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ASAE Annual Re-Cap
10 August 2011, by , in Rants and Kudos, 9 comments

I just returned from the ASAE Annual Meeting in St. Louis, and wanted to share some quick thoughts on the event.

  • The opening reception was held under the Arch, and it was great. But MAN, we could have used some air conditioning! It was hot and HUMID!
  • The opening general session featured some individual awards and a keynote by Tina Brown of the Daily Beast/Newsweek. The acceptance  speeches from Jodie Slaughter and Matthew Gertzog were just great. Jodie’s was heartfelt and touching, and Matthew’s was downright hilarious. By contrast, Tina Brown was dreadful. A 20 minute informercial on her website (which she had trouble navigating) and a far-too-long bio (which I could have read just as easily), with absolutely NO ATTEMPT made to find RELEVANCE to the audience. Truly the most pathetic keynote I’ve ever witnessed.
  • By contrast, I’m told that the closing session from Peter Sheahan received a well-deserved standing ovation. I’m sorry I missed it.
  • The few sessions I attended were good. I heard anecdotally from most attendees that the sessions they attended were very good. Didn’t hear once about any truly bad educational sessions. My favorite session was from David Nour, who very bluntly challenged the association execs in the room to think differently about how they run their associations and how social media and social relationships will impact the future of associations.
  • While I’m not a social-media evangelist, I very much enjoyed the #asae11 twitter-stream. It’s a nice way to get a pulse for how attendees are feeling, especially during general sessions. (Hint: It was COLD in the room and Tina Brown was losing most attendees.)

If you’ve never been to an ASAE Annual Meeting, do what you can to budget the time and money required for 2012. There’s simply no better single gathering place for like-minded people.

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  • Thanks for the update Wes.

    I have heard positive things from a lot of folks regarding this year’s meeting. One of these years I’ll have to attend. I should have opted in when it was in Hawaii or San Diego. Maybe next year…

  • Wes Trochlil

    You should definitely attend, Bob. Next year is in Dallas. Not quite Hawaii, but…

  • Matt Gertzog

    Downright hilarious?! Thanks… Sorry we didn’t get a chance to chat!

  • Wes Trochlil

    Judging by the laughter around me (and my own), yes, downright hilarious!

  • Matt Gertzog

    I got two job offers to write comedic presentations for association meetings .. seriously!

  • Having been a vet of many a Annual Meeting (yes Wes – you can tell people HOW many!), I was impressed. The staff clearly made adjustments that reflected some concerns that had been leveled at prior meetings. The closing sesssion by Peter Sheahan was everything that Tina Brown’s wasn’t. Well prepared, suited to the audience, funny, compelling. Proved to me that learning can indeed be fun and a little humour goes along way into making people pay attention. I liked the combination of the deep dives into singular topics, with the shorter sessions. Much more focus on the successes of ASAE members — both institutional and personal — less so on ASAE itself — making ASAE truly reflect the successes of the profession and thus itself. Way to go ASAE staff!

    • Wes Trochlil

      Good observation, Sue. More focus on attendees, less on ASAE itself.

  • “Take my board chair….Please!”

  • Thanks, Wes, I wasn’t that funny but I meant it..

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