The 2015 ASAE Annual Meeting wrapped up it's closing general session was a few weeks ago and my brain has been in overdrive since then. This professional development conference for association professionals provided an opportunity to empower, engage and ignite it's members and prospective members. The atmosphere was full of ideas, networking, and so much more. This is only my second opportunity to attend this world-class meeting, but I will try to summarize highlights from the keynote general session and the overall atmosphere.
Last year at the closing general session Detroit created a presentation about the comeback motor city. Selected of God choir's music piped through the meeting room as the video about Detroit played. The lights dimmed, and raised and chills ran up and down my spine. This incredibly talented choir was there, in person, singing the music they had been singing on the video. I should have expected it, but I didn't. This experience, made me look forward to this year's meeting in Detroit. As they begin the 2015 show, I was hoping the choir would return, and they did. The whole general session at ASAE were on their feet, including myself. Have I mentioned how amazing this was? And so, with this theme, the 2015 general sessions kicked off.
Josh Linkner, a native of the host city of Detroit gave the keynote presentation. He provided a road map for the association industry to stay humble and nimble in the ever changing business world. The stories that were told were not just of Detroit businesses, but of those across the nation who have succeeded at reinventing their business in some fashion or another. And so I find myself in the process of evaluating my current career prospects, and status and attempting to reinvent myself.
Selected of God choir sang the song "Lose Yourself" at both the 2014 & 2015 ASAE Annual Meeting. The entered the meeting room with energy, passion and determination to entertain and inspire the attendees. Major props to the choir for using their voice to communicate that to everyone in that meeting room. We may only get one shot to reinvent ourselves or our associations.
The ultimate message from Mr. Linkner's keynote presentation is to be proactive instead of reactive. Associations need to move towards this mantra to stay top of mind with the next generation. While it's not possible to give each member individual attention, providing them with new ways to engage with your association is going to be key for the future of the association industry.
Josh Linkner reminded us to stay scrappy and to think small. The association professionals that I have had the pleasure and privilege of knowing have always been successful at this. In spite of this, there is always room for improvement. Improving our association, whether it be at the industry level, member level, or experience level can only do one thing - make things better.
ASAE's annual meeting was full of this type of inspiration. My previous employer allowed me to go this conference for my own personal development as an association professional. For that, I am incredibly grateful as I travel the road to reinvent myself.
Stay scrappy, humble and nimble my friends. Toodloo for now.