The One Where ACCESSE20 Brought Together Over 200 Attendees…Virtually

The year 2020 has been a year of uncertainty and change with civil unrest, economic downturns and the need for quick responses due to the pandemic. 

The need to PIV-OT in these unprecedented times has been critical. Could 2020 BE any crazier? (Ok, enough with the Friends jokes). 

Despite these circumstances, CESSE delivered! ACCESSE20: A Virtual Connection brought over 200 attendees from Scientific and Engineering Societies from across the country. ACCESSE20 focused on timely content that addressed issues association leaders are navigating today: working and managing remotely, providing digital content to members and expanding upon diversity and inclusion through allyship.

Steve GutzlerACCESSE20 kicked off on Tuesday, July 22, with an inspirational message from Steve Gutzler about Emotional Intelligence for Extraordinary Leadership. He touched on the importance, especially in current times, of empowering your team to feel emotionally connected with their own purpose and to one another.

Concurrent breakouts followed Steve's presentation that focused on how market trends, the power of data and experiential design can engage and increase membership and event (even virtual) attendance. Additional breakouts covered artificial intelligence in publishing, how to navigate the financial implications of COVID-19 and how to develop high performing leaders within your organization. The first day finished up with a panel discussion dedicated to the lessons learned during the first few months of the pandemic. Panelists included CESSE members of all management levels and special interest groups for a truly open discussion from differing perspectives. The panel discussion was the perfect way to transition into a series of casual happy hour conversations for each special interest group.

Elena GertsmannDamita SnowWednesday started with a powerful presentation and panel discussion on Understanding the Importance of Allyship lead by Elena Gerstmann (pictured first) and Damita Snow. The discussion featured a panel of young professionals and future leaders advocating for allyship within their workplaces and within the Scientific and Engineering community. The second keynote was followed by sessions covering code of ethics for members, how to work with association Boards and the future of sustainable events in a post-pandemic era. The final session brought together a panel of CEOs for a discussion on how emerging leaders can work towards the path to landing the top job.

Overall, even though we were not able to convene in person in Detroit, ACCESSE20 continued to provide top notch, relevant and timely content for association leaders dealing with real-time challenges that this new world has exposed.

Keep the conversation going and keep collaborating - we need each other now more than ever!

*Attendees can revisit the sessions through the Virtual Sessions Gallery until July 2021.
**Session recordings are available for purchase at the CESSE Online Store.

ACCESSE20 program committee member Lizzy Seymour, CMP, Manager, Conference Services at ASHRAE and program committee co-chair Rebekah Stacha, Assistant Director, Technical Publications, SPE



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The keyword that comes up again and again at CESSE is trust. Our community members meet through our hallmark events and continue the conversations well beyond. Whether you are looking for a sounding board to help you work through a challenge, tips and advice on industry practices, or referrals to other people who have a solution you can use, CESSE is here to be, or become, your professional network of choice.

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