Events Training Conference

Date: October 26 - 27, 2017Time: 8:00 am - 12:45 pm (ET)
Location:  Show map Metro Atlanta Chamber
191 Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 3400
Atlanta, GA 30303
Contact: Susan McGuirePhone: 703-998-3572Email:


Metro Atlanta Chamber (Thursday, Oct. 26)
191 Peachtree Street, NE
Suite 340
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

The Commerce Club of Atlanta (Wednesday evening, Oct. 25, and Friday, Oct. 27)
191 Peachtree Street, NE
49th Floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30303


Register before September 26: $499 (early bird)
Register after September 26: $599 (standard)
Non-member rate: $599

Register here. Please note: this conference is limited to 50 registrants.


The Ellis Hotel
176 Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Room rate: $189 (October 25 & 26 only)

Book your room onlinePlease note: room block is closed.



(Schedule and speakers subject to change)

Wednesday, October 25

5 - 7 p.m.: Happy Hour at The Commerce Club of Atlanta

Get the networking (and fun) started! If you are in town Wednesday evening, join your fellow conference participants for an informal catered meet up at The Commerce Club of Atlanta, located on the 49th floor of Peachtree Tower, 191 Peachtree Street, NE (the same building  in which the Metro Atlanta Chamber is located). 

Thursday, October 26

Location: Metro Atlanta Chamber, 191 Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 340

8 - 9 a.m.: Registration, light breakfast

9 - 9:15 a.m. Conference welcome

9:15 - 10:15 a.m. General session presentationAbstract Art: Blending Revenue, Mission, and Engagement to Reimagine Your Chamber’s Future

Karen Price, Vice President, Engagement & Programs, Charlotte Chamber

How does your organization mix revenue, mission, and engagement to create vibrant events and programs that inform and acknowledge your investors? As chambers look to become more cause-centered and less transactional, they must address the challenge of creating events that reflect and support their mission while also providing essential networking and engagement opportunities. In our opening session, Karen Price will share how the Charlotte Chamber has reimagined its events calendar and programs to create engagement around content mattering most to its investors.

10:30 - 11:45 a.m. General session presentation - Good Morning, Sunshine! Wake Up Your Chamber Events

Sandy Sloane, President, Solutions by Sloane

Chambers of Commerce offer invaluable opportunities for networking and connecting. But how do you ensure that your networking events are “must attend” functions that your new, existing, and prospective members won’t want to miss? Need ways to encourage networking in a fun, non-threatening way? In this session led by events planner and networking guru Sandy Sloane, get practical information on keeping your events fresh and exciting - and network with your fellow conference attendees as well!

Noon - 1 p.m. Lunch buffet

12:30 – 12:50 p.m. Optional Lunch and Learn - ACCE e-Tour

Sarah Melby, Director of Information & Research, ACCE

Learn how to make the most of your ACCE membership during this lunch and learn session with Sarah Melby. Sarah will show how to use Chamberpedia and search ACCE’s Samples Library with over 4,000 chamber working documents, including diversity and inclusion focused events, sign up for e-communications on events-related topics, and get answers to chamber questions on topics including events, marketing, membership engagement, chamber stats on membership and revenue, and more.

1 - 2:15 p.m. Breakouts

Breakout 1: Using Your Chamber's Branding Iron

Savannah Barrington, Coordinator - Special Events & Small Business, Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce

You’ve got the date and maybe even an event outline, but how do you brand your event to be a memorable one that attendees will remember year after year? Branding involves much more than deciding on a theme or a color scheme. Your brand should create a consistent and memorable impression in the minds of your members. Get your iron hot, because we are about to explore the frontiers of chamber event branding.

Breakout 2: Down to the Penny!

Jessica Welch, Senior Director of Operations, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce

Effective financial management is the key to any successful event. Learn how to start, manage, and stick to a budget while minimizing expenses and maintaining the quality of your event. Come away from this interactive workshop with sample budgets and hands-on tools to make your next event an “on the books” success.

2:30 - 3:45 p.m. Breakouts

Breakout 1: Out with the Old, In with the New: Overhauling Events

Cheryl Viola, Executive Director, Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce

Sometimes you have to try something new! Learn how to overhaul – or replace completely – your struggling chamber events with fresher, more successful options. Focusing particularly on community events, this workshop will help you think outside the box to revamp your current events, recognize opportunities for new events, and create and executive marketing strategies to help them succeed.

Breakout 2: 47 Ideas, Tips and Suggestions to Reduce Event Expenses – Without Compromising Quality

Bill Holman, CMP, Holman Brothers Nonprofit Sales Solutions

Let’s face it, anyone can plan an event, program, meeting, or conference when cost isn’t an issue. Chambers event planners must be better than that. You must consistently deliver a wonderful experience on a shoestring budget, while simultaneously maximizing profit to support your organizational mission. In this fast-moving workshop, participants will discover 47 techniques to help reduce event cost without compromising the attendee experience.

4-5 p.m. Optional roundtables and individual sessions

If you haven't filled out our roundtable topic survey yet, you can access it here. Thanks!

Roundtable 1: Small to medium-sized chambers and staff

Led by Leska Parker, CMP, Director of Development, Longview Chamber of Commerce

This roundtable will be most useful for participants from chambers with fewer than 15 staff members and for those from smaller communities with few or no full-service event venue options.

Roundtable 2: Medium to larger-sized chambers and staff

Led by Cindy Johnson, CMP, Director of Events, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

This roundtable will be most useful for participants from chambers with more than 15 staff members and for those from medium to larger communities with full-service event venue options available.

By appointment: Ask ACCE!

Sarah Melby, Director, Information & Research, ACCE

Got burning events questions? Need examples of events such as networking events, golf days, diversity and inclusion programming, annual breakfast series, health and wellness events, Small Business Saturday shopping events, young professionals programming, and more? Take this opportunity to meet individually with ACCE’s Director of Information & Research Sarah Melby, who can locate resources, examples, and chamber best practices to help you do your job more effectively and efficiently. Signups will be available at the conference registration desk.

6:30 p.m. Networking dinners

Sign up link will be posted in advance, and signup sheet will be available at registration desk. Meet at selected restaurants for 6:30 reservation. All restaurants will be within walking distance of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

Friday, October 27

Location: Commerce Club of Atlanta, 191 Peachtree Street, NE, 49th Floor

8 - 9 a.m. Full breakfast

9 - 15 a.m. General session presentation: 60 Event Ideas in 60 Minutes

Modeled after the popular ACCE Annual Convention session on membership, this session will feature YOU, as participants each take one minute to share a great event idea that has worked for their chamber. How many innovative ideas will you leave with after this one-hour session? Come and find out! Cash prizes awarded for best ideas!

10:30 - 11:45 a.m. Breakouts

Breakout 1: Guerilla Marketing for a Targeted Result

Sheri Wagner, Special Events Coordinator, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce

Need to get the word out about your next event but don’t have a big budget? Use specialized in-house marketing strategies to reach your target market. This session will cover use of video and live streaming techniques in social media, as well as more traditional methods such as personal contacts and print. Creative thinking can lead to big results - without requiring a big budget. Target your audience and go for it!

Breakout 2: Maximizing Revenue through Creative Sponsorships & Community Partnerships

Darby Burkey, Vice President of Partner Engagement, Rockwall Area Chamber of Commerce

Are you competing with other community non-profits for sponsorship dollars? Learn about the creative sponsorship packages developed by the Rockwall Chamber to supercharge event revenue, and how partnerships with its local Young Professional group and area non-profits have resulted in increased chamber visibility and substantial profits on its signature events.

12 noon - 1 p.m. General session presentation - Setting the Stage for Sponsor Renewals

Bill Holman, CMP, Holman Brothers Nonprofit Sales Solutions

Attracting new sponsors is difficult and expensive, especially in today’s ultra-competitive business environment. Focusing on the long-term value of sponsors will result in corporate partners who come back year after year. In this closing session, we’ll cover strategies to engage and retain your key event sponsors. We will begin with how to develop an actionable sponsor engagement plan to deepen sponsor relationships. We will also cover post-event follow-up and how well-crafted sponsorship fulfillment reports can help your chamber stand out from your competitors.

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