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Off and Running: ASAE’s Busy Month Advances the Industry

The association for associations recently cemented two international partnerships to enhance engagement and learning opportunities, then lobbied members of Congress during American Associations Day.

With the world starting the long road back toward normal after the Covid pandemic, the American Society of Association Executives has moved quickly on several fronts, with two goals in mind: To get all association staffs up to speed on the new business environment, and to get lawmakers focused on what associations need to make their offerings better—all of which serves to strengthen the U.S. economy.

ASAE announced an agreement with the International Congress and Convention Association to expand opportunities for engagement and knowledge sharing between association-meeting professionals located in the U.S. and many other countries. 

“The role of associations is rapidly changing and many of the meta trends influencing ASAE’s strategic direction are shared by our global colleagues,” said Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE, president and CEO of ASAE. “This necessitates more collaborative thinking and idea sharing between members of organizations worldwide. This new collaboration acknowledges that no one organization has all the answers.”

ASAE’s partnership with ICCA will focus on peer-to-peer learning, including collaboration on ASAE’s Global Summit on the State of the Association Community, which will take place August 20 in Nashville, the day before the ASAE Annual Meeting and Exposition begins. ASAE and ICCA will also look for joint exhibiting opportunities as well as joint statements to support stakeholders of both organizations.

“We are more excited than ever to adapt to the changing environment and embrace this new collaboration, which will nurture growth for both [the supplier and planner] communities,” said ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath. “We are thrilled to work with ASAE on transforming meetings globally and fostering diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and the legacy of associations.

Also in March, ASAE announced an agreement with the European Society of Association Executives to expand opportunities for engagement and knowledge sharing between American and European association leaders.

The new partnership will focus on developing content to serve the needs of U.S.- and European-based association executives and their staffs. Among the peer-to-peer learning opportunities coming up are ASAE’s Global Summit on the State of the Association Community set for August 20, ahead of the ASAE Annual Meeting and Exposition. There’s also a virtual CEO-level program starting this month that includes ASAE and ESAE leadership, plus a virtual practical program for association leaders based in Europe and the U.S. on navigating today’s rapidly changing environment.

Hustling on American Associations Day
On the last day of March, more than 100 association professionals visited with members of Congress and their staffs during American Associations Day. They sought to demonstrate to legislators the beneficial impact of associations, including their unique role in solving complex societal challenges as well as providing significant contributions to the U.S. economy.

Association advocates expressed to lawmakers the need for a pandemic risk-coverage solution while outlining ways that associations, as the primary source of post-college education, help build equity in the workforce through expertise-driven certifications.

ASAE’s Mason kicked off the program on March 31 by reminding association advocates how they can positively impact policy discussions on Capitol Hill: “Members of Congress and their staff rely on association professionals to keep them informed about how new or proposed legislation impacts their constituents back home,” she said. “We are a vast community representing every industry and profession, and we are ready to work with Congress to transcend ‘politics as usual’ and engage in constructive discourse to find solutions on issues that matter to all Americans.”

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