ASAE Sets New Registration Record with Virtual Annual Meeting & Exposition

August 14, 2020

The results are in: Registration reached an all-time high for the 2020 ASAE Virtual Annual Meeting & Exposition, with the most registrants ever in the organization’s 100-year history. Held Aug. 10-12, the online event registered 14,108 association professionals, consultants and industry partners, 71 percent of which were first-time attendees. The event’s final attendance breakdown included 12,813 executives; 544 exhibitors; 207 industry partners; 433 consultants and 111 others including press, vendors and staff. The ratio of buyer to sellers was 95 percent to 5 percent, respectively.

The fact that ASAE decided to offer the event free or at a discounted rate allowed more than 10,000 event industry individuals – who had previously not been able to attend due to travel or budget restrictions – the opportunity to participate for the first time, according to ASAE officials.

“I am proud to lead an organization which, even during unpredictable times of change and uncertainty, can provide a much-needed space for the association community to come together, share ideas, and have critical conversations that will guide associations to future success,” said Susan Robertson, president and CEO of ASAE.

Participants had access to a wide range of digital content, including three keynote presentations; 92 education sessions; five Game Changer sessions; and 57 virtual exhibit booths representing technology, business, hospitality and meeting services. 

In addition, attendees could take advantage of the on-demand session recordings, which allowed them to view sessions in overlapping time slots or re-watch those they found particularly interesting.

On the first day of the event, Leon Logothetis, a global adventurer, motivational speaker, philanthropist, and author/creator of the book and Netflix show “The Kindness Diaries,” set the tone with an opening keynote presentation about using kindness to find the good in others. He used anecdotes from his adventures traveling the world on a motorcycle to encourage attendees to bring kindness to the forefront of their lives. Not only does this help with personal achievement, he said, but it also creates a ripple effect of kindness that touches all areas of an organization and beyond.

Shiza Shahid, co-founder of Our Place, founder of NowVentures, and co-founder and founding CEO of the Malala Fund, began the second day of the virtual meeting. She talked about how growing up as a woman in Pakistan laid the foundation for how she approaches her role as a leader in uncertain times. Shahid called attendees and the organizations they represent the “guardians of civilization” and stressed that to have the greatest impact on society, teams must choose to be guided by hope, rather than fear. 

On the last day, Duncan Wardle, former head of innovation for Disney, shared an interesting array of insights on how to innovate during times of crisis. In addition to highlighting the importance of diversity in organizations, he shared a list of out-of-the-box tools to help encourage creativity and innovation among teams.

The 2021 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition will take place Aug. 14-17 at Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas.


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