Event Details

Hotel & Travel Information

Hotel Reservations


To make your hotel reservations, please click the link below. ASCEND has secured special room rates for ASCEND.


For information about the Gaylord Opryland Resort, more information may be found HERE. You will also find information about the local area that will help you prepare for your trip to Nashville, TN.


CLICK HERE to reserve your room!

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville, TN


The Gaylord Opryland Hotel is simply spectacular, featuring nine acres of expansive, breath-taking glass atriums showcasing indoor gardens, waterfalls, dancing fountains, and even a river. The property also includes premiere dining and shopping experiences and is only a short walk to Opry Mills Mall, a premier outlet shopping destination.


The Opryland Hotel is located very close to the Nashville International Airport and transport to and from the airport is very convenient.


If you’ve never visited the Gaylord Opryland, expect a remarkable and highly memorable experience. View more images in the Gallery below.

Transportation Information


A rental car is not necessary for this event unless you are planning to explore the Nashville area. The resort is approximately ten minutes from the airport. In addition to the below, cabs are readily available to and from Opryland. All major rental car companies are located on site at Nashville International Airport should you choose to rent a car.


Airport Transportation


Gaylord Opryland offers daily roundtrip shuttle service from the Nashville International Airport to the Hotel. (10 miles)


Guests have access to Gaylord Opryland’s airport shuttle, hotel shuttle and sedan service, with transportation to Gaylord Springs Golf Links and the Grand Ole Opry. Click the button below for Opryland Hotel Transportation Services.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ASCEND?


ASCEND – The Agency Growth & Leadership Summit is a highly unique conference exclusively for agency owners & principals of independent employee benefits firms and benefits practice leaders of P&C agencies.


When & where is ASCEND 2018?


ASCEND will be held January 17-21, 2018 in Nashville at the fabulous Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center. For more about this remarkable venue, go to the Conference Hotel & Venue page.


Who is behind ASCEND?


ASCEND is the brainchild of industry thought leader and agency growth strategist Nelson Griswold and practice management consultant Scott Cantrell, the principals of the agency growth consultancy Bottom Line Solutions and is being presented in conjunction with Employee Benefit Adviser magazine. Find more information on Nelson & Scott on the Founders page.


How is ASCEND different from other industry conferences?


ASCEND is a truly interactive, collaborative experience for progressive & innovative agency leaders who want to collaborate to discover agency best practices & growth strategies and to hone their leadership skills. Discover why ASCEND is being called the “anti-conference” on the Why ASCEND? page.


Who is attending ASCEND?


ASCEND attracts some of the nation’s most progressive, innovative, and growth-oriented agency owners & principals of independent benefits firms and benefits practice leaders at P&C agencies. (See Who Attends ASCEND for some representative examples)


How many agency owners are expected at ASCEND?


Attendance is highly limited & capped at 125 agency leaders to ensure a truly interactive & collaborative experience.


What topics will be covered at ASCEND?


The topics at ASCEND have been selected based on input from top benefits agency leaders from across the country.


ASCEND features growth strategies and business-building topics such as marketing, selling, and practice management along with leadership skills. Additionally, during the collaborative discussions, attendees can bring up any topic they desire for input from faculty and other attendees. ASCEND will NOT address technical issues such as products, plan design, compliance, regulatory updates, and technology, all of which are covered well by other conferences. See all the programming sessions on the Agenda page.


Who will be speaking at ASCEND?


In addition to agency growth experts and ASCEND founders Nelson Griswold & Scott Cantrell, ASCEND faculty includes some of the top experts in agency marketing, consultative selling, practice management & executive leadership skills. In addition, some of the most successful & innovative agency leaders in the country will be presenting their top growth strategies.


Why is ASCEND only for benefit leaders?


To truly affect meaningful change and break through the status quo, it’s imperative the strategic approach and accompanying actions begin at the leadership level. ASCEND is the place where a benefits firm leader can move beyond merely managing the renewal and adopt innovative practices.


What is the investment to attend ASCEND?


The standard registration fee for ASCEND is $1,497. VIP and Elite VIP registration levels are also available. See the benefits you receive with each of the registration options on the Registration Levels page.


How does the ASCEND “100% Money Back Performance Guarantee” work?


The conference organizers are so confident of the value that ASCEND will deliver to attendees that they are offering a Performance Guarantee.


After the first full day, any attendee at ASCEND who believes that he or she has not already received value far in excess of their investment will receive a complete 100% refund of their registration fee PLUS $500 for travel expenses.


Because of the overwhelming value provided by the ASCEND experience, no attendee at ASCEND 2016 or ASCEND 2017 requested a refund.


How do I register for ASCEND?


You can register to attend ASCEND at Registration Levels. Seats are limited so the sooner the better.


Where do I make my hotel reservations and is there a conference room rate?


There is a reduced hotel rate for ASCEND. You can find hotel and transportation information and a reservation link at Conference Hotel & Venue.