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2019 IASB Convention Sessions
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Times and activities are subject to change.  All the activities (unless otherwise indicated) are included in the conference registration fee; however, activities with an asterisk (*) require pre-registration.


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 By Day By Session Type (Friday) By Session Type (Saturday)


Thursday, April 4


The Science of High Performing Speaker Agents and Bureaus

There are two simple yet critical questions you need to answer if you are going to be successful in the bureau business: How do I sell more? How do I help my people to sell more?


This master class will be the culmination of research conducted within the bureau industry itself focusing on two key parts: 1) what do top speaker agents do differently to sell more? And, 2) how can you lead your sales team – select, hire, retain and engage - so that there is a higher probability they can be high performers?


Part 1:  What differentiates highly effective speaker agents?

We know that sales people are the lifeblood of running a successful bureau business. But what makes some speaker agents more effective than others? In this interactive session, we will explore:

  • What are the key differentiators of the top 10% performing sales people in the bureau industry?
    We will study sales people from within the bureau industry to better understand the characteristics of the top 10% performers. Why do some rise to the top and sell more? What is unique and different about how they sell?
  • What is the alpha you get when you hire and select for these characteristics?
    In other words, what financial difference does it make when you successfully hire a top 10% sales person? As part of our study, we will analyze the financial impact of a top 10% sales person in the bureau industry.\
  • How can you put these insights and habits into practice to sell more?
    This will be your opportunity to take specific learning from some of the best in the industry to improve your selling game.

Part 2:  Leadership: What does it mean to lead a team to sell more?

  • How do you select, hire, retain and engage your team to be more productive?
    What can you do to help your people be their best? This will be delivered as both a didactic presentation of key findings as well as a moderated panel of experienced sales leaders from the industry.
  • Best practice hiring guide:
    From the research we conduct, we will prepare and present you with a best practice hiring guide, complete with a specific step by step approach to select and hire your next sales person. This will include specific questions you can use to hire your next sales person.
  • How do you manage yourself as a leader?
    At the end of the day, what engages and moves people more than anything else is how you show up. People don’t leave bureaus, of course, people leave people. In this session, we will explore how you can show up more consistently at your best.  

As part of this program, you will get an opportunity to assess yourself and receive a personalized feedback report to better understand how you show up and impact others.


Presented by:  Dr. JP Pawliw-Fry (click here to learn more about JP)



Orientation for First Time Attendees

If this is your first IASB Convention or you just want to find out more about IASB, please join us for a brief orientation including tips on how to maximize your time at convention and get connected to beneficial resources and contacts. 


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Friday, April 5


Opening Plenary
An Astronaut’s Guide to Leadership


Commanding a spaceship takes superb leadership. The vehicle is complex and isolated, the team is international, and the stakes are the very highest – life or death.  Very few humans and only one Canadian have ever held that command – Colonel Chris Hadfield. Through a lifetime of service and three spaceflights, Chris has developed and honed leadership theories and practices that have taken him to the very top.  In his talk, Chris illustrates fundamental ideas with original insights, including examples from his own experiences as NASA’s Director of Operations in Russia, being blinded during a spacewalk, and dealing with a critical Space Station emergency.  Chris has been a mentor in Crew Resource Management as well as global astronaut/groundcrew team development. He is a Masterclass teacher and three-time internationally best-selling author.  An immensely experienced instructor, speaker and Commander, Chris will help your team see, learn and remember how to lead more effectively.


Presented by:  Colonel Chris Hadfield (click here to learn more about Chris)



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Featuring curated speakers in a showcase format.  Attendees will have the opportunity to experience all three of these sessions/speakers (listed in order or appearance).


Influence Redefined ... Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be, Monday to Monday


You may not be as influential as you think you are!  Most of us believe if we know our topic or if we feel good we must be good.  Influence Redefined will give you the opportunity to take a closer look at what's really going on rather than what you believe to be true.  To solve this challenge, we have to understand Influence is a result not an intent.  Influence is everything you say in every way, every day Monday to Monday®.  To achieve influence, we need to see ourselves through the eyes and ears of our listeners. It is achieved through deliberate practice, holding yourself accountable and asking for meaningful feedback. 


Learning Outcomes

  • Why we are confusing how influential we feel with how influential we actually are.
  • How to's for building a consistent brand Monday to Monday®.
  • See yourself as others see you. Are you as influential as you think you are?
  • Communicate with brevity; build trust to be heard
  • Project confidence, credibility to increase your impact. 

Presented by:  Stacey Hanke (click here to learn more about Stacey)



Permission Granted to Get Rid of Your BS


Whether implicit or conscious, bias is the number one threat to humanity and any company's success. If your company's goal is to create cohesiveness within your organization, build boss teams, increase revenue, be innovative and/or elevate your reputation- the bias in your workforce and community is a roadblock. You know the problem. Permission:Granted is your answer. Although diversity can often be an uncomfortable topic, Risha’s approach helps attendees to easily understand the concept, without feeling bored or judged.  Risha Grant teaches Diversity & Inclusion through the lens of humanity using terms like BS or Bias Synapse as a way to explain our brain’s involvement in the processing and validation of bias. 

Learning Outcomes

  • An understanding of Diversity & Inclusion
  • A thorough awareness of their biases and how they originated
  • A recognition of the symptoms and results of bias
  • Tools to address bias internally and externally 

Presented by:  Risha Grant (click here to learn more about Risha)


Think Different


Do you ever wonder why most of your best ideas come to you in the shower? Have you ever pitched a new idea to watch it diluted or killed as it moves through the processes? Ever wanted to know how Walt Disney came up with the idea for Disneyland or how Netflix completely revolutionized the movie rental industry? Or perhaps found yourself amazed at how some companies develop killer insights that enabled them to break into major new categories. Building on some 25 years experience with The Walt Disney Company, most recently as Vice President of Innovation and Creativity, Duncan Wardle creates an engaging presentation that will not only answer these questions but leave you with tangible innovation tools to take on your challenges in new and different ways that deliver tangible results.  

Presented by:  Duncan Wardle (click here to learn more about Duncan)

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Concurrent Sessions

These deeper dive sessions will provide attendees with the opportunity to explore a topic further (attendees will need to select one of these sessions to experience).


The Theory of Creativity 


I believe the ability to think Creatively is the one core human truth that will remain relevant with the advent Artificial Intelligence.  But haven’t we all been told we’re not creative? So many times, that we end up believing it. But weren’t we all kids once?  That childlike curiosity led Einstein & Edison to huge breakthroughs. But haven’t we been taught that there's only one right answer, so much so, that we stopped looking for the next one?  Now combine our lack of creativity & curiosity with the real world. Drones may make fireworks irrelevant in the next decade. 3D printing may make the tool industry obsolete too.  So how will we survive if we keep doing "business as usual? How can we embed a sustainable culture of innovation & creativity throughout our organizations?  Leaning on 25 years experience with Disney I am now on a mission to prove that everyone is creative, by designing a tangible innovation tool kit that everyone can use.   

Presented by:  Duncan Wardle (click here to learn more about Duncan)


Influence Redefined...Part II 

We all want to enhance our influence…but what if we are sabotaging our influence without even knowing it? How you communicate verbally and non-verbally determines whether or not others see you as credible, knowledgeable and trustworthy. Without doing this effectively, you inhibit your potential to reach a goal of: influencing, increasing profits and building a reputation you’re proud of Monday to Monday®. Part II will continue the discussion and practice of the skills and techniques for growing your influence. 


Learning Outcomes

  • A proven, step-by-step method for creating influence that moves people to action long after an interaction is over
  • See yourself as others see you. Are you as good-or bad as you think you are when you communicate with influence? 
  • Project confidence and credibility to increase your impact. 

Presented by:  Stacey Hanke (click here to learn more about Stacey)


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Best Practice Sessions


Fraud Proofing your Bureau: Cyber Threats to you and your Business


In a world where our most personal information is for sale to the highest bidder, how do you protect your business and yourself? Why would a speaker’s bureau even be a target?  Drawing on his 20-year career as undercover operative for the RCMP, DEA and US Customs Service and now as a crime and risk consultant, Chris will explain how the face of crime has changed.  He will demonstrate how criminal organizations have embraced technology which allows them to commit crimes against anyone, from anywhere, and what can you do to reduce your chances of becoming a victim?


Presented by:  Chris Mathers (click here to learn more about Chris)


The Future of Client Innovation and Business Best Practices 


In these rapidly changing times the meetings industry is is in growth mode and client expectations continue to increase. Bureaus and speaker management firms are uniquely poised to  enhance superior customer experience for their clients and grow the business.  In this best practices session future of work expert Cheryl Cran will provide research, insights and facilitated ideas on client innovation and business best practices. 


Attendees will leave with: 


  • Research and stats on the future of business and impact of technology and people trends 
  • Insights on the direction of the industry and opportunities to pursue for business growth 
  • Sales ideas on how to increase impact of consultative selling for discerning clients 
  • Multi industry insights from businesses such as Uber, Air BnB, Sephora that can be applied to speaker industry 
  • Idea sharing via polling from peer attendees on best customer/sales practices being used to succeed in today and in the future 


Presented by:  Cheryl Cran  (click here to learn more about Chris)


Saturday, April 6

Networking Breakfast:

Experience a light breakfast and interesting conversations during this informal round-table session. Bring your personal device or a pen and paper to capture ideas you can bring back to explore more. 

Opening Plenary
Industry Insight: Responding to Disruption
Join us for the next installment in our industry insight series.  Following up on last year’s session where experts from outside and inside the speakers bureau industry discussed the major trends and game-changers that are driving change in the meetings industry, this year’s session will focus on how members are staying ahead of the curve by not only embracing change but leading it.

Presented by:  Member Panel:  Nick Gold, Dianne Goodman, Shawn Hanks and Tim Mathy 



Featuring curated speakers in a showcase format.  Attendees will have the opportunity to experience all three of these sessions/speakers (listed in order or appearance).


Convergence - Closing the Gaps that Prevent World Class Performance


We live in a time of massive and accelerating change. That’s not a new insight at all. But what is so easily lost on people is that a changing context demands a different approach to success and high performance. Problematically, people all across the world are running personal and professional strategies that, though incredibly effective in the 80’s and 90’s, have entirely lost their ability to drive results in the modern context. 
You see, we’ve isolated the very skills and traits that must be converged if we are ever to experience the level of performance that we are so capable of.   This session brings together powerful insights from peak performance psychology, mythology and business lore to craft an entirely new approach to creating extraordinary results. 


Learning Outcomes

  • Explore the 5 critical gaps that hold even the smartest back
  •  Learn the daily convergence practices used by the world’s highest performers
  •  Uncover new and massive growth opportunities 

Presented by:  Phill Nosworthy (click here to learn more about Phill)



Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World


We live in a world of uncertainty and real-time challenges – and bad things happen to good companies and good people. Are you prepared? Does your team know exactly what to do, what to say, and how to get ahead of the story when things go wrong? Are you ready to protect the reputation and brand you’ve worked so hard to build? In this program, speaker and author Melissa Agnes, provides an applicable roadmap for building an invincible brand through effective communication, issue management, and crisis readiness, resulting in increased organizational trust, credibility, and goodwill.


Learning Outcomes

  • Predict, manage, and overcome real-time challenges when things go wrong
  •  Exceed stakeholder and customer expectations when it matters most
  •  Empower your team to make smart decisions that are focused on protecting relationships and reputation
  •  Identify the difference between an issue and a crisis, and respond appropriately, effectively, and immediately

Presented by:  Melissa Agnes (click here to learn more about Melissa)



Redefine Possible: Lesson for Tackling Mountains in the Corporate World

Spencer West invites audiences to experience the transformation that can occur when we “redefine possible”. With his trademark humor and humility, Spencer spins a spellbinding story of the challenges he faced after losing his legs from the pelvis down at age five, and the journey of discovery that ultimately enabled him to summit Mount Kilimanjaro using his hands and wheelchair.  Spencer applies the insights gleaned from a lifetime of overcoming obstacles to help audiences identify their own roadblocks and push past them. His inspiring message and tangible life lessons motivate business audiences to believe they can tackle any goal, whether personal or professional. 

Presented by:  Spencer West (click here to learn more about Spencer)


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Concurrent Sessions


These deeper dive sessions will provide attendees with the opportunity to explore a topic further (attendees will need to select one of these sessions to experience).


Convergence - A Deep Dive Into the Gaps that Prevent World Class Performance, and How to Close Them

Building on his morning session, join cult favourite Phill Nosworthy in a deeply engaging exploration of the 5 critical gaps that prevent personal mastery and peak performance and exactly what you can to to close them. This powerfully interactive session has transformed the lives of leading professionals and high performers all across the world. Together with your peers, you will bring convergence between:

1. Skill and Character - your talent < > the substance of who you are. 
2. Knowledge and Application - what you know < > what you put into practice.
3. Identity and Reputation - who you think you are < > who they say you are. 
4. Intention and Action - what you plan to do < > what you actually do. 
5. Confidence and Courage - how you feel < > what you are capable of. 


Presented by:  Phill Nosworthy (click here to learn more about Phill)

Choose Your Lens: Transform Issues into Opportunities 

Issue management is a part of every business -- whether it’s a customer complaint, an operational mishap, or worse. The lens through which you and your team chooses to see a negative event directly impacts the actions you take in response to it, and ultimately impacts the result that event will have on your brand. Sustainable success in business is built from strong, loyal relationships. What happens when a negative issue threatens the very relationships you've spent years developing, nurturing, and growing? How can you ensure your entire team – whether you’re a team of 1 or 100 – will react and respond in a way that results in increasing trust, loyalty, and credibility, rather than depreciating from it? In this session, Melissa Agnes provides you with real-world ideas and answers for turning negative events into new opportunities for creating customer loyalty. Learn how to increase trust with relationships that matter most to the sustainability and success of your business. 


Presented by:  Melissa Agnes (click here to learn more about Melissa)

Closing Plenary
The Real W.O.W. Factor

Concert pianist Jade Simmons went from being an accidental speaker during her classical music concerts to a sought-after secret weapon to the world’s most superlative brands. The key shift? Building an inimitable, intentional brand and being featured on multiple distinguished bureau rosters. Known as a communications chameleon, Jade transcends audience demographics and speaks on a diverse variety of topics authoritatively and passionately from corporate audiences, to college commencements, from ministry to marketplace, and prestigious leadership events from Houston, to Chile, to Geneva.  A believer in truly customized experiences, Jade will be premiering a new transformational, Main Stage experience at IASB, a stunning musical keynote entitled The Real W.O.W Factor.  The presentation doubles as inspiration catered to empower those in the bureau industry as well as a world-class display of audience engagement and what Jade believes is the future of professional speaking. 


Attendees will leave knowing the key ingredients of a W.O.W Experience:

  • Worth: Learn how experience creators can present R.O.I for audience members in the first few minutes of a presentation
  • Originality: Learn how to buck conformity and lead with your most unique aspects 
  • Wonder: Learn how to create aspirational moments by intentionally delivering unexpected experiences.

Presented by:  Jade Simmons (click here to learn more about Jade)


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