ASAE Annual 2015: Takeaways & Random Thoughts

Published by Gina Wentling | Filed under: Associations, Conferences, Events, News

CoverEarlier this month, association professionals of all stripes met in Detroit for ASAE’s Annual Meeting. There was so much to see and do (I’m told) that it was nearly overwhelming.

Chief among the activities were educational sessions, including keynotes by Josh Linkner and Sherry Turkle. The expo hall was buzzing with activity from vendors, including Omnipress. We sent three team members: Steve Manicor (VP of Business Development), Bob Hamm (Senior Account Manager), and Holly Meyers (Account Manager).

In discussing ASAE 2015 with the trio and doing my own reading from association news sources, including Associations Now and MeetingsNet, I’ve collected a few takeaways and random thoughts from ASAE 2015 that might be worth a second look.

  • The time for innovation is now. At the opening general session, Josh Linkner spoke about pushing boundaries and asking “why,” multiple times, to break out of your comfort zone. Innovation requires us to be both introspective and exploratory. What part of your association’s conference content process could use a little shaking up?
  • The auto industry—and associations—continue to evolve. Did you get a load of that Volt? How about the Tesla? Pretty incredible driving machines, born out of innovation and further improved by pushing boundaries. How do you plan to push boundaries with your conference content? Which formats have staying power? Which will help your association push into 2016 and beyond? Is there room in your budget for multiple formats? Could there be?
  • Your perspective may require sharpening. Think like a rookie! If you didn’t have a framework for the way your association has always done things, in terms of your conference content, where would you start? Does that look different than the content delivery you have in place now? Try on a fresh perspective to make innovation easier.
  • The theme of ASAE 2015 drives you to reconsider your mindset. (Pun intended. I’m so sorry.) Ready Set GO reminds you to keep moving forward and think of your association as an entity on the move. Where do you want your association to go? How might you get there? Do you think doing the same thing you’ve been doing for the past 10 years will work?
  • The impulse to check your smartphone might bring you out of the conversation. But it might not. Is empathy in decline, as Sherry Turkle suggested in ASAE 2015’s closing general session? Have we forgotten how to listen and how to focus as we got swept up in the digital revolution? Perhaps. But some people use technology as a means of connecting with others—at least as a starting point—and, I believe, all communication is a valid means of conveying ideas and information. That said, many people (myself most certainly included) could stand to put away the device and have a real conversation more often.

What did you take away from ASAE 2015? Add your thoughts in the comments!

Omnipress thanks everyone who took the time to stop by our booth for conversation and information.

Didn’t get a chance to drop by? That’s okay! We’ll share our new white papers here on the blog as well. Enjoy!

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