Just got back from Chicago and the ASAE Annual Meeting. I think ASAE outdid themselves once again with this meeting. I'll go so far as to say that the opening general session, with "An Association Musical" as its theme, and featuring Lee & Bob Woodruff, was the best ASAE opening session I've ever attended (and this one marks my ninth). The way ASAE interwove the business portion of the meeting (e.g., delivering news about what the association has accomplished, talking about upcoming initiatives) was very well done. And the Woodruffs were moving and inspiring.
Another highlight for me was Lieutenant General James L. Campbell, speaking on leadership. If even half of the world was as passionate about their work as General Campbell is, there would be nothing we couldn't accomplish. Absolutely fascinating stories and a truly remarkable man. I watched him talk to the 30+ people who lined up to greet him after his presentation, and I was amazed at how he locked eyes on every person who spoke with him, and listened like they were the only person in the room. Very impressive.
But my favorite part of this meeting, as it is every year, is re-connecting with friends and colleagues. I really enjoy catching up with people I haven't spoken with in awhile, and seeing the vendors out on the show floor showing off their latest goods. Everybody who is somebody is at this meeting, and if you're not attending, you're really short-changing yourself. If you're serious about your association career, ASAE's Annual Meeting is a must-attend!