ASAE Technology Conference Emphasizes Innovation, Potential Disruptions, Opportunities for Association Industry

December 14, 2017

WASHINGTON—More than 1,000 association and industry professionals participated in the 2017 Technology Conference & Expo, December 11-13, and took part in 25 high-level education sessions and a sold-out exhibit hall. The event was held at the Gaylord National® Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

The final attendance was 1,060: Execs (Association Executives, Consultants, Speakers) 516, Exhibitors (Industry Partners, Exhibiting Booth Staff) 414, and Other (Press, Staff, and Vendors) 130. Additionally, there were 132 companies representing 176 booths that exhibited in the expo hall this year. 

“The conference content strategy was focused on key elements of effective tech initiatives. Our pathways (dream, conceive, test, launch, and measure) highlighted the importance of these areas and provided attendees with insights on the latest trends and how they will impact our community. Technology is driving change and influencing how our members interact with associations, industry partners, and globally,” said ASAE President & CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE.

NASA rocket scientist and author Adam Steltzner kicked off the conference discussing how participants could harness their curiosity and spur innovation in their associations. The keys are to separate the ideas from the people, create a culture of innovation and collaboration, hold onto doubt, stay agile and always be curious. 

On Wednesday, December 13, ASAE hosted two general sessions. During the Community Town Hall, attendees openly confronted the issues and opportunities of mergers and consolidations, including the infusion of venture capital, with leaders from Community Brands, Higher Logic, and DelCor. To close out the conference, ASAE hosted the Fail Fest. It was an interactive session that explored how mistakes play a critical role. The stories highlighted how failures led to improved systems and changes within organizations.

Prior to the 2017 Technology Conference, ASAE hosted three preconference events. 

  • Digital Convergence summit—The full-day program, hosted by Community Brands and Visit San Jose, focused on data analytics, data privacy and data strategy, as well as how associations are dealing with any related data challenges and opportunities.
  • Women Executives Forum: Unleash Human Potential: The Impact and Opportunity of Artificial Intelligence, hosted by Choose Chicago, focused on the challenges and opportunities facing women leaders and how AI has influenced the future of families, work, and society.
  • Keep it Clean: Harness the Power of Gold Standard Data Hygiene—This session delved into the term “Data Governance,” and participants developed a strategic framework for data management and Key Performance Indicators, which they will take back to their office.

Next year’s conference will be December 4-5 at the Gaylord National® Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

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

Strategic Partners
Atlanta CVB
Business Events Canada
Choose Chicago
Experience Columbus 
Community Brands
Reno Tahoe USA
Visit San Jose

Corporate Partners
Visit Baltimore
DelCor Technology Solutions
Visit Dallas 
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB 
Fort Worth CVB 
Louisville CVB 
Mexico Tourism Board 
Naylor Association Solutions
Visit Omaha 
Visit Orlando 
Visit Salt Lake

Event Partners
Advanced Solutions International
The Broadmoor 
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 
ASAE is a membership organization of 39,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 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