Focus on Innovation, Professional Development, Member Engagement at 2011 Annual Meeting

WASHINGTON, DC—During ASAE’s 2011 Annual Meeting & Exposition, August 6-9, more than 5,300 association professionals and industry partners gathered in St. Louis, which is a slight increase from last year. Attendees chose from 120 education sessions led by some of the most renowned association and business leaders, numerous networking events and seven hours of time in the expo hall.

“With attendance up this year, it illustrates the value for association members to continually enhance their skills and knowledge as professionals,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, CAE. “Based on feedback from last year, we added new ways to deliver content with programs like Ignite and Game Changer sessions. We strive to ensure our members are receiving the highest quality professional development they need and deserve.”  

The final attendance breakdown includes 2,669 executives, 1,715 exhibitors and 984 other participants, including guests, spouses, press, volunteers, vendors and staff, for a grand total of 5,368 attendees.

A total of 410 companies exhibited at the 2011, occupying 672 booths. The ratio at the expo hall was 61 percent buyers (association staff) to 39 percent sellers (industry partners), which is a strong ratio.

During the annual meeting, the ASAE Foundation raised more than $250,000 through different events, including the 1,944 Classic event attendees, 18 silent auction packages and a golf tournament at The Courses in Forest Park.

ASAE worked with the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission to partner with Stray Rescue of St. Louis, and members engaged in volunteer projects and raised $16,500 for the organization. Stray Rescue saves stray animals in need of medical attention, restores them to health, and places them in adoptive homes.

“This year’s meeting was very successful because of the collaboration between ASAE staff, volunteers, leadership and committee members and the entire St. Louis community. St. Louis did a fantastic job with hosting our Annual Meeting, and our members’ noticed the hospitality and left with great memories and a better understanding on what St. Louis has to offer. It was a true partnership,” added Graham. “ASAE also wanted to give back to the local community, and our members succeeded not only in volunteering hours of time, but with monetary donations that benefits a great cause.”

At the Annual Press Conference on Monday, Graham revealed new strategies for innovation and persity and inclusion as well as the new standards of conduct and a new partnership with Cornell University, which will look at research trends in trade shows.

ASAE will launch the “InnovationTalks” campaign, September 19-23, which will engage the nonprofit and association community to discuss innovation and ask participants to make a commitment to implement it into their work. ASAE is going to provide four grants, up to $10,000 each, to four organizations to explore innovation.

In the Opening General Session, association professionals told their personal stories of what it means to be an association professional and the impact associations have on the country and throughout the world. Tina Brown. Editor of Newsweek magazine The Daily Beast blog, focused on the importance of transferable skills and connections as well as the challenge of balancing trends and telling stories that need to be told. During the Closing General Session, speaker Peter Sheahan, author of the bestselling book, Flip, told attendees to question their assumptions and master the art of storytelling. He received a standing ovation, and the attendees left the conference energized.

“The Closing General speaker (Sheahan) provided me with the tools and energy to go back to my association and share ideas and new concepts that will enable us to move forward,” said Bana Qashu, director of marketing and membership at FCCLA. 

Peter J. O’Neil, CAE, executive director of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, and Joseph McGuire, CAE, president of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, officially assumed leadership roles on the ASAE board. In Fiscal Year 2012, which begins on September 1, O’Neil will serve as chairman of the ASAE Board. McGuire will become Chairman-Elect of ASAE and Chairman of the ASAE Foundation.

ASAE thanks the following Alliance Partners for continued support of the association community:

Strategic Partners:
Canadian Tourism Commission
Detroit Metro CVB
Fort Worth CVB
Mexico Tourism Board
Puerto Rico Convention Bureau
TMA Resources

Corporate Partners:
Atlanta CVB
Dallas CVB
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
Hawaii CVB
Omaha CVB
Tourism Toronto
Visit Baltimore
Salt Lake CVB
Washington CVB

Event Partners:
The Broadmoor
Johnson Lambert & Co., LLP
Little & Co
Richmond Metro CVB
SunTrust Bank

Annual Meeting Supporters
Missouri Tourism
Experience Grand Rapids
Travel Alberta
Ft. Lauderdale CVB
Johnson Lambert

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, [email protected] or 202-326-0505.

About ASAE
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 22,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 11,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, inpidual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit