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This week I am excited to mention yet another conference that I have high hopes for and am eager to participate in. This conference offers a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere that should foster innovation and inspiration in all who attend as a journey of discovery with new association management techniques begins. The event that I am referring to is the Great Ideas Conference that is taking place in Colorado Springs from March 13th-15th; and this year, the event has a special focus: Next Generation Learning.

As you may or may not already know, I like to refer to associations as our real “communities of practice.” This gathering is for creative thinkers who want to discover and reflect on the next big idea for their community of practice. These communities need time to think about developing and sharing new ways of thinking that impact learning methodologies, professional development, and other various issues regarding association management. This means more than developing a social media plan! It means integrating social media with formal learning offerings that generate revenue for the association.

Some of the more unique sessions that I am thrilled about checking out are the IGNITE and the Cookin’ Up Leadership sessions. These two sessions are taking on some very intriguing formats that I look forward to experiencing…

First, the IGNITE session is put on in a format that reminiscent of some form of speed-learning, or perhaps, speed-presenting. Basically, the concept is that speakers are challenged with presenting their ideas within a very limited time frame (5 minutes to be exact) and an even more limited amount of slides (20). This should help eliminate some of the extraneous information that sometimes bloat a presentation, and provide a more streamlined attempt to capture everyone’s attention and communicate an idea as efficiently as possible. While this is a very experimental approach to presenting, I am sure it will attract quite a bit of attention, as just the very nature of this concept is exciting.

Next, the Cookin’ Up Leadership session’s concept is fascinating as well, and perhaps even more experimental. In this session, participants will be invited to utilize materials that many of us will remember from childhood arts and crafts classes in an attempt to make the session more interactive. I am, at the very least, excited to experience the effectiveness of integrating of hands-on activities with leadership skill building.

Last, but not least, I am delighted to be speaking at this conference in the Next Generation Learning track under the section, Building a Profitable eLearning Business Plan. In this session I will go over the complexities of professional development within associations, what’s changed about the competition, and how to remain relevant in a market that is saturated with free online learning programs. Attend my session and learn about developing a strong business plan that will ensure your association thrives in today’s world and bring success now, and in the future.

Hope to see you there!