Events Training Conference

Date: November 5 - 6, 2020Time: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm (ET) Contact: Susan McGuirePhone: 703-998-3572Email:

ACCE's annual events training conference is going virtual, and we are looking to the future! 

On November 5 and 6, we will share, learn, and network with event planning peers to explore creative solutions meeting the challenges of COVID-19 and other trends impacting chamber gatherings. We will welcome both new and more experienced event professionals, and will meet in general sessions, breakouts, and roundtable discussion groups. All sessions will be recorded, so you will be able to re-watch sessions or access breakouts you missed during concurrent sessions. And we won't forget the fun and networking opportunities that make this annual event so memorable. See session descriptions below. 


ACCE members:

  • $99/early bird (through October 15, 2020)
  • $139/regular 

Register here


Questions? Email 



Sessions and speakers subject to change. All times in ET. We will break for 15 minutes between each session block.



11:30 am – 5:30 pm ET


Optional pre-conference networking (11:30 am)

Hop on early to chat with friends!


Introduction and General session (noon - 1 pm)

The New Psychology of Meetings and Events

In our opening session, we welcome Greg Bogue, chief experience architect at Maritz Global Events, who will share the science-based design principles you need to know to create exceptional event experiences in the dynamic and ever-changing environment created by the global health pandemic. Wherever you are on the path towards beginning hybrid or in-person events, you’ll get insight and practical suggestions on how to create meeting environments in which participants feel safe, confident, and connected. Bring your questions!

  • Greg Bogue, Chief Experience Architect, Maritz Global Events


Breakout block 1 (1:15 - 2 pm)

Concurrent sessions

Using Mission-Drive Events to Create Revenue

In this session, learn how the Boise Metro Chamber leveraged their relationships with state and community leaders to craft high-quality, revenue-producing virtual events and preserve over 95% of their previously committed sponsorships. Boise team members Mat Erpelding and Paul Fleming will discuss the importance of mission-drive content demonstrating the chamber’s critical role in the community; share best practices for creating sponsorships that businesses value; and outline a sponsorship sales strategy that delivers results.

  • Mat Erpelding, Vice President, Government & Community Relations, Boise Metro Chamber
  • Paul Fleming, Account Manager, Boise Metro Chamber


Addressing Racial Equity and Civic Engagement within your Young Professional Program

Join us for an expert panel discussion about how the movement to promote racial equity and civic engagement have been addressed in constructive and impactful ways with chamber young professionals. The panel will discuss their successful initiatives and programs implemented to have difficult conversations, engage young professionals in the local community and prepare the next generations of the leaders for their communities.

  • Andrea Pemberton, TYPROS Executive Director, Tulsa Regional Chamber
  • Hannah Zinn, Program Manager, Greater Boston Chamber
  • Beyazmin Jimenez, Director of Economic Opportunity, Greater Boston Chamber
  • Kayla Meyer, Young Professionals Group Coordinator, Lincoln Chamber


Event Production Roundtable: Making it Work on a Budget

In this breakout, learn how the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber transitioned quickly to virtual and hybrid events on a tight budget. From using a local church to produce and record a professional-quality awards event, to swapping out “chamber chicken” conference meals for restaurant gift cards providing needed support to local restaurants, the chamber was able to move forward with all planned events, retain sponsor commitments, and net more revenue than they had budgeted for their in-person events. Join us to contribute your own ideas, share experiences, and ask questions in this interactive session.

  • Kate Teel, President & CEO, Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce


Roundtable block (2:15 - 3 pm)

Virtual Event Roundtables

We will break up into small groups for peer-led discussions and brainstorming according to event type and topic. You chose the discussions most helpful to you! Options will include making networking events work, virtual meeting platform reviews, planning successful hybrid events, and monetizing virtual events. 


Breakout block 2 (3:15 - 4 pm)

Concurrent sessions

Creating Virtual Fairs that Catalyze Careers

Looking to help your community get back work? This session will take you through what it takes to put on a successful virtual career fair. Learn the ins and outs of what it takes to run a successful career fair, tips for member engagement, and lessons learned.

  • Tricia Fetui, Senior Director, Events, and Executive Director, Young Professionals Program, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii
  • Kent Ballard, Workforce Education Specialist, Huntsville Madison County Chamber Foundation


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Events: A Panel Discussion

In this panel discussion, get inspiration and practical tips from experienced DEI practitioners based in chambers and communities across the country. Learn how to create authentic, action-oriented DEI events and programs and develop productive partnerships with local organizations to enhance DEI efforts in your organizations and communities.

  • Deedra Keys-Switzer, Director, Racial Justice Program, YWCA Charleston (W.Va.) (moderator)
  • Jordan Ferrell, Vice President of Communications & Development, Charleston Area Alliance (W.Va.)
  • Kenneth James, Director of Inclusion, Grand Rapids Chamber (Mich.)
  • Lisa Howe, Vice President, Membership & Programs, North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce


Small Chamber Staff Meetup

Join fellow event planners from smaller chamber or chamber staffs to discuss share event challenges and ideas. 

  • Melissa Vance, President & CEO, Wayne County Chamber of Commerce (moderator)


End of the day fun! (4:30 – 5:30 pm ET)

Join us for casual networking and a no-holds-barred trivia competition hosted by Events Division Board members Andrew Gorman and Ainsley Johnston.



11:30 am – 4:30 pm ET


Optional pre-conference networking (11:30 am)

Join early to network and exchange ideas in small breakout groups.


General session (noon - 1 pm)

The Legalities of Resuming In-Person Events: Ask an Attorney

The legal issues around resuming in-person events can be daunting, and include those relating to liability, insurance coverage, contracts, and more. In this session moderated by Events Division Chair Jaime Henning, get insights into important legal considerations for both in-person and virtual events from Jeff Tenenbaum, one of the nation's leading nonprofit attorneys and top legal experts in this area. This session format will be entirely drive by audience Q&A, so come armed with your questions!

  • Jeffrey S. Tenenbaum, Esq., Managing Partner, Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC


Breakout block 3 (1:15 - 2 pm)

Concurrent sessions

Leveraging Virtual Content to Strengthen Community Relationships

When COVID-19 forced a change in the way organizations could operate, the Greater Des Moines Partnership not only switched to virtual events and programming without missing a beat but added value beyond what they were providing members and investors pre-pandemic. In this session, learn how to turn one hour of virtual programming into content that can be used across multiple platforms to boost reach and storytelling capabilities and strengthen relationships with your membership and the community.

  • Tiffany Tauscheck, Chief Strategy Officer, Greater Des Moines Partnership


Open for Business: Virtual Chamber Expos

Taking your expo online? Learn what you need to know to pull off a successful event.

  • Kerry Beth Carico, Events Manager, Chattanooga Area Chamber


Intercity Visit Organizer Meetup

Do you run an intercity visit program? Join us to discuss how you are “pivoting” because of COVID-19 restrictions and share ideas on your plans for the future.


Breakout block 4 (2:15 - 3 pm)

Concurrent sessions

A Leadership Program for the Future: Leadership Kokomo

The 37-year old Leadership Kokomo program underwent a future-forward revision for 2020 amidst the global pandemic. Chamber manager and educator Liz Kerns, joined by strategic partners Ivy Tech Community College and the City of Kokomo, reimagined the existing program while building upon its strong historical foundation. Built around three areas – community and civic engagement, core leadership training, and supplemental professional development - the program employs an experiential learning model reflecting national best practice trends in leadership development. Its forward-thinking curriculum, delivered both virtually and socially distanced in 2020, integrates community engagement, reflection, and development of core competencies to provide customized, rigorous training to equip today’s leaders to meet the challenges of the future.

  • Liz Kerns, Chamber Manager, Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce


Resources for In-Person Meetings: The EIC APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force

With representation from across the global events ecosystem, the Events Industry Council’s APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force was convened to aggregate and curate resources to support the events industry in light of the global pandemic. Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council (EIC), will moderate a panel of task force members to share on their work to identify accepted practices and recommendations for restarting in-person events. The task force’s work included the aggregation of meeting and event design guidelines; key questions to promote constructive communication among venues, event organizers, and attendees; and prioritization of health and safety for all. EIC is a global federation of more than 30 members representing more than 103,500 individuals and 19,500 organizations working to advance the events industry and the professionals who lead the business of meetings.

  • Amy Calvert, CEO, Events Industry Council (moderator)
  • Mike Dominguez, President and CEO, Associated Luxury Hotels International
  • Kristin Horstman, Senior Director, Strategic Events, Salesforce
  • David Kliman, President, The Kliman Group


Young Professional Program Organizer Meetup

Join fellow YP program organizers in an open discussion of best practices to promote diversity, equity and inclusion with a young professionals group, civic engagement at a local and national level, and best practices for engaging young professionals virtually.

  • Tom Levy, Member Engagement & Young Professional Council Coordinator, The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia (moderator)


General session (3:15 pm – 4:30 pm)

60 Event Ideas in 60 Minutes

Our last 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 session? Come and find out! Cash prizes awarded for best ideas!

  • Moderator: Anna Richards, Manager of Programs and Events, Greater Akron Chamber
  • Judges:
    • Diana Rivas-Smith, IOM, Vice President of Member Engagement, Dallas Regional Chamber
    • Portia Washington, Manager of Signature Programs and Sponsorships, Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce
    • Morgan Wooldridge, Director of Events, Tulsa Regional Chamber
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