ASAE Launches Successful Pilot Version Of XDP

December 19, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – ASAE hosted a successful pilot for their newest event, Xperience Design Project (XDP) on December 16. The exclusive, one-day, sneak peek of XDP was at the Gaylord National® Resort & Convention Center, and it brought together more than 80 association meeting, marketing, programming, and technology professionals as well as industry partners to test and fine-tune the new format. The inaugural event, May 23-24, 2017, will attract upwards of 1,800 total guests.

“XDP is an innovative, business-focused experience that will be a unique opportunity for the association industry and our members,” said John H. Graham, IV, FASAE, CAE, President and CEO of ASAE. “The pilot gave us the ability to see how the different aspects of XDP played out, so we can provide attendees with an exceptional experience in May.”

The format of the pilot was a microcosm of the two-day XDP experience. First, guests participated in The Lab—an immersive, facilitated learning journey around three core topics and each led by a prominent industry leader.

  • Experience Design and Event Innovation: James H Gilmore, co-founder of Strategic Horizons LLP and Adjunct Faculty, UVA Darden Business School
  • Content Strategy and Learning Design: Jonathan Finkelstein, CEO, Credly
  • Marketing and Technology: Reggie Aggarwal, CEO, Founder of Cvent

In May, a fourth topic will be added: Location and Logistics led by Michael Dominguez, Chief Sales Officer, MGM Resorts International.

Afterwards, pilot participants took part in the Business Exchange, a series of one-on-one conversations with industry partners. Participants could engage in one of three fast-paced accelerator labs that were focused on embracing change and experience enhancements they could implement at future events. It was followed by two unique “Surprise and Delight” team created activities.

The full group reconvened to close out the event, with key takeaways and a one-of-a-kind ending with a co-created XDP song, written and performed by Jonathan Mann.

“With XDP, ASAE has built a creative environment that fosters collaboration and business between association professionals and the industry partners with whom they work,” said Lisa Kay Solomon, author, strategist, and host of XDP. “The best part is that it’s a true ‘learning by doing’ approach where participants get exposed to new concepts and ideas through conversations and then build on them through immersive experiences. Guests will discuss proven best practices and co-create new solutions they can take back to their offices and start implement immediately.”

ASAE partnered with 360 Live Media, a marketing and experience design agency based in Washington, D.C., to create the XDP pilot and upcoming event in May. For more than a year, ASAE and 360 Live Media have been conducting research, developing the experience design strategy, and building partnerships within the association meetings industry in order to successfully launch XDP in 2017.

“ASAE is changing the game with XDP because it’s the only experience that integrates the principles of design thinking in order to help association professionals deliver more impactful events that will deliver even more value to their members,” said Don Neal, Founder and CEO of 360 Live Media. “We are proud to partner with ASAE in creating an unprecedented format that challenges guests to transform their traditional association meetings, trade shows, and conferences into experiences that will inspire their audiences and improve their organization’s bottom line.

To reserve a spot for the inaugural XDP, members and industry partners can register on January 23, 2017. For information about XDP, visit

Media Contact: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE,, 202-557-1066.

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