Association Forum of Chicagoland’s Inaugural Forum Forward Event Set to Repave the Road to Association Management Innovation, Success

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Association Forum of Chicagoland’s Inaugural Forum Forward Event Set to Repave the Road to Association Management Innovation, Success 

CHICAGO (June 16, 2014) — Association Forum of Chicagoland this week unveils a reimagined, “best-in-class” experience for forward-thinking association leaders and professionals: Forum Forward. The inaugural education event, taking place June 17-19 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, is where high-octane education, visionary speakers and futuristic learning formats will combine to connect bright minds and forward-thinking ideas.

Forum Forward is a completely revamped approach to Association Forum’s traditional annual meeting. The two-and-a-half-day conference offers more than 40 education sessions and presentations delivered by industry insiders as well as visionaries and thought leaders from for-profit businesses. Education is centered around four pillars: big data and technology, the association model of the future, marketing, and expanding relevancy & revenue.

Headliners include Polly LaBarre, founding member of Fast Company and editorial director of MIX, and Adam Steltzner, Ph.D., an engineer, rocket scientist and one of GQ magazine’s “Spacemen of the Year.” In their own compelling ways, they will discuss how the seemingly impossible is possible and new ways to think about working and winning.

Association executives will experience advanced education exclusive to CEOs and executive directors during the first-ever CEOnly® Summit. During this full-day event, held simultaneously with Tuesday’s Forum Forward education events, CEOs will receive groundbreaking research into the future of associations, participate in a robust Q&A session with a University of Chicago Booth School of Business professor and entrepreneurial expert, and much more.

Innovation Hub 

Another highlight of Forum Forward is the Innovation Hub on Tuesday and Wednesday, which is a dynamic, hands-on approach to an exhibit hall that lets attendees touch and test-drive the latest tools and technologies that can revolutionize the way they association professionals manage their organizations and engage their members. It includes unique “theater-style” education spaces, an interview studio, exhibitor kiosks, meeting lounges and a social service station—attendees can assemble hygiene kits from Clean the World’s ONE PROJECT that will be distributed to ChildServ, a local organization assisting Chicagoland’s at-risk families build and sustain better lives. 

SIG Symposium 

On Thursday morning, members can participate in the new SIG Symposium. This is where members can connect with Association Forum’s Shared Interest Groups, which are intimate gatherings from which to learn, network and find peer support. SIGs represent the following management areas: communications, component relations, finance, fundraising and development, governance, government relations, meeting professionals, book publishers, educational program development, IT, international activities, marketing, membership development and services, as well as meetings for No. 2 executives/COOs and small association CEOs. 

Honors Gala 

Closing out the week in high fashion and tradition on Thursday evening is Association Forum’s Honors Gala, which celebrates and recognizes the achievements of Association Forum’s Honors Award Winners and serves as the Association Forum Foundation’s chief fundraising event. Among the grand prize raffles will be a chance to win $10,000 cash. 

“Forum Forward is all about examining what’s next in meeting your members’ needs as our changing landscape ushers in new challenges and new opportunities,” says Association Forum Interim President and CEO Keith Bura, CAE, CPA. 

“As member needs continue to evolve in today’s fast-paced world, Forum Forward ups the ante to ensure that you and your organization aren’t just ahead of the curve, but that you’ll be among the leaders who are repaving the road to engagement, innovation and financial success,” says Eileen M. Murray, CFRE, CAE, chair of the Association Forum’s 2014 Forum Forward Program Advisory Group.

Complete details on Forum Forward sessions and presenters may be found here. To track the Forum Forward experience, follow @AssocForum. Also, download the free meeting mobile app, “AFC FORUM,” from Google Play or iTunes. 

Partners Make it Possible

A special thanks to the following generous industry partners whose resources and commitment to Association Forum and the industry have made these events possible:

Forum Forward

Strategic Partners:

GES

Minding Your Business 

Event Sponsors:

AAG

Abcom

Alberta

ATS

Avectra, an Abila Company

BMO Harris Bank

Choose Chicago

CommPartners

Core-apps

CORT

Dynamic Benchmarking

GenieConnect

Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau

Keppler

Lippman Connects

McCormick Place

MemberClicks

Meet Detroit

Nashville CVB

Synchronicities

The PrivateBank

Tourism Vancouver / Vancouver Convention Center

Vetted Solutions

Visit Orlando

YourMembership.com

CEOnly Summit Sponsor Recognition: 

Title Sponsors:

BMO Harris Bank and Synchronicities

(side by side, equal levels of support, alpha order) 

Strategic Sponsors:

Choose Chicago and Minding Your Business

(side by side, equal levels of support, alpha order)

Event Sponsors:

Grapevine CVB and Monterey CVB

Innovation Hub Exhibitors

AAG

Americaneagle.com

Aptify

ATS

Avectra

CadmiumCD

CommPartners

Core-apps

Cresna

Dynamic Benchmarking

GenieConnect

GTxcel

Memberclicks

NHCN

Naylor

Personify

Yourmembership.com

SIG Symposium Sponsors:

Avectra – Membership SIG

Experient – COO SIG

The Private Bank – Finance SIG

Honors Gala

Goal Partners

Bank of America

Choose Chicago

Minding Your Business

SmithBucklin

Strategic Partner

Tourism Vancouver/Vancouver Convention Centre

Honors Partners

American College of Surgeons

Travel Alberta

Anaheim CVB

Avectra

BMO Harris

Boston CVB

Bostrom

Chicago Law Partners

Detroit CVB

Freeman

GES

Las Vegas CVB

NHCN

Navy Pier

Positively Cleveland

The Private Bank

San Antonio CVB

San Francisco CVB

The Sherwood Group

Starwood

Visit Baltimore

Visit Orlando

Webvent

Raffle Prize Sponsor’s

Bank of America

Las Vegas CVB

San Francisco CVB

Sonoma Tourism

Wynn/Encore

Yosemite

About the Association Forum of Chicagoland

The mission of the Association Forum of Chicagoland is to “advance the professional practice of association management.” Founded in 1916, the Association Forum serves 47,000 association professionals whose efforts serve more than 37 million members and generate $22 billion in global annual expenditures. Visit www.associationforum.org.

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