Membership

Membership Hack: A Conference Led by Young Members

By / Jan 3, 2020 (Cecilie_Arcurs/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

The International Casual Furnishings Association highlights young members’ voices at an annual educational conference. Millennial and Gen Z content leaders present on emerging issues to a multigenerational audience.

How to hack it? At the International Casual Furnishings Association’s two-and-a-half-day ICFA Educational Conference, members from the millennial generation and Gen Z do the teaching.

“This year’s speakers reflect a younger group of professionals intent upon bringing fresh, new ideas and approaches to solving challenges for a seasoned, multigenerational audience,” says Jackie Hirschhaut, ICFA’s vice president of public relations and marketing. “The program features a combination of keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and roundtable groups mixed with ample networking and social sessions.”

Why does it work? ICFA’s young presenters address technical and other issues that have recently emerged in the industry. “The program is centered around high-caliber speakers who bring an expertise that is otherwise not easily available to busy business operators,” Hirschhaut says. “The speakers are charged to provide tangible take-home tools for participants to bring back to the workplace as a means of improving their operations.”

What’s the bonus? The conference boosts young-member engagement, and everyone benefits when meetings are diverse and inclusive, Hirschhaut says. The event “engages the complete membership: retailers, manufacturers, sales representatives, suppliers and service providers, [and] designers—and boosts [the] overall industry’s synergy,” she says.

Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. More »

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