Captains Scott and Mark Kelly, Dr. Derreck Kayongo Inspired Attendees to Lead, Seize Opportunities at 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition

August 22, 2016

WASHINGTON — From August 13-16, close to 4,800 association professionals and industry partners participated in the 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition in Salt Lake City, Utah. Attendees took part in more than 120 education sessions, two keynotes, five Game Changers, more than 20 OpenSpace pop-ups, and events. ASAE Foundation’s The Classic event sold out for the second year in a row.

The final attendance breakdown includes: 2,669 executives, 1,739 exhibitors, 381 others, including guests, spouses, press, vendors, and staff, for a grand total of 4,789.

A total of 424 companies representing 679 booths exhibited in the expo hall, which resulted in a strong ratio of 60 percent buyers (association staff) to 40 percent sellers (industry partners).

“Our attendees loved the greater variety of learning opportunities this year. Both keynotes received rare standing ovations from our attendees. Mark and Scott Kelly provided insight on leadership lessons learned in space, and Derreck Kayongo stressed the importance of paying attention to details and to make revolutionary connections in work and life. Everyone left inspired and ready to implement new strategies and ideas,” said ASAE President & CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE.

During the opening keynote, presented by Keppler Speakers on August 14, Captains Mark and Scott Kelly discussed their childhood inspirations, experiences as U.S. Navy fighter pilots, lessons learned as NASA astronauts, and revelations from Scott’s year on the International Space Station. They also reflected on the importance of doing the hard things, keen focus on what you can control, and other leadership lessons learned while flying in combat, dealing with loss, and traveling in space.

During the closing keynote, presented by Keppler Speakers on August 16, Dr. Derreck Kayongo, CEO at the Center for Civil and Human Rights, gave advice on how association professionals should observe the world around them and leverage their skills and vision to overcome impossible odds and impact the lives of others. The talk was illustrated by Kayongo’s own story of transformation from his childhood in Uganda, to a refugee in Kenya, to US citizen building a multi-million dollar venture called the Global Soap Project.

Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning, five Game Changers provided diverse perspectives from outside the association community included: Matt Tenney, CEO, Wanna Save the World, sponsored by Meet in Minnesota; Veronika Scott, Founder and CEO, The Empowerment Plan, presented by Greater Talent Network; Tan Le, CEO of bioinformatics firm EMOTIV, sponsored by Meet in Minnesota; Robert Stephens, Founder Geek Squad and former CTO Best Buy, presented by Keppler Speakers; Charles Best, Founder & CEO of K-12 micro-philanthropy site

ASAE raised $30,000 for the Utah Food Bank, which will help provide 100,000 meals for the community. The Utah Food Bank has served the community for more than 110 years and distributed over 31 million meals to the entire state.
The 2017 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition will be in Toronto, Ontario from August 12–15.

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

Strategic Partners
Atlanta CVB
Business Events Canada
Experience Columbus
Reno Tahoe USA
Team San Jose

Corporate Partners
Visit Baltimore
Dallas CVB
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
Fort Worth CVB
Louisville CVB
Mexico Tourism Board
Naylor Association Solutions
Omaha CVB
Visit Orlando
Visit Salt Lake
Meet in Washington State

Event Partners
The Broadmoor
DelCor Technology Solutions
Dubai Association Centre
Hong Kong Tourism Board
Johnson Lambert LLP and Vault Consulting
Korea Tourism Organization
Meet In Minnesota
New Orleans CVB and New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE,, 202-326-9505.

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 9,300 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual 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