SmartTech Conference

SmartTech Conference® 2020

Association Forum is Transforming for the Digital Revolution.

Association Forum will help you navigate a new reality forced on us by COVID by giving you the tools and techniques to transform the digital side of your business. AI and emerging technologies combined with a solid business strategy will help your organization come out of this crisis stronger and better prepared for future challenges.

Event Details

Location: Online
Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Time: 8:30 am – 5:15 pm
Credit Hours: 5 CAE 

Early bird rate (ends August 31, 2020)
$99 member
$129 non-member

Standard rate (begins September 1, 2020)
$119 member
$149 non-member

Register Now

Schedule at a Glance

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Opening Keynote: Technology Isn't a Substitute for Strategy with Simona Rollinson

9:30 – 9:55 a.m.
Product Demo: OpenWater_logo.jpg
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Education Breakouts 1
  • Cybersecurity Fundamentals for Associations: How to Avoid Becoming a Cybercrime Statistic
  • Bridging the Gap Between CEO and Technology Executives to Achieve Digital Transformation

11:10 – 12:10 p.m.
Education Breakouts 2
  • How Change Management Can Support Your Technology Adoption
  • Will Humans Be Second?: Critical Ethical Choices for the Coming AI - First World

12:15 – 12:40 p.m.
Product Demo: Fonteva.jpg
12:40 – 1:10 p.m.
Lunch Break, Explore the Sponsor Spotlight

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
Education Breakouts 3
  • Improving Member Retention Through Machine Learning
  • Creating a Long-Term Digital Hub

2:25 – 3:25 p.m.
Education Breakouts 4
  • Nobody puts Data in a corner: Strategic plans and data strategy go together
  • AI as a Tool to Improve Operations and Advance Association Missions

3:35 – 4:45 p.m.
Closing Keynote with Jordan Morrow

Opening Keynote

Opening Keynote: Technology Isn't a Substitute for Strategy
Presented by Simona Rollinson, Chief Technology Officer, ISACA

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the ability to pivot must be entrenched in our strategy. Strategy is a living and breathing thing, and COVID-19 has disrupted many of our plans while innovation and change have continued to grow. Your organization needs you to lead with resiliency and find opportunities despite setbacks to your initial plans. The idea that “every company is a technology company” has never been truer than it is now. In fact, you are not an association; you are a technology company providing solutions to professionals and enterprises. Technology is no longer about networks and email — it is about business enablement and disruptions to business models. You need a solid foundation of risk-based and data-driven decision making to set your strategy. The specific tech that you use to enable your strategy can come after this foundation is built and you’re on solid ground to tackle the challenges ahead.

Learning Objectives:
  • Explore how to build a solid foundation on which to build strategy
  • Position technologies in the larger frame of solid governance, and take a risk-based and data-driven approach to adopting new tech
  • Examine how associations can continually reimagine themselves to ensure relevancy

Session Partner:

Education Breakouts 1

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Cybersecurity Fundamentals for Associations: How to Avoid Becoming a Cybercrime Statistic

Presented by John Kampas, Founder & CEO, Empist, LLC 

The average cost of a cyberattack in 2019 was $3.9M. Last year 47% of businesses in the U.S. reported a cyberattack. The threat of cybercrime is growing at an exponential rate and is impacting small organizations more and more. What can your association do to protect itself? Join EMPIST Founder & CEO John Kampas in this interactive session as he breaks cybersecurity down from an intimidating buzzword to a digestible, actionable security plan. Topics covered include: phishing, password management, multifactor authentication (MFA / 2FA), the dark web, ransomware, social engineering and more! Don't become another statistic. Take control of your association's cybersecurity plan today.

Learning Objectives:
- Recognize the growing threat of cybercrime to associations and what you can do to safeguard your company
- Discuss common channels for cybercrime like phishing, the dark web, and social engineering 
- Develop an actionable cybersecurity plan for your association or business

Session Partner: Vocalmeet_logo-final-web.jpg

Bridging the Gap Between CEO and Technology Executives to Achieve Digital Transformation
Presented by:
Heidi Weber, Executive Director, Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity
Jim, Gibson, Strategic Consultant, DelCor
Katherine Matthews, Manager, Data & Analytics, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
Bob Moore, Executive Director, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians

The disconnect between what a CEO expects from an association’s technology chief, department, and partners may be wide and confusing. With digital transformation pushing organizations to analyze their technology platforms, it is crucial that CEOs learn to collaborate not only with their technology executives but also eith the strategic partners who help provide member value. In this session association professionals will share insights about how to leverage the CEO-Technology Executive-Partner relationship in order to propel the organization forward.

Learning Objectives:
- Discuss how mission alignment factors into CEOs and technology executives working together
- Evaluate key communication points to initiate effective internal partnerships
- Discuss how CEOs and technology executives carefully use resources to create strategic innovation

Further Reading: What CEOs Need to Understand about Their Technology Executives

Session Partner:

Education Breakouts 2

11:10 – 12:10 a.m.
How Change Management Can Support Your Technology Adoption

Presented by Melinda Starkweather, Principal, Starkweather Association Services

Surprisingly (or not so surprisinlgy), 70% of change projects fail to meet all their objectives. When do you start applying change management practices to best achieve ROI on your adoption? The answer may surprise you. This presentation will describe strategies to reduce risk, empower leaders and better understand staff concerns that create resistance. We will share established methods and tools for reducing resistance to adoptions.

Learning Objectives:
- Discuss how change management reduces risk - even for staff that say they are ready to change
- Explore strategies that will reduce resistance to the technology adoption
- Describe effective communication strategies to support your technology adoption

Session Partner:

Will Humans Be Second?: Critical Ethical Choices for the Coming AI - First World
Presented by Jeff De Cagna, Executive Advisor, Foresight First LLC

In the decade ahead, association decision-makers will have to confront the serious and far-reaching impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on every aspect of human endeavor. AI’s rapid integration into myriad industries, professions and fields raises many hard questions about the future of life and work, including what makes us human and how human beings will contribute in a world of increasingly ubiquitous and powerful machine intelligence. This high-impact session will examine some of AI’s most significant ethical considerations, their real-world implications and the critical choices they create today. In addition, participants will discuss next practices their associations can adopt to prepare stakeholders for the challenges and opportunities of the coming AI-first world.

Learning Objectives:
- Explain key points about the current state of AI/automation technologies as well as plausible futures for the coming decade.
- Explore critical questions of AI/automation ethics, including algorithmic bias/discrimination, information integrity and the disparate implications of AI/automation for owners/workers.
- Discuss the ethical impact of AI/automation on their associations, stakeholders and fields with their boards and other decision-makers.

*This session qualifies for the ethics credit required for CAE renewal beginning this year.

Education Breakouts 3

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
Improving Member Retention Through Machine Learning

Presented by Dominick Amalraj, Consultant, Pomerol Partners and John Fitzgerald, Vice President, Pomerol Partners

This presentation will look to demonstrate how associations can boost their membership retention rate through the use of machine learning and advanced analytic concepts. With the rise of machine learning, organizations are able to understand more significant and unseen insights that can drive actionable items to improve their overall functionality.

The presentation will be divided into three parts:
1. An overview of machine learning. What is machine learning? How can it be used to solve problems with an association?
2. A demo of integrating machine learning concepts to increase the member retention rate for an association by identifying at-risk members before their membership lapses. The demo will show actions that can be derived from the machine learning results and predictions to increase the members retained yearly.
3. An overview of different ways to implement machine learning applications varying from low to high implementation cost and effort.

Learning Objectives:
- Discuss the basics of machine learning and the applications it has for an association
- Discuss how to derive clear and actionable items from machine learning to increase the membership retention rate
- Describe the different options there are to conduct machine learning applications

Session Partner: HigherLogic_logo.png

Creating a Long-Term Digital Hub 
Presented by Eric O’Connor, Chief Marketing Officer, AANA and Dan Stevens, Chief Growth Officer, WorkerBee.TV

Virtual events, on-demand content, online learning, digital vendor solutions – the new normal is here and digital transformation is required. In this case study session Association TV’s President, Dan Stevens, and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists’ (AANA) Chief Growth Officer, Eric O’Connor discuss how AANA responded to shifting digital trends, and the acceleration of COVID-19. AANA decided it was time to take the friction of "pay-per-course" out of their continued education and accreditation programs. They deployed a video and audio online learning platform that allows for free trials and monthly or annual subscriptions. Then COVID hit and they needed to pivot - Virtual events? No problem. AANA also rolled out a virtual event hub that managed live content, linked to an exhibitor showcases and poster sessions - then drove on-demand content for long-term consumption.

Learning Objectives:
  • Identify how current digital trends are impacting associations
  • Explore how virtual solutions can work together to satisfy all stakeholders
  • Describe how to apply these trends and technologies to your association

Education Breakouts 4

2:25 – 3:25 p.m.
Nobody puts Data in a corner: Strategic plans and data strategy go together

Presented by Jacob Stolmeier, Associate Research Director, McKinley Advisors

As digital technology advances, member expectations rise. There is a need to modernize the way we look at our many sources of data in order to provide rich, personalized communications, create member-facing analytics as revenue streams, and discover new customer opportunities. In order to provide this level of member engagement, we can neither collect data arbitrarily nor simply rely on purchasing a singular turnkey technology. We need to be able to leverage all platforms and bring our technology leaders to the table in the strategic planning process to create an aligning data strategy. This session will explain what a data strategy is, why this all-hands-on-deck effort is imperative for growth, and how to build a data strategy.

Session Partner:


AI as a Tool to Improve Operations and Advance Association Missions
Presented by Jeanne Sheehy, Chief Marketing Officer, Bostrom

Computers are taking over human cognitive capabilities and will replace 40% of the jobs we currently do. A new Brookings Institution report says “roughly 36 million Americans hold jobs with ‘high exposure’ to automation — meaning at least 70 percent of their tasks could soon be performed by machines using current technology.” Alarming yes, but there’s action to take – upskill, reskill, and/or change careers. Association work is high touch in the areas of communication, connection and collaboration. So where will AI be the most beneficial? As associations are taxed to do more with less and to solve new problems in new ways, AI can be a helpful tool to automate what should and could be automated and redirect human capital to focus on problem solving and future strategy. This session will explore AI technologies in use and why the trend for AI is catching on. We'll discuss associations that are using AI to advance their mission, improve operations, and change the way they deliver value.

Learning Objectives:
- Define AI and examine trends in other industries that will affect the association industry
- Discuss what AI tools should associations consider using to advance their missions and improve operations
- Embrace, leverage and implement AI with a human touch

Closing Keynote

Data Literacy – The Human Aspect of Data

Presented by Jordan Morrow, Global Head of Data Literacy, Qlik

We are living in a world that is driven by data. Devices of all shapes and sizes are collecting, transmitting, and producing data, with organizations trying to capitalize on this data. To help ensure this happens, the world of data literacy has grown and become one of the most desired skills in the workplace. Come listen to the Chief Nerd Officer himself, Global Head of Data Literacy Jordan Morrow speak to the world of data literacy and how one can become better with data itself.

Session Partner


Amalraj-Dominick.jpgDominick Amalraj- Consultant, Pomerol Partners
Dominick is a data science consultant at Pomerol Partners, a data and analytics consulting firm located in Chicago, IL. Dominick holds a MS in Data Science along with experience in both business intelligence and machine learning. In previous jobs, Dominick worked primarily with BI tools to empower the business users to make more informed decisions by understanding their data better through various analytical approaches.

Jeffs_Low_Res_Photo.jpgJeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE - Executive Advisor, Foresight First LLC
Jeff is an association contrarian, foresight practitioner, governing designer, stakeholder advocate, and stewardship catalyst. Jeff is an ASAE Fellow, a past ASAE Board member and currently serves on the ASAE Research Foundation's Research Committee, for which he chairs the AI/Automation Task Force.

gibson-jim.jpgJim Gibson- Strategic Consultant, DelCor
With 16 years of experience in the association community and more than 30 years as a senior IT executive and consultant, Jim is adept at planning and communicating technology initiatives that advance the mission and strategic goals of the organization. His areas of expertise range from and process excellence to strategy development and operational improvement to organizational development.

kampas-john.jpgJohn Kampas- Founder & CEO, Empist, LLC
John Kampas is the Founder and CEO of EMPIST (formerly Digerati Group), a Chicago-based full-service technology company that covers the spectrum of the digital landscape. He created EMPIST nearly 20 years ago, after an early career working for the largest datacenter company in the world. He believes that surrounding yourself with good people and having a desire to learn are the core components to achieving great things.

Matthews-Katherine.jpgKatherine Matthews- Manager, Data & Analytics, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
Katherine Matthews, CAE, is the Manager, Data & Analytics, for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and a passionate data evangelist. In her work for NCARB, she helps the team to find and leverage insights in their data while supporting a self-service approach to analytics. Outside of NCARB, she is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge at industry conferences and helping to organize meetups for the data curious in the association community.

moore-bob.jpgBob Moore- Executive Director, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians
Bob Moore, MA, CAE, is a recognized leader in association management with 20 years’ experience serving major national and international organizations. Moore is currently the Executive Director of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, an 18,000 member professional association of physicians, residents and students working to promote excellence in osteopathic family medicine through quality education, visionary leadership and responsible advocacy.

Eric O’Connor- Chief Marketing Officer, AANA

Rollinson-Simona.jpgSimona Rollinson- Chief Technology Officer- ISACA
Simona Rollinson is ISACA’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), leading ISACA’s technology team, driving the organization’s continuing digital transformation, and exploring new opportunities for harnessing technology to elevate the educational and professional development experiences for ISACA’s members and enterprise customers. She plays a key role in transforming ISACA’s learning technology platform to support the professional community at all levels and stages, from individual development to enterprise solutions.

Jeanne Sheehy- Chief Marketing Officer, Bostrom
Jeanne Sheehy, MBA is Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for Bostrom. In addition to the day-to-day corporate marketing and business development operations, Jeanne serves as the 2019 Past Chair for the AMC Institute. Jeanne creates client integrated marketing strategies focusing on growth, value, content, and digital presence tied to goals and metrics.

Melinda Starkweather- Principal, Starkweather Association Services
As co-founder and principal of Starkweather Association Services, I developed a change management protocol for associations adopting new technology. Starkweather has been helping associations since 2006 with services including discovery, data architecture and alignment, strategy, technology adoption, and change management. Change management increases ROI, reduces human risks and moves associations down the road to capability maturity.

Dan Stevens- Chief Growth Officer, WorkerBee.TV
Dan Stevens is the president of WorkerBee.TV, Inc. and creator of Association TV®. Association TV® (by WorkerBee.TV), has served global and national associations with content marketing, video production, and multimedia strategy for the last decade. Dan is a sought-after guest speaker on digital media and association trends.

Jacob Stolmeier- Associate Research Director, McKinley Advisors

Weber-Heidi.jpgHeidi Weber- Executive Director, Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity
Heidi Weber, MBA, CAE, is the leader of the Alpha Omega International Dental Society, an organization with 4,000 members in 10 countries. As the Executive Director, she is a business model driver and champions mission-driven programs to benefit the healthcare community.


Virtual Event Partner

Supporting Partner


Session Event Partner
DelCor_Logo_Black.png HigherLogic_logo.png Vocalmeet_logo-final-web.jpg

Closing Title Partner

Fonteva.jpg OpenWater_logo.jpg

Experience Partners
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