ASAE and The Center took a bit of a risk with the opening general session yesterday. The event was kicked off with a musical, with songs geared toward the association world. This is kind of old hat, and if not done extremely well, could be pretty hackneyed. Fortunately, it was done really, really well, and I laughed myself sick at some of the songs, like "Committee" (to the tune of "I Feel Pretty") and "There's No Profit in Nonprofit" (to the tune of "There's No Business Like Show Business"). It did seem to drag on a bit, though.
The players were excellent, and even when they incorporated ASAE and the Center's John Graham and Pamela Hemann into the shtick, it went pretty well. There's no way to make announcements of the Diversity Executive Leadership Program or the 2007 Key Award winner Gary LaBranche, CAE (president and CEO of the Association Forum of Chicagoland) fit into the musical format, but they did manage to work in ASAE and The Center's four main strategic directions (diversity, social responsibility, international, and philanthropic) for 2008 pretty well. It's funny: The play-association in the musical, facing a consolidating competitive market, decided to go global to keep going and growing. It reminded me of our June cover story.
But the show-stoppers were ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff and his wife Lee, authors of In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing, which chronicles their experiences since Bob was seriously injured in Iraq. Ann Compton, longtime ABC political reporter, asked interview questions, which the Woodruffs answered candidly, with grace and humor. At times, there wasn't a dry eye in the house, and they well deserved the standing ovation they got. It had nothing to do with associations, but it did sort of fit with the meeting's "Connecting" theme, I guess.
I hope to post some about the bloggercon, a session on creating customer evangelists, and another one on using teams effectively that I attended yesterday, but I think I may be out of time this morning. I meant to do some posting last night, but I seem to have come down with some horrible bug that knocked me completely out of action. The drugs seem to be kicking in this morning, so hopefully I'll have more to say later on.
Update: Or not. Check out these excellent posts from others who have beat me to it:
Ben at the Certified Association Executive blog is doing a series of podcasts from the show.
Here's one about the opening reception, which I neglected to mention. We, too, were wondering where the desserts were! Overall, I was not impressed with it—really, really loud, and I'm not sure what the music was supposed to be. Plus, go-go girls don't really do much for me. And, as a non-red-meat eater, there wasn't much beyond a mashed potato martini for me to chow on. We didn't stay too long.
And this one's just fun: Five things not overheard at ASAE 2007.