ASAE’s Marketing, Membership, Communications Conference Emphasized Importance of Relationships, Leadership Brand Success

May 24, 2018

WASHINGTON—Nearly 950 association executives and industry partners gathered together to learn new strategies to build stronger relationships with their members at ASAE’s Marketing, Membership, & Communications Conference (MMCC), May 22-23. Participants took part in 40 education sessions, two keynotes, and three preconference workshops at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Total attendance this year was 947.

“The keynotes encouraged attendees to create stronger bridges with our members and emphasized the key traits of being a successful leader. They also reminded us how important it is to innovate internally and share when you fail. It provides member value, enhances your brand value, and makes you a stronger organization,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham, IV, FASAE, CAE.  

For the Opening Keynote, Jamie Turner, author, CEO, and network TV news commentator, provided insight on how to attract members to your association. He asked attendees to tap into their members subconscious, so you can understand their behaviors. He encouraged attendees to engage differently by embracing nonlinear marketing techniques that include: asking members for their opinion, getting members to generate content, and utilizing your brand influencers.

The closing keynoters, basketball legend Byron Scott and lifelong business executive Charlie Norris, talked about the key traits for being a successful leader. They emphasized the importance of learning how people work, so you can bring out the best in your team. As leaders, they encouraged attendees to take risks and celebrate failure, so you can make your organization stronger.

Before MMCC started, ASAE offered two Executive Leadership Workshops (ELW) and a Women Executives Forum (WEF) on Monday, May 21. The ELWs provided attendees with insights on how to think like a journalist, so they could tell powerful stories, and the other session centered on how important it is to coordinate design, innovation, and marketing to give organizations a competitive advantage. The WEF explored the importance of developing a personal brand.  

On May 23, ASAE announced the 2018 Gold Circle for Overall Excellence winner — U.S. Travel Association for their campaign “Growing Travel with Project: Time Off by Encouraging Americans to Plan for Vacation.” Here’s a full list of the 2018 Gold Circle Award winners, which is sponsored by HighRoad Solution.  

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

Strategic Partners
Atlanta CVB
Canada Business Events
Choose Chicago
Experience Columbus 
Community Brands
Naylor Association Solutions
Visit San Jose

Corporate Partners
Visit Baltimore
Destination Cleveland
DelCor Technology Solutions
Visit Dallas 
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB 
Visit Fort Worth
Louisville CVB 
Visit Omaha 
Visit Salt Lake

Event Partners
Advanced Solutions International
The Broadmoor 
Higher Logic
Johnson Lambert LLP and Vault Consulting 
Mexico Tourism Board 

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

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership 
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 40,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,200 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