May 2-3, 2019 (Thurs/Fri)


Hilton Durham Near Duke University - RENOVATED
3800 Hillsborough Road, Durham, NC  
(919) 383-0833

Phone Reservations: Guests can call 1-800-HILTONS (445-8667) and reference the Group Code: AENC
Online Reservations:  Click Here 



Host Venue Sponsor  
  Hilton Durham Near Duke University        



 Keynote Program Sponsor
       Explore Asheville




     Morning Seminars Sponsor
Caesars Entertainment 


Networking Social Sponsor
Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock




Photography Sponsor
Open Water Communication



Badge Sponsor
 Pinehurst Resort 







Audio Visual Sponsor




1:00 PM – Registration
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM  – Networking with Exhibitors
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Hotel Contract Intensive Bootcamp (Additional cost.)
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Roundtables (Choose 1)
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM – Networking with Exhibitors
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM – Roundtables (Choose 1)
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM – Networking with Exhibitors
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM – Networking Social Sponsored by Chetola Resort and Spa at Blowing Rock (Cash bar)
6:30 PM – Dinner on your own

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Registration, Continental Breakfast, Networking with Exhibitors
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM – Hotel Contract Intensive Bootcamp (Con't)
8:30 AM – 9:00 AM – CEO Coffee with Speakers (For CEOs Only)

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM – Seminars (Choose 1)
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM – Networking with Exhibitors
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM – Seminars (Choose 1)
11:30 AM – 12:15 PM – Networking with Exhibitors
12:15 PM – 2:00 PM – Lunch and Keynote



1:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Hotel Contract Intensive Bootcamp - Legal Tips and Practical Guidelines 
(Additional cost)
You can be the best negotiator in the world, but the bottom line is whether your contract
is legally clear, inclusive, and enforceable. Preparing a well-written hotel contracts requires the
strategic knowledge of what to negotiate and a strategy for preparing the wording in the contract.
This session is for novices and pros that need a refresher on the basics. It will cover legal tips and
pitfalls to avoid that every meeting professional must understand to survive in today’s business
climate and avoid expensive lawsuits. Topics will include: John’s golden rule of contracting;
breach of contract issues – “penalties” vs. “damages” and what’s enforceable; the importance of
understanding profit margins in hotels; the two methods of calculating guest room attrition
damages; a recommended formula for calculating attrition damages, the audit clause and privacy,
cancellation vs. termination, plus much more. The session will be interactive and your questions
will be addressed.
Bootcamp Facilitator: John S. Foster, Esq., CHME, Attorney Counselor at Law, Foster, Jensen and Gulley

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Roundtables (Choose 1)
Roundtable 1:  Office Management to Control Chaos With Your 1-2 Person Staff

We all know that the small staff with many associations wear numerous hats.  You are the Office Manager, Meeting Planner and Finance Department.  Or maybe you're the Sales Person, Recruitment Coordinator and Social Media expert.  In order to get the most productivity, the staff needs to be organized and well managed.  This interactive discussion will dive into the challenges and rewards of working with a small staff. 
Facilitator:  Amy McConkey, CEO NC Beverage Association

Roundtable 2:
  Diversity in the Workplace
The best kept secret in the world is the fact that creativity and innovation come from teams that are diverse and inclusive.  So what does that mean?  What types of diversity are important?  How do we intentionally find the right individuals? This seminar will discuss ways to ensure that your teams are comprised of members that will help your organization stay competitive.
Facilitator:  Holly Sullenger, Holly Speaks

Roundtable 3:  AENC Women in Leadership (Continued from winter conference)
A facilitated roundtable discussion on AENC Women in Leadership and how this association initiative will grow to provide a tool for

emerging leaders.  (Continued from the winter conference to cover submitted topics that were not addressed.  Men and women are welcome to join).
Facilitator:  Malinda Harrell, CMP, CASE, Director of Sales, Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM – Roundtables (Choose 1)
Roundtable 1:  The Missing Link to Successful Communications 

In an effort to appropriately educate and engage would-be members and clients, businesses routinely bury their target audiences with too much incorrect information, on a timeline that doesn’t get the information across accurately.  This results in under performing awareness and demand generation (read: lost opportunity). Businesses also limit themselves by using descriptors that are too me-focused and/or redundant in the category to carry much weight or value. In this discussion, we’ll talk about an approach to your businesses messaging that will help to identify your unique value and tone-of-voice - increasing your ability to connect and engage with the right groups more efficiently and effectively.
Facilitator:  Bill Harper, CEO & Chief Creative Officer, WM Harper

Roundtable 2:  Meeting and Event Design
Plan, organize and design your events like a pro! In this roundtable you will learn how to prepare and implement a project timeline,
organize your event to-do's and team to stay on track (even when curve balls are thrown at you) and design your events taking into account everything from space in the room for AV to attendee experience. You will have the opportunity to offer suggestions on your successes and hear ideas from fellow planners. 
* project timeline - working backwards to reach your goals - on time, every time.
* project timeline - exploring tools to make your event to-do's more manageable
* project timeline - building in buffer for curve balls
* organization - creating a project plan that is organized and in "buckets" from start to finish (including dependencies)
* design - keeping in mind space needed for AV, food in the room, seating configurations, and more that create an awesome attendee experience (while keeping costs down)
Facilitator:  Mary Margaret Armstrong, CMP, CAE, Meeting Advantage

Roundtable 3:  FUEL - The Tale of Two-Thirds
We spend years learning how to communicate through written and spoken word. However, about two-thirds of the message is either lost or misunderstood when we fail to use the most important part of communication - body language. Whether it is in a job interview, the board room, a networking event or at the water cooler, reading and communicating body language is paramount to your success. Join us as Daniel Wilson dives into the dos and don’ts of using your most important communication tool. 
Facilitator:  Daniel Wilson, PE, CAE Executive Director, NC Rural Water Association

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM - Hotel Contract Intensive Bootcamp, Part 2 - How to Fix Unfair or Vague Hotel Contract Clauses
(Additional Cost)

The devil is in the details when preparing or revising hotel contracts. Terms that appear to be reasonable or standard may contain serious and expensive pitfalls for the unwary and untrained. This session is an intermediate to advanced approach on how typical terms in current hotel contracts should be reviewed and revised to allocate risk fairly between the parties. Prepare to analyze and discuss contract clauses dealing with attrition (rooms and catering), cancellation, and force majeure, audit clauses, and more.
Bootcamp Facilitator: John S. Foster, Esq., CHME, Attorney Counselor at Law, Foster, Jensen and Gulley

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM – Seminars (Choose 1)
Seminar 1:  How to Integrate Membership Needs into Strategic Planning 

An organization's strategic plan is usually a dreaded task that becomes a document that is underutilized and noneffective. VP of Strategy from Walk West, Kurt Merriweather will highlight how strategic planning can instead become the most vital resource for communicating with your members. In this session, he'll learn about your challenges with membership development and provide a methodical approach to integrating those challenges in your strategic planning so that year over year your organization's strategy can help inform how you speak, reach, and serve your members better.
Facilitator:  Kurt Merriweather, VP of Strategy from Walk West

Seminar 2:  Grassroots Advocacy Training
Stop advocate burnout: Four tips to grow your grassroots on any budget. 

North Carolina’s politics changed with November’s election. Now, every legislator could matter. 
You can’t rely on just a few advocates to get most of your grassroots work done. To maximize your influence at the General Assembly,
you need more advocates who are educated, motivated, and ready to take action.
This session is designed to help you quickly grow and strengthen your grassroots network. Our discussion will include: 
*How to cost-effectively engage new advocates
*Why using email is the quickest way to fail
*Why having staff manage advocates doesn’t work
*Opportunities that many organizations miss
Presenters:  John Peterson, Mike Kondratick and Andrew Meehan, Relate Advocacy

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM – Seminars (Choose 1)

Seminar 1: Excel Training
Excel is the number one package used around the globe.  However, most Excel users are self-taught and are usually unaware of time-saving shortcuts and tips.  This seminar will show you how to create and manipulate Excel spreadsheets using an approach that will help you work smarter, not harder!
Presenter:  Holly Sullenger, Holly Speaks

Seminar 2: Moderating:  What To Do and What Not To Do
Unlike what many people think, being an effective moderator is not easy. If you do it right, it takes a lot of work and preparation.
In this seminar, you will learn how to properly prepare to moderate a session while assuring the learner outcomes are met.
The presenter will guide you through best practices and pitfalls when moderating.
Presenter:  Tim Kent, CAE Executive Director of the NC Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association

12:15 PM – 2:00 PM – Luncheon and Keynote
Hotel Contracts - Negotiating Strategies & Techniques for Influencing Outcomes
You may know what you want, but do you know how to get it? This presentation will benefit novices and old pros alike in reviewing the strategies
& techniques used by professional negotiators. Understanding these techniques will help you get what you want more often, more efficiently and with less conflict. An attorney and former hotel director of sales who has been negotiating in the meetings industry for over twenty-five years will present this session.

Keynote Presenter: John S. Foster, Esq., CHME, Attorney Counselor at Law, Foster, Jensen and Gulley


QUESTIONS: Contact Alison Harding, CMP, GTP, CMM at [email protected]

Registration Fees


Early rate:
Before 5PM,
April 30

Regular rate:
After 5PM,
April 30






Full Conference & Luncheon/Keynote

$ 70


 $ 80


Full Conference, Luncheon/Keynote
& Intensive Bootcamp

$275 $350 $275 $350

Luncheon & Keynote Only 

$30   $45  $40 $55 

ONLY ATTENDING Thursday Round Tables & Social



 $ 0




AENC Ladies Golf Day & Clinic

(Ladies only)

Calling all ladies that would like to learn the game of golf or brush up 
on your golf skills!  We welcome new lady golfers and seasoned golfers alike to our first ladies golf clinic, where golf pros from around the state will be teaching everything from chipping, to driving, to posture and even etiquette. Now is your chance to learn the amazing game of golf while also enjoying the company of other AENC ladies for a fun filled golf day!

Date: May 1st, 2019 (day before the Spring Conference) 

Time: 12 Noon – 5:00pm (lunch provided)

Location: Raleigh Country Club - 400 Donald Ross Dr, Raleigh, NC 27610 

Registration Fee: $50 (limited space) 

Wear proper golf attire (questions, contact Madi at [email protected]).

Bring your own clubs if you have them (if not, clubs will be provided).

Featuring the following Cabana Boys who will be responsible for shagging balls, helping the Pros and making sure the ladies have sufficient refreshments during the afternoon!
Butch Gunnells, Andrew Schmidt, Daniel Wilson and Burch Sweeney


Thank you to our Sponsors

Embassy Suites by Hilton Wilmington Riverfront & Pinehurst Resort