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Growth and Positioning Strategies for Associations

The Vertical Leap Executive Forums provide a powerful experience where members (generally 20) discuss shared challenges and best practices.

Becoming a member involves an annual time commitment to particiate in 3 meetings; actively building relationships that lead to an "advisory board" experience.  No speakers, no vendors.

Over and over, executives have told us that the education and networking forums that helped them early in their career, no longer meet their needs.

Today, they find those traditional meetings:

  • Have content watered down to meet the needs of the masses
  • Fail to engage them (generally just listening to “talking heads” )
  • Are too populated by vendors seeking face-time
  • Are about the “event”, not about what happens between events


You are expected to innovate, grow your organization, enhance customer/member engagement, address legacy issues, create new business models, counter emerging competition, make your organization a great place to work; the list goes on and on.   So you often make a last minute decision about going to another “event”, and frequently decide you just don’t have the time to spare.

The Vertical Leap Executive Forums build upon our personal experiences as executives, as well as the early successes and lessons-learned while helping clients and the Maryland Society of Association Executives, create executive roundtables for their members.

executiveforumThe Forum Experience

The success of these forums results from the unique format and the commitment of forum members to make the meetings a personal priority in order to help each other succeed.  The “action learning” that educators write about occurs because these forums are not about “the meeting”.   Instead, they focus on sharing with a small group of true “peers” what has gone on between meetings in topical areas that the group selects in advance.   Their commitment to each other is (barring emergency) to come to the forum prepared to share.  The trusting relationships and mutual admiration that grow within these forums builds an advisory board atmosphere.