Kelly McDonald, William Espey Keynote 2018 ASAE's Great Ideas Conference in March

December 8, 2017

WASHINGTON—From March 11-13, more than 600 association executives and industry partners will gather in Colorado Springs to evolve ideas into action at ASAE’s 2018 Great Ideas Conference at The Broadmoor. Participants can choose from over 60 idea labs, two executive leadership workshops, a Women Executives Forum, and two keynotes. New formats for this year’s conference include learning circles and leadership intensives.

To kick off the Great Ideas Conference on March 11, Kelly McDonald, Marketing and Consumer Trends Expert, will discuss the importance of customer service and how a one size fits all approach doesn’t work in the current environment. She will provide examples of how companies are creating unique experiences and differentiating themselves, so they can create long-term loyalty and brand preferences through exceptional and customized customer experience.

On Monday, March 12, William Espey, Brand Voice Lead of Chipotle, will discuss how focusing on green and sustainable marketing helped propel the brand and grow the restaurant from 15 stores to more than 1,500 worldwide. He will share key themes that emerged and how associations can apply it to their own efforts. 

Before the conference starts, ASAE is offering two Executive Leadership Workshops, which are ticketed sessions. On Saturday March 10, the "Ultimate Team Building" workshop will be an interactive, gamification session taking place in Colorado Springs. Ben Hoffman, CEO of CityHunt, will lead the session where participants will hone their leadership and communication skills. 

On Sunday, March 11, “The Secret Insights that Drive Human Behavior” workshop will teach attendees how to make breakthroughs more predictable, reliable, and consistent by applying fundamental research about human behavior. The session will be led by Jeff Hurt, EVP Education & Engagement at Velvet Chainsaw Consulting and Josh Packard, CEO at The Packard Group/Professor of Sociology.  

On Monday evening, there’s a Women Executives Forum called “Boundary Spanning: Designing Meaningful Strategy” with Natalie W. Nixon, PhD with Figure 8 Thinking, LLC.  Through design thinking principles, Nixon will provide insight on how to link an organization’s internal networks with external sources of information as well as engage employees and members through purpose-driven leadership and boundary spanning. This workshop is a ticketed event.

Early bird registration deadline is February 12. To register or learn more about the education offerings at the 2018 Great Ideas Conference, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE, 202-326-9505.

About ASAE 
ASAE is a membership organization of 39,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit