3 things that struck me preparing for my trip to LA (ASAE Annual meeting)

[This post was posted earlier on the ASAE-Acronym blog]

Being not only a foreigner but a newbie as well, and eager to get the most out of my visit to LA, I have been doing some preliminary research. In addition to my endeavors in connecting to my association management heroes, using the powerful instrument of Twitter, I’ve been trying to figure out what I can expect of the educational program. I dug into to the ASAE Annual meeting website, and it was a long visit. For me, this is so much more than a visit to a conference.

I was astonished by the way the event presents itself. I can imagine that it takes quite some resources and organization skills when you expect more than 4000 professionals. But what surprised me most is how the meeting is presented as not to be missed. Show whoever is responsible for paying the bills that you really have to be there. I refer to the Justification kit. Never seen this before. Begging on bare knees, for sure, but being able to hand over an entire ‘dossier’ why you are going to have a professionally justified good time…

Another thing that caught my attention was the link to booth prizes. I would expect this to lead to an overview of exhibitors who have received a prize because of their innovative products or services, in short a showcase of excelling association management companies. But no, the “booth prize”-button brings me to attendee’s heaven – I tried to count up the values but had to stop as I fell of my chair at 30,000 dollars. What I really enjoyed up till now is the overall feeling of excitement that I encountered in blog posts and tweets. People from all over the country seem to be packing and preparing to fly in to LA for the annual meeting. It gives a tantalizing buzz and a eagerness to get to the Convention Center as quick as possible. This feeling is being fed by several unusual–for me that is–but exciting things, like finding the presentations up front, reading about the many side-events, such as the flashmob, Kiki L’Italien’s live show, the Yapstar party and so on.

I know this post should be a triad, but this one really stands out, and is by far unequalled in Belgium. I refer to the part on “Leaving a Social Legacy”. Apparently it has been a longtime tradition for ASAE to organize events to help the less fortunate in the cities where the meetings take place. Respect!

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