New eBook and Online Course by Nancy Bacon & Mark Nilles

We organize conferences. We spend considerable time trying to figure out how to make these conferences powerful learning experiences that make a difference. We wrote this eBook with the goal of sharing practical advice to help conference organizers plan and deliver events that provide valuable learning and performance improvement opportunities to participants.

Membership organizations, association staff, and other conference organizers interested in expanding the learning aspects of conferences will find value in the broad ideas, real-life examples, and tools, templates, and guidance we offer. We continue to learn as we put these ideas into practice, and we look forward to the conversation this guide inspires.


Download the eBook: HERE

“Conferences That Make A Difference” online course

This is your chance to hear from Nancy and Mark directly what works and what you might think about in creating a learningful conference. You are investing a lot of time and resources in your conference. Why not invest 90 minutes to what you need to hit the ground running with your conference that makes a difference.


Access the full recording and materials here.



Nancy Bacon
Nancy Bacon

NANCY BACON is a teacher and instructional designer who has worked for over 20 years in the nonprofit sector. Since 2013, she has led Washington Nonprofits’ learning program. She created the Seattle World Affairs Council’s Global Classroom program, directed an international development NGO in partnership with Afro-Brazilian women in Salvador, Brazil, and taught at the International School Manila. Nancy double-majored in German Literature and Economics at Swarthmore College and holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington. She occasionally writes on adult learning at

Mark Nilles

MARK NILLES is a learning professional with a non-traditional Learning & Development background. His work has focused on developing evidence-based teaching and learning approaches for improved workplace performance. His perspective is informed through years of training and capacity building for international development and humanitarian relief professionals around the world. Mark has supported youth employability programs in Palestine and Pakistan, life skills programs in Kyrgyzstan and St. Lucia, and Peace Corps Volunteers in Ukraine and Mongolia. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a Master’s degree in International Education from Florida State University.