Signature Conferences Content Development

Signature Content Opportunities

ASAE hosts six signature conferences where association professionals gather to share knowledge, and formal and informal educational opportunities are integral to every event. As a whole, the conference portfolio has something for just about everyone in the industry.

Each conference is planned with combined input of peers, volunteer leaders, and professional staff. Each conference is also differentiated based on content focus, learner (attendee) profiles, educational formats, and mix of knowledge levels. The topics are in no way exhaustive, they are reviewed annually, and we welcome and encourage additional ideas.

How to Get Involved

Members of the association management community have a significant voice in co-creating the educational programming of ASAE’s signature conferences. There are several ways for members to get involved, whether you work for a professional association, trade association, association consultancy, association management company, or industry provider. Some activities, like micro-volunteering as a peer reviewer, are open to all; other activities, like presenting a session, can be quite competitive.

Be a Content Leader

ASAE encourages members of all types, as well as other knowledgeable experts outside the membership, to engage with us as volunteer content leaders. For consideration, prospective content leaders are invited to respond to our open call for educational session proposals.

Get details about upcoming signature conferences and calls for proposals.

The selection process is highly competitive: About 25 percent of applicants receive an invitation to present a session. In the past year, about half of the selected content leaders worked in associations directly as professional staff; the other half were professional consultants, thought leaders working for industry partners, and invited faculty from outside the association industry.

There are two exceptions to the traditional call-for-proposals:

  • The newest signature event, Xperience Design Project, still in an experimental and introductory mode, does not include an open call for session proposals.
  • The Great Ideas Conference, in addition to accepting session proposals, includes the opportunity to nominate yourself or others to teach on predetermined session topics that the advisory committee has identified in advance as critically important to meet attendee needs.

Be a Peer Reviewer

A new addition to our processes in recent years, ASAE solicits the help of hundreds of online peer reviewers annually to evaluate submitted conference proposals. Reviewers, who must be current ASAE members, spend four to six hours reading and reviewing proposed session ideas, rating each on originality, relevance, program design, ability to inspire action, and overall quality and offering open-ended comments. The prospective content leaders’ names and biographical information are omitted. Those who wish to serve as a peer reviewer may apply in the Volunteer Town Square in Collaborate.

Be a Program Advisory Committee Member

Each conference has a dedicated program advisory committee made up of ASAE members. They include delegates from councils and committees who have expertise in the conference subject matter. In most cases, these delegates are selected by their council or committee peers to represent their needs and interests.

Advisory committees typically hold one or two in-person working meetings, where they consider aggregate proposal ratings and reviewer comments, along with prospective content leaders’ qualifications in terms of expertise, experience, and teaching skills. The committee refines the recommendations for inclusion in the conference, including assisting ASAE with a gap analysis (which may lead to select invited speakers) before the program is finalized. Committee members go on to participate in two or three conference calls, serving as program advocates and advisors year-round, and they support the event onsite in a variety of ways, including session audits and program feedback.

Those who wish to serve on a conference program advisory committee are encouraged to get involved with a council or committee as the first step and may apply in the Volunteer Town Square in Collaborate.

There is one exception to the program advisory committee: The Xperience Design Project employs a decentralized approach to incorporating member needs and input rather an advisory committee.

To Learn More

ASAE members may visit the Library in Collaborate to view and download a more detailed overview of content development for ASAE signature conferences.

Or contact ASAE Learning:
[email protected]