On the heels of the Global Exhibitions Day advocacy event on June 3, the American Society of Association Executives announced the launch of American Associations Week, set for June 15 to 18.
Much like Global Exhibitions Day, a seven-year-old event spearheaded by the International Association for Exhibitions and Events that had to take place online this year, the first American Associations Week is an online replacement for ASAE’s American Associations Day. That event, set for March 26, was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The goal of AAW is to build support for legislative assistance for the nation’s trade and professional associations. As the pandemic continues to keep in-person business events offline, associations aren’t bringing in the revenue to fund operations as they try to support the industries and professions they serve.
AAW’s virtual sessions will bring association leaders into the effort to create a collective response designed to educate legislators and Capitol Hill staff about the present condition of America’s 501(c)(6) associations, the various ways they are assisting the industries and professions they represent, and the urgent need for Congress to include them in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in the next COVID relief package.
“Associations find themselves in financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and need access to emergency federal assistance,” says Susan Robertson, CAE, president and CEO of ASAE. “American Associations Week is about telling our community’s story and helping Congress understand that associations have been working without a safety net throughout this pandemic to help their members and the American workforce stay afloat. We won’t be able to continue our efforts without access to some of the same relief programs that Congress has approved for small businesses and other industries.”
Using a mix of policy webinars, virtual town halls, and “fireside chats,” AAW will address the progress of ASAE’s coronavirus-policy requests on Capitol Hill; how other associations are effectively communicating about the issues facing their industries and professions; how the right research and data is critical to informing policymakers in digital advocacy campaigns; and more. Further, ASAE’s public policy team will provide a package of materials, social-media messaging, and other tools to enhance the association community’s voice throughout the week, and in the future.
Participation in American Associations Week is free; a full schedule can be found on The Power of A website.