When

August 22 - 24, 2021 (GMT-5)

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Where

Embassy Suites by Hilton Jonesboro Red Wolf Convention Center

223 Red Wolf Boulevard
Jonesboro, Arkansas

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Day 1

( 08/22/2021 )

Day 2

( 08/23/2021 )

Day 3

( 08/24/2021 )

1 PM

Optional Activities - Registration Required
AEDCE is offering two optional pre-conference activities for attendees. Registration is required and additional purchase is needed for the golf tournament. Please see the registration form to sign-up.


Tour of Arkansas State University - FREE
1PM - 3PM

AEDCE Golf Outing - Jonesboro Country Club - $65/per golfer
1PM - 5PM

5 PM

11:30 PM

AT&T Hospitality Suite
Embassy Suites Room 132

Drinks, friends, and cornhole! Come enjoy this informal gathering and opportunity to connect with your peers.

8 AM

Registration
In front of Arvest III & IV

9 AM

General Session - Horseshoes vs. Chess (Arvest III & IV)
Veteran chamber executive and former mayor Dave Adkisson will share lessons he learned from more than 30 years managing three distinct chambers - a small city chamber, a metro chamber and a state chamber. He offers lessons he wishes he had known when he was starting out. His recently-published bestselling book, Horseshoes vs. Chess, is considered the most comprehensive review of the chamber profession and the unique role of chambers ever attempted. With vivid illustrations of successes and disap...
Veteran chamber executive and former mayor Dave Adkisson will share lessons he learned from more than 30 years managing three distinct chambers - a small city chamber, a metro chamber and a state chamber. He offers lessons he wishes he had known when he was starting out. His recently-published bestselling book, Horseshoes vs. Chess, is considered the most comprehensive review of the chamber profession and the unique role of chambers ever attempted. With vivid illustrations of successes and disappointments, Adkisson celebrates the valuable work chamber of commerce leaders do to shape their communities.
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10 AM

Networking Break Sponsored by Black Hills Energy

10:15 AM

General Session - Live Here, Work Anywhere: How Remote Work is Shaking Things Up (Arvest IV-VII)
The realities and possibilities of working remotely can transform companies and communities that are able to realize and capitalize on the potential that this new landscape provides. Our panel will look at talent attraction, quality of life, broadband, and business realignment as we explore the challenges and opportunities arising from the shift to remote work environments.

11:30 AM

AEDCE Awards Luncheon - Keynote by Governor Asa Hutchinson (Arvest I - III)
Annual AEDCE Awards Luncheon recognizing excellence and achievement. Keynote address will be provided by Governor Asa Hutchinson.

1 PM

Concurrent Breakout Sessions
Option 1: First Impressions Tour (FIT) - Delta Cotton BallroomHave you wondered what others think of your community? A First Impressions Tour (FIT) is an assessment tool that can provide a community with an unbiased perspective of its strengths and weaknesses. Two groups of community leaders switch places with one another and gather information that can be used to provide general direction for future community development efforts by identifying broad categories of community assets and/or areas f...
Option 1: First Impressions Tour (FIT) - Delta Cotton Ballroom

Have you wondered what others think of your community? A First Impressions Tour (FIT) is an assessment tool that can provide a community with an unbiased perspective of its strengths and weaknesses. Two groups of community leaders switch places with one another and gather information that can be used to provide general direction for future community development efforts by identifying broad categories of community assets and/or areas for growth.

Option 2: “Why Arkansas?” Talent Recruitment Initiative | Resources for locals EDOs - Delta Blues Ballroom

Retaining and attracting talent is critical to a community’s successful economic development future. Learn about a new talent recruitment campaign led by a partnership between the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, and how your organization can be a part of this initiative.

Option 3: Establishing and Using a 501 (c) 3 for the Chamber & Community - Delta Rice Ballroom

Ever wondered how to start or use a chamber of commerce 501 (c) 3? Join three chamber of commerce executives as they discuss how they started and use a 501 (c) 3 organization to promote the mission of the chamber and as a community resource.
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2 PM

General Session - ReMembership (Arvest IV-VII)
Let's talk about what's broken and what's working. Kyle applies business marketing strategies to your chamber using real stories of remarkable organizations. Learn how to engage members without asking them to show up, discover a new value proposition for the different business profiles among your membership, and communicate your values and successes through the clutter of a noisy planet. Based on the second edition of Kyle's book, ReMembership - New Strategies for Remarkable Membership Organizat...
Let's talk about what's broken and what's working. Kyle applies business marketing strategies to your chamber using real stories of remarkable organizations. Learn how to engage members without asking them to show up, discover a new value proposition for the different business profiles among your membership, and communicate your values and successes through the clutter of a noisy planet. Based on the second edition of Kyle's book, ReMembership - New Strategies for Remarkable Membership Organizations.
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3 PM

Networking Break Sponsored by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/AIA

3:15 PM

Concurrent Breakout Sessions
Option 1: #ChambersSoWhite: One Chamber’s Pursuit to Diversify Their Team - Delta Rice/Blues BallroomChambers have long been criticized for their lack of diversity. This diversity problem exists not only at the board level but more often at the staff level. Over a decade ago, the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce became purposeful about diversifying its professional staff. What started as an aspirational attempt to “look” more like America eventually changed the culture of the organization. This c...
Option 1: #ChambersSoWhite: One Chamber’s Pursuit to Diversify Their Team - Delta Rice/Blues Ballroom

Chambers have long been criticized for their lack of diversity. This diversity problem exists not only at the board level but more often at the staff level. Over a decade ago, the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce became purposeful about diversifying its professional staff. What started as an aspirational attempt to “look” more like America eventually changed the culture of the organization. This commitment to diversity positioned the Chamber to help lead the city through its response to the racial unrest of 2020. In this candid conversation, Chamber team members will explore how cultivating authentic relationships internally has shifted the organization’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion, thereby strengthening its ability to serve as a community partner in advancing social justice issues. You will learn practical ways to promote diversity in your organization, even if your community’s racial and ethnic demographics are more homogenous.

Option 2: Ready for Life Initiative - Arvest IV - VIII

Come learn about this new Arkansas initiative integrating education and workforce data from state agencies, the legislature, and the Governor's Office.
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4:15 PM

General Session - We've Got Funds, Now What? (Arvest IV-VII)
With the infusion of funds from federal and state sources, communities have an opportunity to change their trajectory by strategically allocating these dollars for maximum long-term benefit. Panel discussion with thought-leaders around making the best use of funding to promote, position, and grow your community.

5:30 PM

Network Building Reception
Woodard McAlister Family Club
Centennial Bank Stadium - Arkansas State University

8 PM

11:30 PM

AT&T Hospitality Suite
Embassy Suites Room 132

Unwind & continue the networking into the night at the AT&T Hospitality Suite. Just remember to set your alarm to make it to the State of the State Breakfast the next day!

8 AM

State of the State Breakfast & AEDCE Membership Meeting (Arvest I - III)
Annual breakfast featuring Secretary of Commerce, Mike Preston, as he provides an overview of the past year in economic development as well as what's on the horizon.

The AEDCE Annual Membership Meeting will occur after Secretary Preston's remarks and will include the election of AEDCE Board Officers & Directors.

9:30 AM

Concurrent Breakout Sessions
Option 1: CEO Roundtables (For Chamber/EDO CEOs)Open to all CEOs of Chambers or Economic Development organizations to discuss trends, pending issues, and best practices. Two options are available based on membership/community size.> 500 members/Metro EDOs - Delta Cotton Ballroom< 500 members/Non-metro EDOs - Delta Rice BallroomOption 2: Chamber Solutions - Delta Blues BallroomKyle’s unscripted format gives everyone a chance to get the ideas and advice they need in this high-energy, interactive ...
Option 1: CEO Roundtables (For Chamber/EDO CEOs)

Open to all CEOs of Chambers or Economic Development organizations to discuss trends, pending issues, and best practices. Two options are available based on membership/community size.

> 500 members/Metro EDOs - Delta Cotton Ballroom
< 500 members/Non-metro EDOs - Delta Rice Ballroom

Option 2: Chamber Solutions - Delta Blues Ballroom

Kyle’s unscripted format gives everyone a chance to get the ideas and advice they need in this high-energy, interactive session. Choose a focused topic like Membership Development, Communications or Web & Tech... or keep it general and let Kyle facilitate the conversation and see where it goes!
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10:30 AM

Networking Break Sponsored by Farmers & Merchants Bank

10:45 AM

General Session - Site Location Consultants Panel Sponsored by OG&E and Baldwin & Shell (Arvest IV-VII)
Join this panel of site location consultants as they discuss trends in business recruitment and expansion. Learn what is on the mind of their clients and how corporations today are evaluating and choosing their next location or expansion opportunity and how to best position your community to win.

12 PM

Closing & Conference Ends (Arvest IV-VIII)

12:30 PM

2:30 PM

Post Conference Add-on Sessions (Registration Required & Additional Fee Applies)
Site Location Consultants Round Table - $150 per attendee (includes boxed lunch) - Arvest IV - VIIISpecial opportunity to participate in a small Round Table discussion with three site selection consultants. This conference add-on session is open to 25 individuals on a first-come, first-served basis (limited to 2 from each organization). Join our conference site selector panel for an in-depth small group discussion about top business location factors including talent/workforce development, incent...
Site Location Consultants Round Table - $150 per attendee (includes boxed lunch) - Arvest IV - VIII

Special opportunity to participate in a small Round Table discussion with three site selection consultants. This conference add-on session is open to 25 individuals on a first-come, first-served basis (limited to 2 from each organization). Join our conference site selector panel for an in-depth small group discussion about top business location factors including talent/workforce development, incentives, infrastructure, technology, and the impact of COVID-19.

Media Training - $125 per attendee (includes boxed lunch) - Delta Blues Ballroom

AEDCE member, Stone Ward, will provide two hours of media training tailored for the economic developer/chamber professional. This training will assist and prepare you for your role in representing your organization. You'll learn how to predict questions, avoid common traps, and focus on delivering your key messages.
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