The first-ever hybrid ASAE Annual Meeting last week reached 3,200 association professionals, consultants and industry partners—500 at 10 half-day Community Pop-Ups and the rest through a virtual portal—with education, engagement opportunities and powerful keynotes.

“ASAE is proud to have debuted a meeting model for its 2021 Annual Meeting that was all about creating more choices for our members, partners and other stakeholders,” said ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE. “With the uncertainty of COVID-19 and its variants, we’ve learned to be very adaptive and creative in how we present our learning and networking opportunities. Hopefully the 2021 ASAE Annual Meeting can serve as a model for other associations working in the midst of this uncertainty and change to serve their members and advance their own industries and professions.”

Relive the 2020 ASAE Classic.

ASAE Community Pop-UPs were hosted by Atlanta CVB, Visit Charlotte, Choose Chicago, Destination Cleveland, Experience Columbus, Visit Dallas, Destination DC, Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, Discover The Palm Beaches and Discover Puerto Rico.

In-person and online attendees accessing through the Intrado platform learned from author, activist and comedian Baratunde Thurston, “How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time.” Thurston is an Emmy-nominated host who has produced for The Daily Show, advised the Obama White House and written the New York Times bestseller “How to Be Black.”

Michele Sullivan, the closing keynote is a Fortune 100 business executive, author, motivational speaker and strategic business advisor, who shared insights on “Turning Obstacles into Advantages.” Sullivan, a former president of Caterpillar Foundation, is the author of the book “Looking Up: How a Different Perspective Turns Obstacles into Advantages.”

Association Solution Demos featured 40 product and service presentations from 33 companies providing tangible solutions and the latest technologies to increase productivity. And Association Solution Chats featured morning conversations from expert industry partners. Association Exchange conversations showcased the benefits of a strong partner-client relationships. The new repurposed Association Solutions Marketplace featured nine business-focused kiosks for attendees to collect resources, share ideas, and chat based on job function or interest. Learning lab sessions, Association Solution Demos, Solution Chats, Association Exchanges and Partner Playground sessions will be available to attendees on-demand through Sept. 17.

The Fellows class of 2021, new CAE credentials, the DELP class of 2020-2022 were recognized. Honors were also given to recipients of the Exceptional Leadership award: Michelle Mills Clement, CEO of Chicago Association of REALTORS, Donald Dea, co-founder of Fusion Productions, digitalNow; and Vicki Deal-Williams, chief staff officer for Multicultural Affairs, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Cancelled Programs

Robertson announced at a press conference during the event that the Great Ideas and XDP (Xperience Design Project) conferences would be “retired” as they were not financially successful. ASAE’s Summit Awards Dinner is still planned for Sept. 30 at National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., at a reduced capacity of 600.

Michelle Mason, most recently president and CEO of Association Forum, will take over the role of ASAE CEO in September.

The 2022 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition will be held August 20-23, 2022 at the Music City Center in Nashville, TN.