the knowledge either that take-up was relatively low or onsite attendance fees were providing very substantial revenue.  Lower production levels were normal and the costs were mostly borne by other revenue sources.

During the pandemic pricing for delegates was “quick-and-dirty” not an exact science, often associations charging no fee or a low percentage of historic onsite fees.  And whilst many conferences operated at much reduced profitability, online and hybrid meetings did increase reach and helped to attract new members.

Now however, the issue of online pricing continues and needs resolving, as associations want to retain the potential large online audiences.  Post pandemic this audience includes people who can no longer get approval to travel for safety reasons, and won’t get approval of budget when online attendance is possible.

In this session, Jennifer Jenkins and Jane Hopkins, highly regarded conference directors, and board members of Worldspan plc, will facilitate taking you through the issues, considering different points of views and synthesising solutions and approaches that can work for many situations.

The session will cover:

  • Association Case Studies on pricing – what has worked and what hasn’t
  • What ethical principles should a not-for-profit / member organisation apply to this?
  • What costs should be attributed to online delegate service, to formulate your pricing policy?
  • Pricing to Value: How does the value compare to onsite attendance?
  • Case studies and delegate input into how best to communicate the value, investment in quality, and a fair price.

In advance delegates who book this session will:

  • Provide information about their own experience of pricing online delegates, value and communicating
  • Contribute to setting new benchmarks in respect of attendee rates and packages

During this session, we’ll include:

  • Case Studies from International & European association conferences
  • Expert opinion from associations leaders and events strategists
  • Thought-leader commentary from distinguished suppliers in the field
  • Roundtable discussion and debate
  • Shared findings and conclusions
Session elements
Presentations Case Studies Questions & Answers Exercises Discussion Reflection
Session Leader

Jennifer Jenkins

Worldspan plc


Association Leadership
13. Transition your Association up to a "professional" organisation with Credentials

In this session we explore how to transition your organisation into a "professional" organisation, able to develop and award credentials that recognize the knowledge and competence of members. Whether your organisation is an individual member organisation, a trade association or other business member organisation, the development of credentials is valuable to your sector.

Key issues to be addressed during the workshop include:

  • Defining your mission and articulated your value proposition to members and the community you serve
  • Developing a skills matrix that clearly describes required competencies
  • Establishing assessment criteria and developing assessment tools
  • Developing a marketing plan
  • Engagement with government and regulatory bodies
  • ANSI/ISO 17024 principles and requirements for a body certifying persons
  • The importance of cooperation and collaboration with the academic community and the broad Association sector
  • Promoting a commitment to continuing professional development
  • Developing and enforcing a code of professional conduct
  • Expanding your designation beyond national borders

Kevan Jones is the Executive Director of the Southern African Communications Industries Association and over the last decade, has been involved in developing almost 20 industry-specific credentials for multiple industry sectors. He holds an MA degree from Regents University London School of Psychology and Psychotherapy, with a specialisation in creative leadership. He also holds the CAE designation from both the American and Canadian Societies of Association Executives.

Session Leader

Kevan Jones

Executive Director
Southern African Communications Industries Association


Refreshments, Networking & Appointments
Sessions 4,5 & 13 continue
Transfer to the Congress Dinner, from the Altice Arena
Congress Dinner at Palácio do Conde d'Óbidos

Sponsored by Altice Arena & Cascais

Return transfers to the Congress Hotels