There was a point during my flights to the US that I wondered why I would invest so much of my own time and money being away from the family and attending ASAE10. It felt indulgent and frankly a little selfish. My! How quickly afterwards was the decision justified.
Let me take a lead from new friend Tom Morrisson (@TmoneyTM, @tommorrisson) and record the things I am taking away from this year’s ASAE Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.
3 Takeaway Learnings:
- That Fitness Australia needs a mobile website as a short term objective and in the longer term a mobile application for registered exercise professionals.
- That we need to stop being afraid to ask our members (not the whole industry) what they want from our Association and how much they are willing to pay for it.
- That we should find a way to reward and incentivise our members’ engagement with us – like a Frequent Contributor program which earns the individuals credit against their business membership that they can use to redeem for fun stuff.
3 Key Musings:
- I was excited at the level of iPad and mobile device usage at the meeting and the wide range of people using them. To the 63yr old bald man enjoying taking session notes and sharing them online – kudos my friend, kudos.
- That some of the stuff ASAE tried to do this year failed compared to their outstanding program in Toronto. Food & Wine was poor compared to 09; not enough sessions and too short for real learning; and, the “Guilt by Association” thing was a shadow of the musical effort from 2009.
- Make no mistake – purchasing decisions are made as a result of the informal networking and socialising that goes on well and truly after each day concludes. Exhibitors need to be aware that their performance in the bar affects their company performance on the exhibition floor.
3 Key Afterthoughts:
- Twitter makes stuff happen. It helped break the ice with people who I otherwise would never have ever met – evah! Now I would consider them colleagues and friends and they come from all over the world.
- I really want to volunteer some time to motivate other Australian Association Executives to get involved in some of the exciting initiatives that will bring Association management to the fore.
- That I will never question the value of making a personal investment in my own professional development.
I want to thank ASAE for their meeting, great staff and the opportunity to be there representing Australia. In closing let me share in point form some of the other bits’n’pieces I collected along the way:
- Most memorable experience: being one of the sextuplets sharing the world’s best cocktails in Hollywood at Library Bar, Roosevelt Hotel with mixologists Matt and Greg.
- Worst experience: having to sit for two hours with a consultant working for ASAE trying to find out what they can do to expand their offering into Asia-Pacific. Two words ASAE – survey monkey.
- Evernote rocks (www.evernote.com)
- Twitter is a very, very useful tool for connecting with people at international conferences.
- Jeff De Cagna (@pinnovation) may polarise people but he is the leading thinker in the Association world about what the future Association business model needs to look like. Tom Morrisson is a cool CEO. Then there is Ben, Ben, Laurgelika, Deidre, Sandra, Layla, Sterling, Chip, Meeghan, Diana and the list goes on and on…
- More Australians should experience ASAE annual meeting.
- I want to help organise a YAPStars Tour to Australia in 2011 or 2012.