CEX2024: 2 Days of Community, Collaboration & Conversation

CEX is about community; it’s about building relationships,

embracing change, and coming out stronger on the other side.

CEX 2024 has been a whirlwind adventure, from the windy city of Chicago on May 7 to the bustling streets of Washington DC on May 10! Even our virtual buddies hopped on board for the ride during the DC session. A big takeaway? CEX is about community!

Which brings us to the first highlight of CEX: the icebreaker sessions! The day started with a rousing activity as we scattered around the room – and online for our DC folks in “space” – in a little “get to know each other” exercise. The only rule? The questions couldn’t be about the day’s agenda. After all, getting to ask quirky questions and learn about each other’s hidden talents or favorite cartoons really brings out the camaraderie (check out the image above for a sampling of great questions).

What else did we want our attendees to get from this little exercise? The power of curiosity and its ability to build strong relationships with staff and volunteers. A lesson we can all take back to the office.

With our curiosities sparked, we rolled up our sleeves diving into the morning session with Peggy Hoffman on embracing change for a stronger future where we explored the big question of the day: does your chapter structure need a minor adjustment or a major change? The session featured CRPs from several associations who shared their inspiring stories of how they tackled major changes head-on (and headaches for a couple).

The afternoon sessions featured a distinct topic in each city: Strategies for Non-Dues Revenue Collaboration with Carrie McIntyre, Navigate, in Chicago, and The Ultimate Guide to Chapter Membership Success with Elizabeth Engel, Spark Consulting, in DC. Both delivered a deeper dive into previous Billhighway/Mariner webinars. Missed the webinars? Check out Carrie’s here and Elizabeth’s here.

We’ll share takeaways from all our sessions in the follow-up posts. So stay tuned!

A clear second highlight had to be the two collaborative rounds. CEX is definitely not a just sit back and listen all day event; we got our hands dirty with some good old-fashioned collaboration. Brainstorming and sharing insights with fellow attendees … now that’s what we call interactive learning.

Finally, we rounded out the day with takeaways, revelations, and more from our attendees (on Earth and in space!). Check back on future wrap-up posts to hear what they had to say and see if you can relate. In the meantime, let’s get started with these takeaways (paraphrased for clarity)

Don’t think of networking as generic; define what it means to members.
➡ When a potential member asks why they should join, ask them “what do you need from us?”
➡ Shift the question from “how we can convince the member what is valuable?’ to “what is valuable to the member?”

CEX 2024 may be over, but the memories and newfound connections will stick with us for a long time. After all, CEX is about community; it’s about building relationships, embracing change, and coming out stronger on the other side.

*CEX is hosted by Billhighway, Impexium, and Mariner Management