Author Archive

What’s on the Horizon for Meetings in 2020?

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News, Uncategorized

A new year often brings change. Here are three ways that association meetings may transform in 2020.

The beginning of a new year comes with lots of industry predictions, and there’s no shortage of them when it comes to meetings and events. So, how different will association meetings look in 2020? Here are three possibilities:

Meetings Tech Will Move Beyond Apps

According to the 2020 Global Meetings Forecast Report [PDF] by American Express Meetings & Events, meeting pros think that this will be the year when technology gets fully integrated into the event experience.

And that means moving beyond event apps, which have become so ubiquitous that one meeting planner referred to them as the “new lanyards.”

“In 2020, I think there will be a renewed focus on utilizing solutions that will help increase attendee engagement, streamline post-event follow-up, and help organizations fuel their sales pipeline through live events,” said Cvent CEO and Founder Reggie Aggarwal. “While tradeshows, conventions, and other event types may not have changed format much over the years, the tools to maximize their impact certainly have, and I think the need for better and more actionable data will continue to drive the technological developments in the year ahead.”

One idea to consider: using facial-recognition software to speed up registration. For example, at IAEE’s Expo! Expo! last month in Las Vegas, attendees could use a facial recognition check-in process onsite. According to a press release from Streampoint Solutions, whose FaceReg software was used at the event, 35 percent of attendees took advantage of it.

“Investing in this technology in the event space opens the doors to not only advancing the check-in process but also creates new opportunities to enhance audience engagement experiences,” said Sam Louie, director of operations at Streampoint Solutions.

Speaker Diversity Gets Prioritized

In late 2018, I wrote that I really wanted to see “manels” go away in 2019. While they’ve yet to be completely eradicated (a recent Bizzabo study showed that almost two-thirds of conference presenters are still men), we have seen some strides.

For example, National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins said in June 2019 that he would no longer be a part of all-male speaking panels.

“Starting now, when I consider speaking invitations, I will expect a level playing field, where scientists of all backgrounds are evaluated fairly for speaking opportunities,” he said in a press release. “If that attention to inclusiveness is not evident in the agenda, I will decline to take part.”

Then, in November, Shoptalk announced that its March 2020 conference would feature an all-women speaker lineup—a decision that some praised and others thought was extreme.

“We believe this groundbreaking move—a first in events to our knowledge—is necessary to propel our industry forward and showcase many incredibly talented women who are working to transform retail in every way,” said Zia Daniell Wigder, Shoptalk’s chief global content officer, in a blog post. “Starting in 2021, Shoptalk will feature 50/50 male and female speakers every year.”

Sustainability Moves to the Forefront

More associations are facing this reality: A greater number of meeting attendees want to reduce their carbon footprint by flying less, and some companies are limiting how often their employees can fly.

In the EventMB report “10 Event Trends for 2020” (registration required), one of the trends highlighted is an increase in virtual meetings due to “flight shaming.”

“As the meetings industry embraces a stronger commitment to sustainability …, unnecessary flying will be a key target of green company policies in 2020,” wrote EventMB Editor Julius Solaris. “Unnecessary travel … will be cut in favor of online delivery methods.”

What does it mean for associations?

For one, they will have to diversify their conference offerings. That may include creating regional events or even bringing education to members by hosting roadshows across the country. And, of course, associations can add a virtual component to a meeting for those who can’t be there.

Associations can also start examining ways to reduce the environmental impact of travel to their conferences—something my colleague Tim Ebner explored in the Fall 2019 issue of Associations Now.

What changes do you think meetings will or should undergo in 2020? Tell us about them in the comments.

The post What’s on the Horizon for Meetings in 2020? appeared first on Associations Now.

Daily Buzz: Stay in Touch With Lapsed Members

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News, Uncategorized

Encourage membership renewals from lapsed members with these three strategies. Also: how to drown out the distractions and improve concentration at work.

Has your hard-earned membership count dropped? Seeing members lapse is frustrating, but they may not be gone forever.

“The thing is, they may not necessarily be choosing not to renew,” says Callie Walker of MemberClicks. “They may not be thinking about it at all, which is why communicating with them—both leading up to the member expiration date AND after—is so critical.”

To encourage renewals, Walker suggests reaching out to lapsed members at three key points after their expiration date arrives:

Expiration day. “It’s crucial to reach out to your members the moment they lapse,” Walker says. In the email, remind recipients that their membership expires today and highlight the benefits of remaining a member. Demonstrate where members can renew, and provide a link to make it easy.

Three months past renewal date. Thank recipients for being members and remind them that their membership fees are 90 days past due. Give them a date by which they need to pay their dues in order to continue their member benefits. Provide a representative’s contact information in case they have questions or need assistance. This can also work 30 or 60 days past the renewal date, Walker points out. “The more you can communicate with your lapsed members, the better!”

Membership dropped. “Still no renewal? It’s time to send one final message. But you can still make it convincing!” Walker says. Inform recipients that their membership has expired. Make it clear that their participation is always welcome and tease a few upcoming initiatives. To cap things off, provide contact information in case they would like to discuss rejoining.

In all three email templates, Walker recommends highlighting benefits that members receive from your organization, such as networking opportunities, training, and education.

Going Deep

16 strategies to improve focus, minimize busywork and find time for deep work | WBT Systems #assnchat #associations #productivity

— TopClass LMS by WBT Systems (@WBT_Systems) December 31, 2019

With daily distractions and interruptions on the job, it can be difficult to find time for deep work, a form of concentration without distraction that opens up new kinds of productivity, according to the WBT Systems blog. How do you avoid procrastinating and filling your days with busywork? The WBT team says it’s a group effort.

“Work out a system with your boss and coworkers so you can enjoy blocks of uninterrupted quiet time. Put on your headphones and tape a sign to your door or cubicle along with a notepad and paper so visitors can say why they stopped by and when they’re available to talk later.”

Other Links of Note

Need to find the right work-life balance? Ashley Faus of HubSpot offers a new approach.

Social studies. Dennis Shiao of the Content Marketing Institute offers seven tips to up your social media game in 2020.

Free webinars. The Wild Apricot Blog identifies 40 free nonprofit webinars happening in January.

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Three Trends to Boost Nondues Revenue in the New Year

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News, Uncategorized

As 2020 dawns, many associations are looking to make sure they have a steady influx of revenue streaming in. From focusing on customers to adding value, an expert shares three trends you should embrace this year.

If you’re the superstitious type, you might have eaten black-eyed peas or undertaken some other tradition purported to bring money in the new year. You may even have showed up at work (which, while not superstitious, is effective at bringing in money). If you’re looking to boost the revenue at your association, don’t rely on superstitions. (But, yes, you should show up at work.) While you’re there, lean into the top trends in nondues revenue for 2020 offered up by Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE, president and CEO at Avenue M Group:

Focus on Customers

The first trend represents a big ideological shift: focusing on customers, whether they’re members or not.

“For as long as I’ve worked in associations—20 years—people have always said membership is the heart and the lifeblood of the organization; It’s what everyone talks about,” Jacobs said. “I think there is going to be a pivotal shift, where you no longer think about membership as lifeblood. The real focus is outreach and customers.”

Jacobs said she is not undervaluing members, but rather acknowledging that associations serve people in addition to their members. This strategy is often lucrative because nonmembers pay more. Jacobs’ company did an analysis of sales for a large association, looking at purchases by members and nonmembers, and came to a startling conclusion: “If they had converted these people to members, they would have millions of dollars of lost revenue.”

It’s OK for customers to choose the association’s products, but not its membership. “The shift is, we don’t have to capture everyone as members,” Jacobs said. “It’s OK if membership stays small. For many organizations, if you look at their mission statement, it doesn’t have the word member in it. The mission is to advance the profession.”

Jacobs said she has noticed a trend among employers to not reimburse employees for membership fees, whereas they will pay for products that help employees improve. “Customers are just as valuable as members,” Jacobs said.

Focusing on all customers and your organization’s reach will help improve nondues revenue from other sources, such as corporate sponsors. “I know an association that has maybe 14,000 or 15,000 members, but when they talk about their reach, it is three or four times as strong,” Jacobs said. “They get people in the room who are important for networking in their industry, even if they don’t become members.”

Use Data

Data can help associations figure out which programs and services are growing and which are declining.

“You might have an audience segment that is retiring or graying,” Jacobs said. “They may be the largest user of something you have. Another segment may be really small, but that segment is growing.”

Even though the big segment may be spending money now, Jacobs said it’s important to see the writing on the wall and pitch to those growing segments accordingly. Customer or member journeys can be helpful by using data to guide customers to the next product they’ll need. “As they join or renew, they are given incentives to use other things we have,” Jacobs said. “People who used this are happy with or seeking these kinds of things.”

Show Value

Customers will spend money if they value the product associations are offering.

“Individuals [ask], does this create value for me?” Jacobs said. “Does this offer me something I can’t get anywhere else?”

Offering both online and in-person options for meetings will continue to trend. While some worried that providing online access would cannibalize sales for in-person seats, Jacobs said that generally isn’t the case. “People don’t choose an online meeting because they initially were doing the in-person one and this was cheaper,” she said. Instead, logistics meant they could never do the in-person training, but online made it feasible. “If you don’t offer the online opportunity, there is an entire audience whose needs aren’t being met,” Jacobs said.

She also noted that some associations are requiring nonmembers who take advantage of their offerings to subscribe. “A lot of organizations take member content and put that behind a member wall,” Jacobs said. “This is taking your free content that’s out there, and saying if you want access, you have to become a subscriber. That subscription can be free or charge a nominal fee. It’s a way to build your customer database.”

Once people are in the database, the association has an opportunity to show its value through the content it provides. Jacobs said the subscription models she has seen do not provide additional discounts or other perks reserved for members.

Which trends in nondues revenue does your association plan on tackling this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Daily Buzz: Is Social Media Getting Less Social?

Daily Buzz: Is Social Media Getting Less Social?

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News, Uncategorized

New research shows that users are moving away from public social platforms. Also: revamping meetings in 2020.

It’s no surprise that social media is—well, social. But come next year, platforms might start to trend away from that, says Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes on Fast Company. His insight comes on the heels of the company’s annual Social Media Trends Report.

“Considering the controversies that have surrounded social networks of late, it’s no surprise to see that users are fleeing public platforms for the relative privacy of messaging apps and closed groups,” Holmes says.

In fact, 63 percent of people prefer sharing and talking about content in private channels, according to research from GlobalWebIndex. Holmes says this trend will only grow: “Expect to see private and one-to-one platforms continue to thrive in 2020,” such as Instagram’s newly launched Threads platform.

Another callout of Hootsuite’s report: the evolution of social media incentives. More recently, signature features, such as “likes,” have been criticized for creating larger problems.

“Algorithms to surface interesting updates end up prioritizing provocative and misleading news,” Holmes explains. “Metrics like followers and likes encourage mindless sharing and undercut meaningful engagement. A commitment to open dialogue gives free rein to bullies and trolls.”

Come 2020, Holmes says platforms will confront these issues. Instagram, for example, has already started testing hidden like counts.

“The motivation: Encourage users to engage with videos and photos on their own merits, rather than simply following the herd,” Holmes says.

Up Your Conference Culture

2020 tuneup: Six #marketing insights from our 2019 #B2BDreamTeam #eventprofs

— Event Marketer (@EventMarketer) December 20, 2019

Kicking off the next decade with a roster full of events? Make meetings memorable by re-evaluating conference culture, says Ojas Rege, chief product officer at One Concern, in an interview with Event Marketer.

“With the nontraditional events, it’s about thinking minute by minute, hour by hour, what’s the experience, what are the interactions, what do I do as a user, how do I flow through the space—not just where I sit and watch a presentation,” he explains. “If you give the audience something that lets them do their jobs better, they love it, and they value it, and they become loyal.”

Other Links of Note

Dealing with end-of-year stress? Forbes shares strategies to help you cope.

Make your website accessible with these six tips from Convince & Convert.

Once a member joins, it’s time to start on your retention efforts. MultiBriefs outlines five ways associations can create an inclusive environment and offer value from the start.

The post Daily Buzz: Is Social Media Getting Less Social? appeared first on Associations Now.

Ideas for Making Your Conferences More Inclusive

Ideas for Making Your Conferences More Inclusive

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News, Uncategorized

You want to make sure every attendee has the best experience possible, and that may mean rethinking how you’ve done everything from registration to captioning. A look at three associations taking the lead on creating more inclusive meetings.

I know that you don’t need me to tell you about the importance of diversity and inclusion when it comes to all aspects of managing and running your associations. But recently I’ve come across a handful of examples of associations that have tried new initiatives to make sure their conferences are more inclusive. Here’s a look a three of them.

Registration Fee Restructuring

The Heart Rhythm Society’s Annual Scientific Sessions attracts more than 12,000 scientists, researchers, clinicians, and other innovators from around the world. Recognizing that it can be difficult for healthcare professionals with limited financial resources to attend, HRS decided to eliminate registration fees (which ranged from $1,180 to $2,475 in 2019, depending on registration type) for self-paying attendees from countries that the World Bank classifies as lower- and lower-middle income.

“They already have to pay airfare and hotel for four nights,” Germaine Schaefer, senior director, meeting operations, told Convene magazine back in August. “If they’re making those investments, we want to do what we can to help lower additional expenses.”

According to HRS, the strategy is all about spreading education to developing countries to improve patient care. “Cost should not be the barrier,” Schaefer said.

HRS isn’t the only association to reconsider its registration fee structure as a way to make its conference more inclusive. In 2018, the Association for Jewish Studies introduced a new fee schedule, where attendees who earn less pay less to attend the conference than individuals who earn more.

Family Friendly

At its 2019 Annual Meeting in Lisbon, the International Society of Political Psychology did a number of things to show that it was invested in supporting families who would be in attendance. For example, those who submitted proposals to present could make scheduling requests, which ISPP did its best to accommodate.

In addition, when it came time to register, family members and children could register for free. “We knew that they would only be present for a reception or two and perhaps the talk by their parent, spouse, etc., who was actually there to attend the event,” wrote ISPP Executive Director Severine Bennett for Smart Meetings.

Once onsite, ISPP had name badge ribbons for all family members, as well as goody bags filled with items like stickers, crayons, and coloring books for the kids. “If you can find just a little bit in your budget for these types of things—to recognize that your attendees have families and that you, as an organization, are making efforts to accommodate and include them and make them feel special—you will likely reap rewards of loyal members and repeat conference attendees,” Bennett wrote.

Listening Made Easier

A few years ago, EDUCAUSE began noticing that more of its 8,000-plus annual conference attendees were asking for things that would help them better hear speakers. “We do provide sign language interpreters when needed, but [some attendees] are in an in-between world,” Director of Conferences and Events Beth Croll, CMP, recently told Convene. “A lot of our audience is focused on the teaching/learning environment, so we wanted to showcase something that would help all learners.”

At its October 2019 conference, EDUCAUSE introduced Wordly. By connecting the speaker’s microphone to a mobile device running Wordly’s presenter app, the cloud-based software automatically translates their words into 15 languages. Attendees could then use their mobile device to access the website, where they could listen to the real-time translation or read a transcript in whatever language they preferred.

What strategies have you implemented to ensure that your conferences are welcoming to everyone? Tell us about it in the comments.

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“Disrupt” Your Meeting to Improve Attendee Productivity

“Disrupt” Your Meeting to Improve Attendee Productivity

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News, Uncategorized

Karen Malone of HIMSS talks about how she constantly thinks about innovation and disruption, including with her own staff.

To create innovative and interactive meetings, planners around the nation are raising the bar on productivity and capitalizing on attendee experience. In Orlando, seven planners have exceeded in this realm, setting the bar high for both their peers and the industry. In this series, we’ll learn how these planners are driving change, creating memorable events and inspiring their attendees at each and every meeting.

Meet our second “Planner of Productivity”: Karen Malone, vice president of meetings and sales of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, better known as HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago. Malone oversees the HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition in Orlando every two years. The next event will be in Orlando March 9–13, 2020. The conference brings together nearly 45,000 professionals from 90+ countries for education, innovation and collaboration.

Visit Orlando: How do you define innovation and what are you doing to infuse this into the meetings you plan?

Karen Malone: Innovation can be so many things, but a lot of it is around disruption and change, which people are often very uncomfortable with. But given the industry we’re in—technology and health care—it’s just inevitable the amount of innovation that happens and needs to continue to happen to be able to deliver the best care and get the best outcomes. We try to lead by example throughout the conference. We showcase innovation in many different places. We have an Innovation Live area on our exhibit floor that has accelerators and incubators in it and a lot of companies such as startups that are demonstrating innovative solutions. .

We have another area on our exhibit floor called the Health Care of the Future Pavilion, which showcases many innovative solutions that are bleeding-edge—not even quite on the market yet. We also showcase many innovative companies that have health care solutions—disruptive companies that you wouldn’t even necessarily associate with health care like Google and Amazon and Lyft and Comcast.

Orlando’s really trying to become more of a mega city around medical technology. They have Lake Nona Medical City. We’ve worked with their CIO; about four or five years ago we did a tour with them and we’ve been working with them every year since. We do tours, and we engage them as speakers in our conference program because they are very innovative.

VO: How have such innovative approaches allowed for greater productivity in meetings?

KM: Here’s one of the things I do with my staff: The team that is responsible for logistics management—I rotate their job every year for three years. One year one person might be responsible for all convention center logistics and another person is responsible for all events in food and beverage, special events planning. And the other is responsible for housing and transportation. And then the next year they rotate and do one of the other areas, and then the next year they rotate again. I do that to a) develop them, b) keep them challenged and c) it helps us should we have any turnover; we have people who can jump right in.

VO: Taking advantage of smart, flexible meeting space is one of the largest trends this year. How have you utilized this for greater productivity?

KM: The Tangerine Ballroom in the West Building in the Orlando convention center I would call flexible space. It can be a beautiful ballroom; it can be an exhibit hall; it can be breakout space for education sessions; it can be a very large networking area; it can be a reception venue. We definitely look to use spaces like that in all kinds of ways to maximize our program.

In the Valencia Ballroom in the West Building last year we had keynote sessions; then I intentionally scheduled the keynote sessions dark for a few days so we could turn it over to a Learning Lounge. We created a big food court and park in the foyer area. We called it our HIMSS Park. We set up games and picnic tables; we did a happy hour. We had putt-putt golf. We worked with our decorator to design food truck facades for the catering area. Then we turned it back over again later in the week so we could run some more keynote sessions. We always look at how we can multipurpose space.

VO: What advice would you give to peers about keeping up with consumer expectations? How should they not only manage this, but continuously surprise and delight attendees?

KM: Talk to your peers, see what they’re doing. We are one another’s best resources. And go visit other shows. All my staff are required to go visit other shows—at least one, if not two, a year, even overseas. Get some ideas from them, whether they’re association shows or corporate shows. I think there’s so many things we can learn from corporate shows. Financially, their budgets are often greater than ours, but there’s still some great takeaways.

And look at your program as zero based every year. Something we hate at our organization is when folks say, “Well, we’ve always done it that way.” That’s just not acceptable.

VO: Describe a few of the initiatives you’ve spearheaded—no matter how large or small—to improve the attendee experience.

KM: We have new leadership at our association with the mindset of greater globalization. The global conference used to be focused more on the North American market, and we realized this is such a great asset to the organization that we need to use it more as the magnet worldwide. There’s so much for people in the United States to learn from people abroad and vice versa. So, we’ve worked very hard over the last few years to really integrate global representation for our meeting on our education committee, global representatives in our programming, our curriculum. Also, on our exhibit floor; we’ve got 10 or 12 international pavilions.

VO: When thinking about unique experiences in Orlando, which offsite location do you prefer: Café Tu Tu Tango? Cuba Libre? ICON Park?

KM: I’ve been to all three, and they’re all terrific. Café Tu Tu’s really cool, and so’s Cuba Libre. We’ve done some private events at all of those, I believe, and I know our exhibitors have.

This article has been provided by Visit Orlando.

When it comes to productivity, innovation and unique attendee experience, Orlando usually tops the list. With fantastical backdrops you won’t find anywhere else, only Orlando can offer incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences that your attendees will be talking about for years to come. Tapping into the heritage of creative thinking from its first-rate theme parks, Orlando offers a wide range of creative resources to help your transform your meeting or event. From unique team building activities, exclusive dine-around options to immersive private events inside its world-renowned theme parks complete with a fire-breathing dragon, you are sure to wow your group in Orlando. Discover the many resources available to you to help make your next meeting or event unforgettable at

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President’s Message – August 2017

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News


What an honour it is to become the 21st President of the Global Speakers Federation, 2017-2018.

With 14 associations currently part of the Federation, I’m sure our Founding President, Warren Evans, would be very proud.

As we begin the Federation’s third decade, we are operating under an important new structure. Now, each of our current 14 Federation member associations is represented on the GSF Board of Directors by the association President or designate. Each Board member is in a very privileged position, one that carries with it the power to help influence the next decade.

With several new associations on their way to becoming members, your Federation is growing. If everyone works together this year, I think we will be setting ourselves up to create the foundations for a wonderful third decade full of growth and opportunities.

Thank you again for putting your trust in me to serve as the 21st President of the Global Speakers Federation. I am honoured to be standing on the shoulders of the giants who have come before me.

I promise you that I am committed to putting my heart and soul into this coming year, and to spreading the word that the Global Speakers Federation is at the very heart of our community.

I hope you will enjoy watching the video of my President’s Message for the coming year… and watch out for a few surprises along the way 😉

Shirley Taylor, CSP

2017-18 President of the Global Speakers Federation

Celebrating 20 Years Of The Global Speakers Federation

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News

At our GSF business meetings in Orlando on 8 July 2017, the Board of Directors and guests celebrated the Federation’s 20th anniversary.

In July 1997, leaders from NSA USA, CAPS, PSA (then NSAA) and NSA NZ approved the formation of what was originally the IFFPS (International Federation For Professional Speakers).


In this photograph are current leaders from each of these 4 associations cutting the cake to celebrate this momentous occasion.

There are now 14 speaking associations around the world that are part of the Global Speakers Federation. Just this year, we were proud to welcome two new associations from Namibia and Sweden. And watch this space because we hope to welcome some more associations to our global community very soon.




The Founding Chairman of the Federation, the late Warren Evans, said,

“The Federation creates numerous opportunities to enhance professionalism, grow markets and improve businesses.”




Leading the Federation into its third decade is 2017-18 President Shirley Taylor, seen here at our July 2017 meeting with GSF Past Presidents and Executive Director.


In her inaugural address, Shirley said: “I feel very proud to be taking on the role of the 21st President of the Global Speakers Federation. I also feel very blessed to be standing on the shoulders of some speaking giants who have filled this role before me, and I am grateful for your support. As we enter the Federation’s third decade, I hope to encourage more effective collaboration, so that we can all work together effectively to shape an even greater global community where we keep enhancing professionalism, growing markets and improving businesses.”


Here’s to the third decade of the Global Speakers Federation… at the very heart of our community.

GSF Annual Service Awards 2016-17

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News

At the recent Global Speakers Federation Annual Meeting in Orlando, GSF President, Nabil Doss, was pleased to present two awards to these remarkable individuals.

Presidential Award For Service
Dr. John B. Molidor, Ph.D., CSP



GSF congratulates and recognizes the contribution made by John.

John’s knowledge and expertise were very much appreciated in helping to create the new Board structure for the Federation.

This new structure will prove pivotal as the Federation begins its third decade.

John, thank you for your service and support.



Beverly Babb Award For Service
Bob Parker, CSP

GSF congratulates and recognizes the contribution made by Bob in helping to create the new Board structure for the Federation.

Fondly known as “Bylaw Bob”, he was also instrumental in crafting the Federation’s new Bylaw as well as Policies and Procedures.

Although not able to be there in person, we were proud to present Bob with his award virtually.

Bob, thank you for your service and support.


Report from 2016-17 President, Nabil Doss

Written by anijmeh on . Posted in Federation News





At the GSF Board Meeting in Orlando, Florida on July 10, 2017, outgoing President, Nabil Doss, gave a message of pride, gratitude, and hope.






image-uploaded-from-iosThis year we celebrate the Federation’s 20th anniversary. From the vision of its founding member, the late Warren Evans, the Federation has grown from 4 association members to its current 14. This year we have welcomed Namibia and Sweden, and in the very near future we hope to welcome at least two more associations.

This year, we also celebrate the successful transition to a Board structure – a structure that signifies a movement of unity, of collaboration between nations. This structure creates a space where we can discuss best practices, future trends, opportunities and threats, and resolve our challenges to help our individual associations thrive.

Nabil stressed the importance of engagement from each member of the Board to achieve this goal. Only with engagement from this democratic body can we all thrive. Indeed, it is a tremendous opportunity for individuals to empower their own leadership, revitalize their own associations, and positively impact our global community in the process.

We also celebrate the creation of the first European convention in Antwerp. With 9 associations represented at the event, this is very encouraging.

With the 5th Global Speakers Summit planned for February 2018 in New Zealand, we have a unique opportunity to reflect on our Leadership and our Legacy on this Global Journey.


Nabil thanked numerous people for their support during the year. He also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve and give back to this unique community.

In his own words, “In the process, I received so much, learned so much and enjoyed the journey so much. I will remember the past 12 months forever; a journey around the world which took me to 11 countries, spending 25 days attending and speaking at conventions, while racking up 158 hours of flying and close to 100,000 nautical miles.”



In conclusion, Nabil felt that the future for the Federation has never looked so bright. There is much to be accomplished, of course, but he commented that with leaders like Shirley Taylor, Elias Kanaris and Paul ter Wal, as well as commitment from Board and Steering Committee members, the future is in good hands. Here is outgoing President Nabil Doss being thanked for his leadership and presented with his crystal gavel gift from new GSF President 2017-18, Shirley Taylor.

Let’s leave the final words here to Nabil Doss: “We have laid the groundwork for a powerful community-based network. The Phoenix has well and truly risen, and the future has never looked so bright. Now it’s time for everyone to roll up their sleeves and work together to let it deploy its wings and soar.”


Happy 20th Anniversary to the Global Speakers Federation!
Here’s to the next 20 years, and more!