During the third day of the American Society of Association Executives’ annual meeting and exposition, held in Chicago from August 18 to 21, the organization announced a record number of attendees: 6,068, with 63 percent being members and 37 percent suppliers/industry partners. Direct economic impact of the event on the host city exceeded $20 million.
John Graham IV, CAE, president and CEO of ASAE, noted in a press conference at host venue McCormick Place that ASAE chose a Healthcare Association Career and Knowledge pathway as one of five main tracks for the show’s educational content because fully 25 percent of member organizations are connected to the healthcare industry. Two other nods to that fact: Sal Martino, CAE, CEO/executive director of the American Association of Radiologic Technologists, was installed as the 2018-2019 chair of the ASAE board of directors; and the ASAE Foundation will conduct a research study in 2019 focused on healthcare associations.
Across the more than 120 educational sessions at the ASAE event, career services and online learning were the two most popular areas of attendee interest. In a few cases, meeting staff had to direct attendees from full breakout rooms to overflow rooms in order to take in the sessions via video feeds.
With the annual meeting and exposition now complete, ASAE turns its focus towards its Experience Design Project (XDP) conference in April 2019—for which Graham said attending meeting planners can choose after the event whether or not to pay the registration fee, based on the quality of their learning experience. The two-day event helps association-event planners create better experiences for their audiences. One day is spent in The Lab, a collaborative learning environment where planners share ideas and tackle industry issues in three zones of educational content. On day two, attendees sit down one-on-one with industry partners to make site decisions for their future events.
Also on ASAE’s radar screen is the organization’s centennial in 2020. Graham announced at the press conference that the ASAE Foundation has earmarked $750,000 for a research study detailing the overall effect that associations have on society in areas such as workforce development, education, the economy, member engagement, and change management. The first set of results will be released in late 2019, with the remainder coming out in early 2020.
The next ASAE annual meeting and exposition will take place August 10-13, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio.