ACO Board Meeting Minutes 5-4-2016

Conference Debrief

Attendees: Joyce Kubik (President), Tamara Rosier (President-Elect), Terri Reinhard (Secretary), Christine Kotik (Treasurer), Roxanne Fouche (Research), Lee Rozycki (Membership), Lisa Boester (Awareness), DeShawn Wert (Conference), Robin Nordmeyer (Program Chair), Jenna Knight (Marketing), Kirsten Milliken (co-conference chair), Tereasa Jones (Leadership), Heather Gregory (Leadership)

Not Attending: Conference Team, Deshawn Wert, Kirsten Milliken.
Discussion topics:
The Conference Chairs, DeShawn and Kirsten were not in attendance for this meeting, they did however address the questions and comments by email that were discussed in the debrief.

The Board’s discussion centered on the following 3 questions;

  1. What was done right this year, that must be done again next year?
    Promote Thursday Night open to the Public.
    Free Time for lunches and extended time between sessions.
    Setting of intentions for conference…(Tamara)
    Identify and continue the energy producers.
    Highlighting the “first timers”, and welcoming and acknowledging our new members.
    Thursday Pre Conference Cost to the ACO was nothing, but produced income for the speakers.

 

 

  1. What Lessons did we learn?
    Thursday Night open to the public was not as successful as anticipated, and ended up costing us money. This event needs to be promoted with more effort.
    The Registration Area and Process, as well as the Membership Information and Sign up, needs to be streamlined, and clearly identified and strategically placed as to eliminate the bottlenecking that occurred.
    Registration Back Up information must be readily available. Internet Service must be available at the Registration and Membership area.
    The AV needs and requirements cannot be left to a few “borrowed” pieces of equipment. Explore other options for acquiring these.
    Staff assignments for The ACO Membership table, Room Monitors, and, evaluation task assignments need more coverage. Communication with the membership concerning need for volunteer help at the conference needs to be more vocal, and visible.
  2. What Cannot be repeated next year?
    Dietary restrictions for the Awards Night Dinner, must be considered and arranged for. Several attendees did not receive their meals.
    Staffing shortage.

 

From DeShawn:

 

I’m sending the Google Link to view the 2016 Conference Feedback Response Summary separately.

 

Good Morning All!

 

Kirsten and I have listened to the board recording, looked at the feedback from the attendees, and discussed our thoughts.

 

Housekeeping Items that need to be handled ASAP:

  1. We need someone to start monitoring the ACO conference email ASAP for follow up.  Kirsten and I need to refocus on our businesses.

 

  1. A new login for the conference website is being generated for the new chairperson.  Kirsten will send it to Tamara and Joyce to pass on.

 

Things to Continue:

A strong and clear vision of what is to be accomplished by the conference co-chairs.  This year Kirsten and I knew we wanted to impact the coaching community by building businesses for coaches so we (coaches) can make a bigger impact on the ADHD community at large and help coaches with developing strategic partners add or enhance their businesses.  We also had personal goals set around attendance and generating enough money for a start up budget for 2017 conference.  If you recall, we had no budget for this conference.  We also knew we needed to pull people in outside of ACO for resources that were outside our realm of expertise (EX:Brandit website and Angela Herrington social media). These were strategic choices we made for logistic purposes of growing the ACO conference and making our conference more accessible to those wanting to know more about being professional in the ADHD field, especially the value of ADHD coaching.  Every decision we made for the conference was about increasing influence, adding diversity, and highlighting ACO leadership to the ADHD community.

 

We had a business mindset with conference finances. Checking the costs and finding resources and other work-a-rounds was a big part of keeping costs down, which Joyce told us was a MUST to be under budget and not cost the ACO anything as the last several years the organization had lost money at conference.  Examples of these decisions included: A FREE hosted website for 2 years bartered for a corporate sponsorship; dropping conference lunches daily; a single dinner entree instead of dinner buffet which saved approximately $100.00 per person (or $13,000.00 for the Friday evening meal). Snack bags for the attendees donated by local coaches. Projectors borrowed for 3 days saved ($4500.00).  This was a very expensive place to conference and we had to make cuts that were not sacred cows and allowed us to scale way back in an unnoticeable ways.

 

We paid speakers who brought in new ideas, a different voice and added energy to the conference.  Several comments were made about the different speakers adding value.

 

We recommend you keep the rebranded conference name to add to diversity to our group and showcase ACO leadership in the ADHD community.  This will set us apart as leaders and the ADHD community at large.  Continue to pull in groups such as NAPO, ICD, and CHADD as partners finding ways to extend our influence with their membership, as well as, interacting with ours.

 

The support and participation of the ACO board was huge in making this year’s conference a success.  The integration of the membership and the conference added to the ranks of our coaches and added a new vibe to the group.  We have a whole new group of new coaches to mentor and pull into the ACO fold in a meaningful way. Some of the programming should be wrapped around this new group and their success will be our success. Continuing to integrate all parts of the board into the conference is important in the future. EX: Programming Committee now has a larger group of presenters and speakers to follow up with as programs to offer…Reach out to them and use them to continue the conversations started at conference this year.

 

Video submissions added an additional layer of professionalism to the conference RTP process. I know we had some complaints but they were helpful to the committee.

 

Cultivate a group of local coaches in the area (within 1 hour of the venue) and empower them!  We had JoAnn Skinner, Pat Hudack, Jill Linkhoff and Jodi Sleeper-Tripplett in the area who absolutely made this thing happen.  They were awesome and they’re familiarity and connections with the local ADHD resources in VA. make this something we need to leverage here and in the future!

 

Lessons Learned:

The duties of maintaining the conference website and answering emails and registration information were easily 20-25 hours weekly after the registration opened in December. Both of our businesses took real hits after the new year as this became a more demanding event. We recommend you budget a VA or pay someone 25 hours weekly to maintain the conference website, registration lists and communication via email during the most high traffic times (January-May).  I believe this one thing alone will be a BIG help with the transparency and procedural practices Christine is needing to put in place as the treasurer of the organization and our conference will be more professionally ran.

 

Find software to run all money and registration needs (including membership) for conference, as well as, all ACO ‘products’  integrating the data collection needed for all our events.

 

We advertised with soft deadlines publicly but were able to extend them, if we had to.  However, Kirsten and I did have very strict deadlines that, as conference chairs, we met to keep up with the conference deadlines with hotel and social media.

 

The public event needs to be structured differently so that the focus is on the public.  Additional social media and better awareness of the event should be developed.  However, we did have some public attendees attended but many of the coaches were using this time as networking and the small group of public who was in attendence was overlooked by some of the coaches.  This needs to be addressed somehow.

 

We need more detailed descriptions of roles while at conference.  There is planning phase and there is implementation phase.  Being clear on the needs for both of those roles is important and we need to do a better job of that.

 

We need to use the resources in Reston, VA.  It has many resources available such as universities, academies and other institutions who may be able to ‘work’ for reduced pricing for attendance.

 

Feedback showed many appreciated business sessions and many appreciated coaching sessions.  We suggest 2 tracks- 1 business and 1-coaching so those who need business or coaching get what they need.

 

Continue to have ‘juicy’ preconference offerings that add additional value and CCEU’s to the conference.  We bartered exhibit tables and kept all proceeds from preconference.

 

What Not to Do:

Lose money on conference! Joyce was insistent that this conference not lose money and the jury is still out on this one. Hopefully, all the cost cutting and extra time spent on problem solving using local resources came through and seed money is available for 2017.

 

I had shared my thoughts with Joyce on long term conference planning for the ACO that she can share if she finds it helpful.

 

Finally, on behalf and Kirsten and I, we are glad that the conference met our personal goals for attendance, adding diversity to the speaking and presenting platform with new voices, growing our ACO membership, and empowering ADHD coaches as leaders in the ADHD community at large, as well as, trying to showcase ADHD coaching in the Reston area.

 

We have only tried to elevate the role of ADHD coaching and the influence of coaches in the ADHD professional community.  Thank you for the opportunity.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

DeShawn Wert

Kirsten Milliken

 

The Google Link to view the 2016 Conference Feedback Response Summary was sent separately to the board. Below is the feedback form, however use the link in the email to submit your personal feedback to the Conference Committee.

 

2016 Conference Feedback

Feedback from participants at the 2016 ADHD Professionals Conference

* Required

I attended the conference as an… (please select all that apply) *

Attendee

Speaker

Volunteer

Sponsor

Exhibitor

Other:

Required

How did you hear about this conference? *

ACO email

ACO website

Facebook

LinkedIn

ADDA

ADDCA

Attitude Magazine

A Podcast

From a friend/collegaue

Other:

Required

Please specify the main reason(s) for attending this conference:*

Content

Networking

Personal growth and development

Professional development

Speakers

Other:

Required

Did the conference fulfill your reason for attending? *

Absolutely

Mostly

Not at all

How many conferences do you attend a year? *

only this one

2-3

4-6

More than 7

Please rate these aspects of the conference

1= not enjoyable or useful 5= extremely enjoyable and useful

Food & Beverage *

1

2

3

4

5

Registration Process *

1

2

3

4

5

Venue *

1

2

3

4

5

Conference Content *

1

2

3

4

5

Public event *

1

2

3

4

5

6

I did not atternd

Musical entertainment and inspiration by Harold Payne *

1

2

3

4

5

Headshots with Goodheart Photography *

1

2

3

4

5

6

I did not get a headshot

Setting goals and intentions with Tamara Rosier (Friday morning)

1

2

3

4

5

Keynote by Cameron Gott (Saturday afternoon)

1

2

3

4

5

Keynote by Dr. Kathleen Nadeau (Saturday morning)

1

2

3

4

5

Keynote by Laura Poindexter (Friday afternoon)

1

2

3

4

5

Keynote by Dr. Sean Wise (Friday morning)

1

2

3

4

5

Quality of presenters and information shared during the sessions *

1

2

3

4

5

Would you prefer to: *

pay more to have all meals provided

pay less and have time to get meals on your own

Other :

If you were a volunteer how would you rate your experience?

1

2

3

4

5

6

N/A

If you were a speaker how would you rate your experience?

1

2

3

4

5

6

N/A

If you were an exhibitor or sponsor how would you rate your experience?

1

2

3

4

5

6

N/A

What was the most beneficial aspect of the conference? *

Your answer

What topics would you like to see at preconference next year? (3-6 hour sessions)

Your answer

Would you recommend this conference to others? *

Yes

Maybe

No

Please let the committee know what was missing from the conference this year

Your answer

What do you want to see more of?

Your answer

What do you want to see less of?

Your answer

What would you tell someone who asked about your experience and/or was interested in attending next year?

Your answer

Can we quote you and use your name in our member communications?

Yes

No

Next year’s conference will be in Reston, VA again. Would you be interested in being a volunteer in any of the following capacities?

Conference Chair

Conference committee volunteer

Conference volunteer during the event

Other:

If you are interested in being involved in the 2017 ADHD Professionals Conference Committee, please add your name and email.

Your answer

If you would like to communicate with the conference committee directly, please send an email to us atconference@adhdcoaches.org

Thank you for taking your time to give us your feedback. See you in Reston in 2017.

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