Thursday, July 28, 2016

KiKi's Unofficial ASAE Annual 2016 Party List (a.k.a. How to Never Be Alone at #ASAE16)

Every year, for the past several years, I make it a point to attend the ASAE Annual Conference. This conference is where anyone involved with associations and nonprofits can connect with others working in that space. Why? Because it is the best way to catch up with the "Who's Who" of the association world.

To be sure, ASAE Annual promises opportunities in learning and networking. It also promises a ton of parties in all shapes and sizes. From the official mega receptions hosted by ASAE to the "invite-only" CVB hosted dinners, you should not ever find yourself in a position of not having somewhere to be. (One time I was randomly invited by a former colleague to join her in a reception at ASAE Annual I'd not been officially invited to and the conversation that happened in that reception ended up in me becoming a consultant which transformed my career!) 

The trouble is keeping track of all the parties along with your schedule for work and meetups with other attendees is nearly impossible. If you are a volunteer with ASAE or active in any other communities, your dance card will be overfilled. It's easy to forget or lose track of what is happening when.

Here is my Unofficial ASAE Annual 2016 Party List. I hope it helps you in your planning for making ASAE Annual the best it can be! If you click on the link, you should be able to see more details about admission, tickets, and contacts. Feel free to add your own parties, if you feel so inclined! 

Note: Some of these events require invitations, so please be sure to verify whether an event is general admission or invitation only and if you want to be invited, consider reaching out to the party host for more information. Don't say I didn't warn you!

DateDayTimeParty TitleHostsLocation
8/13Saturday4:00pm - 5:00pmASAE Volunteer ReceptionASAE
8/13Saturday4:00pm - 5:00pmASAE Content Leader Briefing & ReceptionASAE
8/13Saturday5:00pm - 7:00pmHawaiiSquatters Pub Brewery, 147 West Broadway (300 South)
8/13Saturday7 pm - 10 pmASAE Opening CelebrationASAELiberty Square
8/14Sunday6-9 pm"Keep the Flame Alive"Visit Milwaulkee, Visit Pittsburgh, Travel PortlandPierpont Place
8/14Sunday6-9 pm"Big D Reception"Dallas CVBAlamexo Mexican Kitchen
8/14Sunday4:30pm - 7:00pm ColumbusHope Gallery, 151 S. Main St. 
8/14Sunday5:00pm - 6:00pm International ReceptionMarriott, Room Wasatch
8/14Sunday5:00pm - 7:00pm American Technology ServicesGreen Pig Pub, 31 E 400 S.
8/14Sunday6:00 PMPokémon Go meetup! Bean CreativeMeet at the South Foyer/South Plaza entrance on Level One (look for the Pikachu balloon!)
8/14Sunday6:00pm - 8:00pm Synchroncities - Baltimore, Anaheim, San Antonio Caffe Molise, 55 West 100 Street
8/14Sunday6:00pm - 8:30pm AlbertaCaputo's Market, 314 West 300 Street
8/14Sunday6:00pm - 9:00pm Small Staff ShindigMemberClicksGracie's Gastropub, 326 South West Temple
8/14Sunday6:00pm - 9:00pm DallasAlamexo Mexican Kitchen, 268 South State Street
8/14Sunday6:00pm - 9:30pm Reno TahoeUtah Olympic Park Dinner Event, zip lining
8/14Sunday7:00pm Hong Kong DinnerRuth's Chris Steakhouse, 75 South West Temple
8/14Sunday7:00pm - 9:00pm Hilton Trofi Restaurant & Bar, Hilton Salt Lake City Center, 255 S. West Temple
8/14Sunday7:00pm - 10:00pm MarriottSalt Lake City Marriott Downtown, 75 South West Temple
8/15Monday5:00pm - 7:30pm NYC & CompanyThe Tasting Room, 357 200 S #100
8/15Monday6:00pm - 7:30pm The Classic VIP ReceptionASAEGrand America Hotel
8/15Monday7:30pm - 10:00pm The ClassicASAEGrand America Hotel
8/16Tuesday7:00pm - 10:00pm Closing CelebrationASAERed Butte Garden

Here's the full unofficial list of ASAE Annual parties! Add your edits, parties, or and details that might help others have a better experience.

I look forward to meeting many of you at ASAE Annual in Salt Lake City!

Want to meet up while there? Tweet me @kikilitalien!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

From Panicked to Productive: How to Lighten Your Load While Getting Your Om On

Welcome to this week’s Association Chat, your weekly online discussion for the association community where we warm ourselves by the virtual fire with the topics of the day, welcoming thought leaders and trailblazers alike to join up in this online home for the community.

I am your host, KiKi L’Italien, CEO of Amplified Growth digital marketing and longtime host of this weekly chat that has been around since 2009 on Twitter, Blab, and now Huzza.

This Week’s Show.
It seems like everyone is talking about mindfulness and business, incorporating meditation and exercise, using apps like Headspace, and trying to remember to be grateful while also navigating the day-to-day hassles like scheduling meetings, writing reports, and optimizing communication...not to mention stacking all of that on top of family obligations and professional development. It’s overwhelming.

My guests today are no stranger to these complications and they even have some ideas to share with how to navigate them. In fact, the three of us are presenting a session at ASAE Annual called “From Panicked to Productive: How to Lighten Your Load While Getting Your Om On” which is – we hope – going to be a lot of fun and practical for people.

Cynthia D’Amour has worked with association leaders and staff to get more members involved using a marketing-savvy leadership approach for over 20 years. She is a frequent speaker at leadership conferences and conventions adding lots of can-do, high-energy fun to the events.

Scott Oser also comes with over 20 years of experience in the association and publishing industries, focusing on marketing with a special kind of savvy in developing, implementing and analyzing multi-channel direct marketing programs. He also speaks at many conferences and events and I should mention that both Cynthia and Scott publish articles frequently and Cynthia has written 7 books at this point.

Today’s chat is not a copy of what we’re doing in Salt Lake City for ASAE Annual 2016, but it is a chance for us to chat a bit about some of the philosophies, habits, and questions surrounding this topic. It’s also a chance for us to go into a little more depth on some of our experiences and tricks that can't make it to the official presentation, but are still important to share. Enjoy!

Upcoming Events and Association Chats.

Association Analytics
How to Get the Best ROI Out of Data Analytics
Tom Morrison
When Uber Meets Associations
LIVE at ASAE Annual
JP Moery
Association Leadership – What I Know For Sure

You can check out upcoming chats at Huzza Channel:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

An Association Chat Q&A with Your Favorite Association Bloggers and Podcasters of 2016

About Association Chat

Welcome to this week’s replay of Association Chat. Association Chat is your weekly online discussion for the association community where we warm ourselves by the virtual fire with the topics of the day, welcoming thought leaders and trailblazers alike to join up in this online home for the community.

This Week’s Show.

This week’s show was a special one. I invited some of our favorite association bloggers and podcasters to join the chat for a live Q&A. I asked them about how they find content and identify good stories, make time to write, and secrets they’ve uncovered about promotion for their blogs and podcasts. The participants added their own advice and tips in the chat on the side. I hope you enjoy this week's episode!

Featured Bloggers and Podcasters on the show, include:

*Cynthia couldn't join because of technical issues, but I wanted to include her blog here for reference. You should check it out!

More Association Chat Details

  1. Do you know a young executive worthy of being named a TRENDS 2016 Young & Aspiring Association Professional? Please consider nominating him or her. Thanks!
  2. In DC? There is a happy hour for association professionals and the industry folks who love them on tonight at 5:30 at BlackFinn DC.
  3. Please fill out the survey for ideas on topics and speakers for upcoming chats at:
  4. As always, if you want to continue the discussion you can join the Association Chat Facebook group for regular updates on upcoming topics and special guests
  5. **KiKi's Regular Huzza Channel:

About Me

I am the host of Association Chat, KiKi L’Italien, CEO of Amplified Growth digital marketing and CMO of Cannonball Projects, a startup based in NY, and longtime host of this weekly chat that has been around since 2009 on Twitter, Blab, and now

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Looking for Your Best Social Media Stories!

I am thrilled! I just signed a contract to start writing regular articles for a popular blog in the events industry in 2016. My posts are primarily going to cover stories about social media for associations, which is a natural area for me to write about and share. I'm thinking many of my articles will end up being a combination of:
  • Interviews
  • Case studies
  • Tips and tools
  • Advice

Although I think I come across great stories like this fairly regularly, I can't write about my clients only and I will need lots of fresh material. That's where YOU come in!

If you have article ideas for stories I can cover, please let me know. If I use one of them, I'll send you a $5 Starbucks card as a thank you! Even if it's just a few ideas on whom I should reach out to for interviews or some new social media tools you think are working particularly well for your organization, I'd love to hear from you. 

Email me your tips (and your preferred email or mailing address for your Starbucks gift card) and if I use your ideas, I'll send you a "thank you" treat that you can use for yourself or gift to another.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Apps that Excite Association Professionals

Today on Association Chat we are talking about the apps that are rocking association professionals' worlds.

What are the apps that make a difference in your day-to-day life? We'll explore apps that impact your business, personal, spiritual, and physical lives. Here are some questions we'll discuss:
  1. Which apps are you using to improve what you do at work?
  2. Which apps are helping you with content and marketing for your association?
  3. Which event apps have you used, which event apps are you hoping to use, and what are the features that you really want in an event app?
  4. How are these apps improving your jobs? How long have you been using the app? How did you hear about it?
  5. Which apps are you using to make your life better?
  6. Which apps bring you happiness and why?
  7. Which apps turn you off completely? Why?
  8. What kind of app do you wish existed, but doesn't?
  9. Does your association have an app? 
  10. If your org has an app, what does it do? Is it effective?
  11. If your org does not have an app, what kind of app would be valuable to your members or clients? What features would it have?
  12. What top 3 apps would you recommend to a friend, colleague, or member?
It should be a great chat - if you've never participated, definitely join in the fun on Tuesday at 2 pm ET. We meet every Tuesday at 2 pm ET, so if you missed it this week you can always catch the replay or join us next week for another chat.

For reminders on upcoming topics and just to show the chat some love, please join the Association Chat Facebook Group.

Side Notes

  1. RFP - ASAE Marketing, Membership & Communications Conference (June 13–14, 2016) - Submit your ideas by October 30
  2. RFP - Association Media & Publishing's 2016 Annual Meeting (June 27-29, 2016) - Proposals are due October 30, 2015
  3. RFP - ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition (August 13-16, 2016) - Submission Deadline is Friday, November 20, 2015
  4. Have you checked out Twitter Publish yet? Twitter announced this new tool and now Twitter Publish is available to the public - check out to start curating and to create a collection like this one:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Association Execs - What Keeps You Up at Night?

What a fabulous conversation with great people!

Next week's chat is all about apps that are perfect for association executives and industry folks. You can join in the fun next Tuesday at 2 pm EDT here: You can also join the Association Chat Facebook Group at

Association Chat is a weekly chat that takes place on Tuesdays at 2 pm ET on Blab. You can also take part in regular conversations and follow links and industry news by following the hashtag #assnchat on Twitter.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Association Chat On Camera! What's Happening to #assnchat?

For the past few weeks Association Chat has been quietly testing a new platform for the weekly Tuesday chats.

Blab is a livestreaming platform that enables a public video chat among four participants at a time. Viewers come in to watch the livestream and they can participate by leaving comments on the desktop application or below on the mobile version. Participants can ask for a seat on camera or respond to the video chat via text. If you are familiar with the likes of Periscope, Meerkat and Google Hangouts, it basically combines all three.

Blab was just launched in April of this year and it is still very much in Beta, though early power users like Joel Comm and Chris Brogan are hosting regular chats and even "Blab Ups" at this point. 

Association Chat has been a regular weekly chat, hosted mostly on Twitter, for the past six years. The chat, created by association legend Jeff De Cagna, was the basis for the popular (and sometimes provocative) hashtag #assnchat. Association Chat has had meetups, tweetups, a book club, and also comes with its own Association Chat group on Facebook.

So far the tests with using Blab for the weekly chats have shown promise. The chats are recorded (you can see replays of past Association Chats on Blab) and the engagement and quality of conversation seems high. My hope is that more voices from the industry will choose to jump in to the available seats on camera each week and share their expertise and opinions on the industry topics du jour. As always, it's the added insights from the participants that creates the value for these chats.
Kait Soloman is a regular Association Chat participant who brings value with every conversation. You can follow her on Twitter: @KaitlinSolomon3

This Tuesday's chat will focus on a more general topic, "What Keeps You up at Night?" We'll also be discussing, "what gets you up in the morning" as suggested by the wildly creative and fun Randi Sumner (follow her on Twitter!). 

Please join the conversation and community live on Tuesday at 2 pm EDT, keep up to date with the Association Chat Facebook Group, and feel free to contact me if you'd like to guest host or have ideas for topics that we should cover in a future chat (a list of planned topics are posted here, but we can always change the schedule around for hot topics!). 

People are always posting interesting articles, links, and thoughts to the Association Chat hashtag, #assnchat, throughout the week on Twitter, so you can always jump in and join the conversation that way, as well. 

See you online!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Association Chat to feature authors of "Leading Engagement from the Outside-In" on July 14th

Associations have always been “about” engagement, and in the past several years, we’ve had a renewed focus on engaging our members and other audiences. The thing is, most of us aren’t really doing it well. Could that be because we’ve been thinking about engagement all wrong, focusing on what we want members to do and how we define value?

Join Anna Caraveli (The Demand Networks) and Elizabeth Weaver Engel (Spark Consulting) on Tuesday, July 14 at 2 pm ET on Twitter (follow the hashtag #assnchat) to chat about their new whitepaper, Leading Engagement from the Outside-In, which describes a radical shift in our understanding of engagement, one based on an approach that encourages us to view the world from our audiences’ perspective, focus on the outcomes they want to achieve, build authentic relationships, and harness the power of collaboration to co-create the value our organizations provide.

Download the whitepaper at and come ready to share your thoughts on developing an outside-in perspective on your interactions and relationships with your members and other audiences. 

Anna Caraveli is CEO of the Demand Networks, LLC, author of the new book, The Demand Perspective: Leading from the Outside-In, published by ASAE, and of numerous articles. She has over 20 years of experience in non-profit membership organizations, helping them resonate and connect with new generations of members, build new value propositions, and increase engagement and revenue. The Demand Networks and her research are focused on understanding what it takes to engage today, executing new models of member relationships and helping to build engaging organizations, at the pulse of their markets. When she is not saving the world, Anna walks her dog and cheers for the Washington Capitals.

Elizabeth is CEO and Chief Strategist at Spark Consulting LLC. She has more than seventeen years of experience helping associations grow, in membership, marketing, communications, public presence, and especially revenue, which is what Spark is all about. Elizabeth speaks and writes frequently on a variety of topics in association management. When she's not helping associations grow, she loves to dance, listen to live music, cook, and blog about the Philadelphia Eagles.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The 5 Best Resources to Improve Your Social Media Influence By 35%

We've all heard the statistics about driving engagement on social media by using pictures, but questions abound about how to use this information to really move the needle on social media outcomes. 

Every morning I walk my seven-year-old daughter to her bus stop. We talk about nature, comment on the things we see along the way, and look both ways before crossing the street. On one of these morning journeys I noticed the carpet cleaning van parked on the corner of the street. As I read past the name and busy design work on the van, I noticed four little words plastered across its back right panel: "Follow us on Twitter."

The benefit to thinking through your content strategy along with your social media plan, making sure to measure engagement along the way, will allow you to implement a clear, concise strategy. Organizations who do this will find better engagement and brand recognition than others who don’t have a coordinated plan in place.
Truth is, I didn't look up that carpet cleaning business on Twitter. It may be an expert resource on cleaning carpets with high engagement with its followers, but if it's like many businesses I see on social media, it is likely a social media parking lot for the occasional promotional post. A social media plan should be comprised of so much more than a quick, primarily reactive channel for promotion. It should combine everything you know about your audience, your objectives, your strategies for achieving those objectives, and the tools you plan to use. Add to that your content strategy and you have a strong social media plan that will help you achieve your goals while you gain valuable insights from your audience along the way.
Why is content strategy necessary for your social media plan? Because you need to have a keen understanding of your audience, the types of conversations they are interested in having, and an idea about where, online, they want to have those conversations. In addition, you need to measure those conversations and be able to translate the metrics into insights. Your content strategy will inform your decisions on what to post where. 
Images and video drive more engagement than text-only posts in social media and if you have analyzed your audience, you should be able to identify the online outposts that would maximize your use of images for your audience. Using images, visual pictures, videos, and graphs, for better information sharing has been proven to improve social media influence by 35%. Here are 5 great resources to help you up your social media game by 35%*:
  1. Blogger Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Photos You Don't Own on Your Blog by Roni Loren (January 12, 2015)
  2. Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner reminds us that, “as humans, we connect emotionally to images more than video, audio or text. People make decisions and take action quicker when promoted by images.”
  3. From a user’s perspective, photos are also the most engaging type of content on Facebook, with a whopping 87% interaction rate from fans! No other post type received more than a 4% interaction rate. (
  4. 12 Clever Ways to Use More Visuals on Social Media (Dec 2014)
  5. Unsplash - This is my favorite new site. 10 new photos every 10 days. They're beautiful. And you can use this little tool to instantly add your quotes and upload to social media in seconds.
You have to try a few of these resources out and see how they impact your social media strategy. Email me with your results at - I'd love to hear about what you're doing!
*Source: Adding a photo to your tweet can boost retweets by an impressive 35% ( - March 2014