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Boston, Massachusetts – Nearly 9,000 participants from leading organizations in Europe, North America and other regions of the world convened to share, discuss and advance research in multiple sclerosis (MS) at a meeting managed by Association Management Partners & Executive Directors (AMPED) in September.

AMPED is the association management company for America’s Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS). ACTRIMS hosted the triennial joint meeting with Europe’s Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Boston, Massachusetts. The joint meeting, MSBoston2014, was the largest gathering of its kind for multiple sclerosis researchers and clinicians.

“Our team, led by Marechiel Santos-Lang, did a tremendous job of choreographing the many facets of a meeting of this size,” said Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, owner and president of AMPED. “Every step – from choosing the venue to the final accounting – takes careful planning and attention to detail. The ACTRIMS board of directors was very pleased with the success of MSBoston.”

The meeting was a financial success, as well. Sponsorship sales were double the goal set. Net revenue for the event was $4 million.

The next triennial meeting will be hosted by ECTRIMS in Paris, France in 2017.

 

MSBoston by the numbers

Meeting

  • 8,806 participants from 92 countries
  • 59 sessions
  • 206 speakers and chairs
  • 50 exhibitors
  • $10 million revenue

Posters

  • 981 posters
  • 22 late breaking e-posters

Media

  • 146 reporters from 22 countries
  • 60 original articles
  • 85 video and TV interviews
  • 1,000+ Tweets reaching 1 million timelines
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President's message from WSAE VantagePoint magazine, Fall 2014 — The 2014 Innovation Summit Task Force really outdid themselves this time. Charged with creating an event that would be truly innovative and different from the first three successful Summits, they understood that breaking away from the previous model was a must. The task force, board and staff had to be willing to take a risk and step out of their comfort zone.

Starting immediately at the top of the program, we opted to stray from the usual opening session/keynote presenter in favor of a room full of kick-off activities: a book signing, a community service project book drive, assistance in updating wsae.org profiles and demographics, a professional photographer taking headshots, and a networking ice-breaker in which attendees could share the things they “rocked” at. Participation was a must in this environment and I saw some normally shy people connecting with others over commonalities on their oversized “I Rock At” buttons.

The Innovation Labs at Discovery World had everyone talking. These self-selected labs allowed attendees to explore areas of interest or push themselves out of their comfort zones. I heard some great stories about the molecular gastronomy workshop in which participants combined chemistry and food science to come up with something that looked like fried eggs and spaghetti, but tasted anything but. Talk about getting uncomfortable! Eww!

My personal favorite was the video production lab. Here, attendees wrote and starred in their own 30-second videos, promoting their associations, services, events – anything they wanted their audience to know about. Most of us are totally self-conscious in front of the camera, so this was an area where people really had to push themselves. The results were wonderful! Those who participated received copies of their videos and were even willing and able to share them with other registrants during the final session on Innovation Application.

Speaking of which, we were lucky enough to have Michelle Mason, president and CEO of Association Forum of Chicagoland, moderate our final Innovation Application session. After a brief introduction from Michelle, Dana Murn-Kohal of CUES gave us a quick overview of her takeaways from the Innovation Summit, in a format she’d never presented in before!

For some, networking and meeting new people can be uncomfortable. During this last session, attendees were challenged to introduce themselves to participants they’d never met before and exchange contact information. These would be their “accountability buddies” and help them stay on track to implementing at least one idea from the Innovation Summit before our 2015 event.

While you take time to step out of your comfort zone, whether it’s to explore a new opportunity, make a new acquaintance, or discover a hidden talent, we’ll start planning the next Innovation Summit. It’ll take a lot of stepping out to make it even more innovative next year, but we’re up to the challenge! We’d love to hear any ideas you have for making the event even better in 2015.

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 Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, president and owner of AMPED has been elected chair of the board of the Association Societies Alliance (ASA), a national federation of societies of association executives. Patterson serves as president and CEO of the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives (WSAE), a client of AMPED.

As chair of ASA, Patterson will represent the Alliance on issues of common interest to associations and lead the organization’s strategic initiatives.

“ASA provides an invaluable forum to share ideas and innovation in association management. I’m honored to serve as its chair,” says Patterson.

ASA is a voluntary membership organization comprised of local, regional, multi-state, independent, autonomous society association executives. The purpose of the Alliance is to be the knowledge leader of the profession of association management, preparing society association executive-CEOs for future success.

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President's message from WSAE VantagePoint magazine, Summer 2014 — This issue of VantagePoint focuses largely on the Innovation Summit scheduled for Sept. 25-26 in Milwaukee. And I guarantee it is going to the best ever! Put away your suits and ties — come in your jeans to participate in labs that will help you expand your thinking outside of your comfort zone. Hear from experts and learn from your peers practical ways to consistently improve your organizations, create a culture of innovation and embrace opportunity. Plus, enjoy the city’s spectacular venues, including the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, Discovery World, and an optional sail on Lake Michigan.

Our facilitator and keynote speaker, Pam Henderson, focuses on opportunity thinking and we will all get a copy of her book, You Can Kill an Idea… But You Can’t Kill an Opportunity! How to Discover New Sources of Growth for Your Organization. I recently heard Pam speak at a business event and she says, “Opportunity thinking goes beyond innovation driven by the market, technologies, new business models or design thinking – to look at all of the sources of growth.” I was impressed by the examples she shared of the work she’s done with companies like North Face and Kellogg’s.

Coming up . . .
The WSAE Board embraces innovation and opportunity, listening to members and being very flexible and proactive, taking measured risks. Some of the new things you will be hearing about include:

  • focus groups to understand our future workforce needs, skills and training.
  • expanded CEO roundtables, as well as the development of peer groups built around other specialized areas. Reach out to us if you have an idea for one of these groups in your area of interest.
  • peer-directed learning in various formats
  • an advisor or mentor program to help connect you with members who can help you with immediate needs or membership questions
  • enhanced comunication with CEO members and staff leaders and deeper connections into all member organizations

Lots in store. And I have to say, I continue to feel challenged and am impressed with the level of engagement and strategic direction provided by the leadership of WSAE and all our members.

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The National Association of Professional Allstate Agents, Inc. (NAPAA) has retained AMPED to provide all association management services, effective July 1, according to Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, president and owner of AMPED. Nancy Fish will continue to serve as the association’s executive director.

NAPAA, founded in 1990, is dedicated to the success of Allstate exclusive agency owners and to advance the independence and entrepreneurial spirit of its members. NAPAA offers a variety of resources for members, including an annual conference, education, an online forum, member-to-member referrals, and a quarterly magazine distributed to more than 9,000 Allstate insurance agents.

The association’s current headquarters will move from Gulfport, Miss., to Madison, Wis.

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