For thousands of association professionals traveling to Toronto for ASAE’s 2017 Annual Meeting this weekend, Canada means much more than Mounties. As always, the ASAE team has put together an action-packed agenda filled with informative sessions on a wide variety of topics designed to appeal to organizations of all sizes.

And, while having too much to choose from can be a good problem, it’s important to have a strategy in place to help you make the most of your limited time. Here are three tips to help you make the most of your time in Toronto:

  • Set a goal for what you’d like to learn at the conference and use the schedule to create a plan specifically tailored to help you meet that goal.
  • Once you’ve narrowed your options, look at all the sessions and events you’re interested in and make sure you’re getting to attend a good mix of topics, skill-building sessions, and social events (and still allowing for some downtime).
  • Trying to choose between two sessions? Consider whether a session fulfills a content need for you, meaning that the talk will be educational and/or support you in introducing new tactics to your organization, or whether it helps you fulfill an interpersonal need, allowing you to meet or support the person speaking.

As for me? As Director of Member Strategy here at Community Brands, there’s no shortage of things I’m interested in learning more about, but I want to leave Toronto with a new understanding of the member experience efforts many of you are undertaking as part of your organization’s overall strategy. Here’s what’s on my working list as “can’t miss” sessions:

Sunday, August 13

2 – 3:30 p.m. Build an Experience-Driven Organization

Room 205AB

Kick off the conference with some hands-on learning! Community Brands’ President JP Guilbault will be leading an interactive workshop designed to help you discover membership-driven scenarios to steer your association’s innovation, uncover strategic planning initiatives that focus on membership empathy, and reveal your members’ pain points and value propositions through design-for-delight tools.

4 – 5 p.m. Choose Your Own Adventure: Paths to Membership Model Success

Room 206AB

A shameless plug, I know, but it would look bad if I missed my own session, right? Join me as we reminisce about the exhilaration of the childhood Choose Your Own Adventure books, and how we (as adults!) can embrace that same excitement for (and curiosity about) the unknown in how we approach new membership models and opportunities.

Monday, August 14

9 – 10 a.m. 8 Tactics to Redefine Your Member Value Propositions & Experience

Room 713AB

Product Marketing Manager Peggy Smith may be a member of the Community Brands’ team, but she’s walked the walk, with invaluable insights gleaned from her experience as a leader within an association, not to mention from conversations with hundreds of YourMembership customers. In this session, Peggy will help participants evaluate the authenticity of their value propositions in a world where companies like Amazon and Netflix are raising the bar. In addition, she’ll explore how the digital landscape is drastically changing traditional membership propositions.

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. The Content Strategy Journey

Room 205CD

Our research shows that when it comes to engaging members across all generations, content is king and association content is a team effort. Hilary Marsh, President and Chief Strategist of the Content Company, will join the Endocrine Society’s Chief Innovation Officer Robert Bartel, in this discussion of proven tactics to evaluate your organization’s content strategy and how to take it to the next level.

4 – 5 p.m. Customer Journey Analytics: All Roads Lead to the Customer

Room: 713AB

According to McKinsey, “Customer journeys include things that happen before, during, and after the experience of a product or service.”

In this exciting session, Association Analytics CEO Debbie King, Chief Technology Officer of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery William Bruce, and ASAE’s own Christin Berry take a close look at real customer journeys, because when we understand the journey rather than looking at transactions in silos, we can improve customer experiences, as well as our association’s performance.