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Intro to AI Webinar

The (virtual) stage is set, our topics are chosen and now we just need one more thing – our fighters! 

As you already know, SURGE Explore is the ONLY virtual conference for fearless leaders. At Sidecar, part of our mission is to provide said leaders with the content and education they need to push the limits and grow their organizations.

To that end, we introduced SURGE Smackdown as a unique opportunity to tackle some of the hot-button topics that can impact your association strategy in the very near future. We hope to offer insights and solutions you can implement as soon as you leave by talking through these topics in a fun and exciting new way!

The Battles

After over 60 responses to our survey, the four topics that will battle it out are as follows:

  • In-Person vs. Flexible Work Models
  • Member Gated Content vs. Free For Everyone
  • Hybrid Events are the Future vs. Hybrid Events are a Distraction

Unsurprisingly, the member gated content argument and the association model topics had the highest vote count with 42 and 40 votes respectively. 

What We Need From You

So, now that you know what we’ll be debating at Smackdown, what comes next? 

For us, that means finding the association pros who will take the stage, which is why we set up another handy application you can use to register. 

As a heads-up, this isn’t just a matter of throwing your hat in the ring. Instead, we’re looking to create meaningful and valuable content that can help move your organization forward. 

Our application will ask you for the basics – name and topic preferences – but we’re also asking, “What do you bring to the ring? Are you an expert? Are these issues that your association is dealing with now?” 

Should You Consider Arguing Against Your Stance?

In short, yeah, we think so! 

While we know there will be plenty of association professionals interested in our topics (we’ve seen the survey results!), we also understand they likely already have a stance on our topics, which you can choose in our fighter application. 

However, let’s take a moment to consider the benefits of arguing the opposite.

For starters, learning about the issues and concerns against your stance can give you a better understanding of the problem as a whole. As an example, it may bring up solutions or alternatives you might not have considered when you decided to gate all your content for members only. 

Additionally, it can broaden your understanding of the stakes and potentially even give you some alternative solutions and strategies you might not have considered. 

And, of course, there are all the other intangible benefits of debate: conflict resolution, critical thinking and improvement of your presentation skills. So even if debating hasn’t been a part of your repertoire to date, we encourage you to apply! 

How to Register

And that’s all we have for you. Be sure to fill out our super easy-to-complete application and remember what we just covered – we want everyone to gain as much from these debates as possible! We’ll be contacting our selected fighters on May 20, so be on the lookout for an email and get those debate points ready! SURGE Explore will take place online everywhere June 7-9, and our Smackdown session will be on Day 3 from 9-10 am (CT). You can see the full schedule online, and our registration is still open!

Jose Triana
Post by Jose Triana
April 22, 2022
Jose Triana is a writer and creative focused on helping purpose-driven organizations learn and find value online. When he isn't working on content, you can catch him going for a run or resting with a good book.