Sales Training Conference

Date: March 28 - 29, 2019Time: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm (ET)
Location:  Show map Dallas Regional Chamber
500 N. Akard Street
Suite 2600
Dallas, TX 75201
Contact: Susan McGuirePhone: 703-998-3572Email:

ACCE's 2019 Sales Training Conference will take place on March 28-29, 2019 at the Dallas Regional Chamber, located at 500 N. Akard Street, Suite 2600, Dallas, Texas 75201.


Conference hotel:

Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Dallas

1600 Pacific Ave, Dallas, TX 75201

Phone: (214) 299-8982

A limited number of hotel rooms are available at the following rate: $179

Hotel block cutoff date: March 6, 2019, or when group block is sold out

Reservation link: ACCE 2019 Sales Training Conference



ACCE members:

$499/early bird (through February 28, 2019)


Non-members: $699



Registration link: ACCE 2019 Sales Training Conference 



(Speakers and sessions subject to change)

Thursday, March 28

8:00 a.m.                            Registration, light breakfast

9:00 a.m.                            Conference welcome: Jennifer Schmiel, CCE, IOM, Senior Vice President, Member Services, Dallas Regional Chamber

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.  General session presentation: What Members Want - Sales Conference Edition

Welcome to Dallas! We’ll start the conference by getting the scoop from members of the Dallas Regional Chamber about why they joined, the value they see in their chamber investments, and the communication methods they find most productive and useful to encourage their involvement and engagement in the chamber. Our DRC hosts will lead an informative and inspirational discussion around what our members (and prospective members) really want – and why we do what we do every day to promote membership in our organizations.

10:30 – 11:45 a.m.  General session presentation: Member Retention - What’s the Silver Bullet? / Presentation (PDF)

Cathi Hight, Hight Performance Group, Inc.

Talk to your peers about what “keeps them up at night,” and you’ll find that retention is a common challenge. Is your retention rate normal? And what’s the secret to keeping more members? In this session led by organizational expert Cathi Hight, learn about the key factors that influence retention outcomes, the members who are most likely to drop and what you can do about it, and the five key strategies to improve your retention rate.

11:45 a.m. Lunch served

Noon – 1 p.m.  Panel discussion: Paths to Chamber Sales Success

David Pruente, Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce (facilitator); and panelists Amanda Yankovich, Director of Membership, Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce; Brandon Mumm, Director of Membership, Ames Chamber of Commerce; and Kristie Woodroom, Business Development Manager, Commerce Lexington Inc.

This panel of successful sales and membership professionals will talk about the challenges of the first few years of chamber sales, how they turned challenges into successes, lessons learned, and tips for continued upward mobility in the chamber world.

1:15 – 2:30 p.m. Breakouts

Breakout 1: The Proof is in the Process / Presentation (PDF)

Ashleigh Christian, Director of Membership Development, Knoxville Chamber of Commerce

In this session, ACCE Million Dollar Circle Recipient Ashleigh Christian will take you through the sales process and the key skills you need to know to master it. Ashleigh will discuss the sales meeting, sales packets, and the importance of a sales board, along with best practices for appointment setting, prospecting, presenting and closing the sale. Attendees will leave this session re-energized about sales and equipped with new tools to increase new member sales and top investors.

Breakout 2:   Communicating Chamber Value to Maximize Member Engagement

Shari Pash, Strategic Solutions for Growth

Many chambers are seeing long-term members drop. In this session, we will discuss what engagement means to different member segments, how to define and measure chamber value and engagement, and how to increase overall engagement. Key to engagement is value, we will also discuss strategies and tips for educating potential members on the value of their chamber investment, and why it’s important to invest even if the potential member has limited time to be involved. Help prospects, members, and your business community understand the value that their investment brings to your overall mission and what engagement can mean to their company or business.

2:45 – 4 p.m.  Breakouts

In this series of breakouts, we will facilitate learning and conversation about partnering with larger investors. How do you create and sustain relationships with businesses that meet their needs and contribute in a large way to your chamber’s mission?

Breakout 1:  Innovate or Disintegrate: Selling What Matters (for smaller chambers or staff) / Presentation (PDF)

Erin Carney, President and CEO, Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce

You're a small chamber, but you are looking to recruit big investments and want to deliver bigger returns. Sponsorship generation runs dry if you aren't refilling your well with new, innovative ideas that address the needs of business owners and operators today, tomorrow, and beyond. Learn how to cultivate relationships that are mutually beneficial for your chamber and your members and put a plan in place to make one large ask per member.

Breakout 2:  The Master of the One-Ask: A Conversation with Marvin Bond and Cathi Hight (for larger chambers or staff)

Marvin Bond, CCE, Vice President, Investor Relations, Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce; with Cathi Hight, Hight Performance Group, Inc.

In this session, Cathi Hight sits down with Marvin Bond of the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber to talk about his strategies for creating and sustaining relationships with prospects and chamber investors based on the shared goal of creating healthy and sustainable economic growth in the local community, rather than short-term transactional benefits.

4:15 - 5:15 p.m.  Sales coaching workshop

Facilitated by David Pruente, Ashleigh Christian, and Tim Rogers

In our final workshop of the day, our experts will facilitate small-group coaching sessions to develop and hone key sales techniques and skills, including (time permitting) initial prospecting calls and sales meetings, overcoming objections, and closing the sale. Don’t miss this opportunity for individual feedback and coaching on essential sales techniques.

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.  Happy Hour Reception, Dakota’s Steakhouse, 600 North Akard Street

7:00 p.m.             Networking dinners (reservations are for 7 p.m.). Please meet at selected restaurants and ask for “ACCE Group.” 

Online networking dinner signups have closed. Please sign up for networking dinners on-site at conference registration desk by noon on March 28.


Friday, March 29

8 – 9 a.m.             Full breakfast

9 – 10:15 a.m.  General session presentation: Emotional Intelligence - Awareness, Adaptability, and Empathy for Chamber Sales Success

Bill Marklein, Employ Humanity

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. A healthy EI (or EQ) is quickly becoming the number one competency for workplace success, relationship building, and leadership in the 21st century. Bill Marklein will challenge and entertain you while inspiring you to use your unique human-only skills of awareness, adaptability, and empathy to help you deal with change and workplace challenges and make you a more successful sales professional and chamber team member. The session will include live interactive polling and EQ self-assessment techniques.

10:30 – 11:15 a.m. General session presentation: Sales Meets Marketing - Intentional Integration to Drive Results / Presentation (PDF) / Handout (PDF)

Caroline Monahan, Director of Marketing & Communications; and Britt Delo, Director of Membership; Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce

What’s the secret to attracting new members and keeping them so engaged they can’t wait to renew their membership? It’s making sure you are communicating the value of chamber membership on a consistent basis. In this session, the Michigan West Coast Chamber sales and membership teams will take you on their digital transformation journey and show you how they have switched from cold, outdated outbound sales techniques that blast messages to the masses, to targeted inbound sales messages demonstrating a genuine interest in helping a prospect or member succeed. It’s very personal – and possible even for a sales and marketing team of two people. The chamber’s journey included development of chamber member personas, use of the latest member communication and tracking tools, and dashboard that tells them what is working – and what isn’t.

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. General session presentation: Engaging Your Board of Directors in Membership Recruitment / Presentation (PDF) / Sample Board Campaign Spreadsheet (Excel)

Tim Rogers, Vice President of Membership; and Justin Lee, Associate Vice President of Membership; Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

In our closing session, we’ll discuss the Charleston Metro Chamber’s successful program to engage its Board of Directors in membership recruitment. Over the last four years, the chamber’s board campaign has raised over $150,000 in additional revenue and brought high-profile prospects on board through engagement with their chamber’s top leaders. Learn the steps to take to get your board involved in ways that work for them and that result in increased revenue and engagement with top community and business leaders.

12:45 p.m. Conference adjourns

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