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Maximize your experience at the CMAAs 2024 World Conference in Las Vegas by preparing, focusing, and engaging in net-giving

As the 2024 World Conference in Las Vegas approaches, it’s essential to do more than register and book accommodation. This conference offers a valuable opportunity for personal and professional growth; there are ways to make the most of it. Having been a member of the CMAA for over 30 years and having served as National President in 2012, as well as becoming a CMAA Fellow, I'd like to offer some suggestions that can enhance your conference experience by emphasizing the importance of being prepared, staying focused, and mastering the art of net-giving.

When attending a conference, it is essential to prioritize and prepare by utilizing the available scheduling resources. By doing so, you can tailor an education track that targets your specific growth areas and benefits your organization. Planning with precision will equip you with a focused approach to leverage the conference’s wealth of learning opportunities.

The Idea Fair is an excellent place to learn from others. Dedicate time to explore the Idea Fair, where you will encounter a plethora of ideas and innovations from your peers and their clubs. Take pictures and make notes about what you think could be implemented or adapted for your club. Learning from the initiatives and successes of your peers will equip you with fresh concepts that you can apply to your club or use as a springboard for innovative ideas.

According to Dick Kopplin, taking comprehensive notes is vital, and actively engaging in each session is equally important. Dick uses the Chinese Proverb, "The palest ink is better than the best memory.", Diligent note-taking allows you to revisit insights later, transforming them from mere scribbles on a page into impactful actions for your establishment. Notes can also help you formulate a board and committee report and set action items for your team.

Exploration is a crucial aspect of the Business Expo experience but approaching it with intention is equally important. The Expo serves as a beacon to emerging trends and services, and I recommend that you approach vendors with curiosity and gratitude. You can learn so much from them without immediate investment. Our vendor partners invest their time and resources in educating about their products, services, and industry expertise. This investment can enhance your members' experiences.

Sharing your knowledge with your team and board is a fantastic way to solidify your learning and foster a culture of collective growth and informed decision-making. Writing an action report for the team and board is an excellent way to highlight the benefits of attending the conference to your committees, teams, and boards. It demonstrates the conference's return on investment and shows how attending has added value to the organization.

If it's your first time attending the conference, feel free to dive deeply into all the conference's offerings. Make sure to take advantage of the First Timers session. The more you engage, the more you stand to benefit. The 2024 conference offers a rare chance for total immersion — seize it.

Also, CMAA provides the opportunity to schedule one-on-one sessions with their coaches at conferences. Shelly MacDougall and Kevin MacDonald, co-founders of The Extraordinary Leader Program, offer a combined total of 80 hours of coaching. These sessions are highly personalized, and both individuals have a deep background in the club industry, meaning they are familiar with your challenges. They are extraordinary coaches and, more importantly, outstanding individuals I am fortunate to call friends.

Attending conferences is more than participating in educational sessions; engaging in social and networking events is also crucial. Be available for informal gatherings where authentic conversations with industry colleagues can lead to opportunities and life-long friendships. One of the key benefits discussed in the document is the invaluable opportunities that the World Conference and Business Expo provides. Building connections and developing relationships with like-minded individuals is crucial for professional growth. I want to emphasize the importance of "net-giving" - mutually benefiting from connections - as it can open doors to partnerships, collaborations, and new job opportunities within the club industry. The conference will provide unparalleled networking/net-giving opportunities, including the Network Event at the Allegiant Stadium, that hosted Super Bowl LVIII, and the Chapter Kick-Off Event titled "A License to Chill," bringing together members from all chapters.

Your experience at the 2024 World Conference can be transformative for you and your club. Stepping into the event with intention and an attitude of preparedness, focus, and generosity will create a rich experience that can have a positive ripple effect throughout your organization. Embrace the ethos of net-giving — Tommy Spaulding, an author, speaker, and close friend, says this philosophy goes beyond transactional interactions to foster genuine exchanges of ideas and support. Focus on creating value in every encounter; what you contribute will often inspire reciprocal generosity. Remember, it’s not just about gathering information; it's about building a stronger foundation for the future for you, your team, and your club.

In conclusion, approaching the World Conference and Business Expo with intention and purpose can significantly enhance your experience. As the saying goes, “You get out of life what you put into it.” In this context, “you get out of the conference what you put into it.” This is an excellent way to bring innovative ideas and trends back to your teams and boards; more importantly, it will reenergize you personally and professionally.

I hope to see you in Las Vegas!



Lawrence J. Skip Avery CCM, CCE CMAA Fellow Club Development Director Stone Group Architects

To learn more about Stone Group Architects, feel free to contact me at SkipA@stonegrouparch.com // 608.335.0342 or visit our website via the provided link.


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