Passageways to Offer ASAE-Endorsed Virtual Board Meeting Management Solution

ASAE and ASAE Business Services, Inc. announce its partnership with Passageways as the provider of the ASAE-Endorsed Virtual Board Meeting Management Solution. Passageways’ board meeting management product, OnBoard, serves the governance needs of an array of association and nonprofit organizations across the country and around the world. This partnership will help associations navigate the COVID-19 crisis by offering free access for all new accounts through August 31, 2020.

“During these challenging times good governance is more essential than ever. That is why we collaborated with Passageways to make the ASAE-Endorsed Virtual Board Meeting Management Solution available for free to new accounts through the end of August,” said ASAE President & CEO Susan Robertson, CAE. “Association boards, committees and other deliberative bodies need to be able to conduct secure, focused, effective, and productive meetings. They can do it by using OnBoard’s comprehensive suite of secure virtual meeting tools.”

With 95% of the U.S. population under some form of stay-at-home order, video conferencing integration has become more vital than ever. OnBoard features exclusive native Zoom integration that enables directors and CEOs to meet face-to-face directly within the platform.

“Our goal has always been to enable boards and leaders with everything they need for a successful meeting, so they can focus on governance and strategy at their institutions,” said Passageways co-founder and CEO Paroon Chadha. “This partnership is a unique opportunity for all associations to use OnBoard — the platform that ASAE uses for its own governance and board meeting needs.”

Passageways’ OnBoard meeting solution is trusted by more than 12,000 boards and committees around the world. The solution helps teams govern with eSignatures and approvals and drive ongoing collaboration with secure messaging, real-time document sharing, integrated voting, and shareable annotations.

“During this time when we are all searching for virtual solutions for our most important activities, Passageways is laser focused on providing seamless continuity for governance meetings,” said ASAE Business Services, Inc. President Betsy Piper/Bach. “This focus is in sync with our dedication to help associations succeed in fulfilling their missions by connecting with solutions that help increase efficiency, enhance their capabilities, and reduce costs.”

After undergoing ASAE Business Services’ stringent due-diligence process, Passageways’ OnBoard virtual board meeting management solution was chosen as one of ten top-quality ASAE-Endorsed business solutions.


From the outset, New Orleans was one of the first cities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and our stay-at-home policies are working. Cases are decreasing, and we remain laser-focused on the safety of our workers, our residents, and our facilities as we continue to flatten the curve.

COVID-19: Proven Successful Measures

  • Our state is flattening the curve because of the aggressive testing done in highly populated areas so far. And we are continuing to conduct testing across the state with 200,000 additional test kits being provided to us by the White House.
  • From the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Mayor of New Orleans acted swiftly with a stay-at-home mandate and stood up one of the nation’s four initial pilot testing programs, and we are currently testing faster than most other locations.
  • Both President Trump and Vice President Pence have praised Louisiana and New Orleans for the progress we’ve made putting the health of our neighbors first.

From Governor Edwards remarks at his May 4, 2020 Press Conference:

“We’ve been able to reduce our case growth and our numbers in a way that is quite frankly as impressive as anybody in the country, and the Vice President said that today as well. Because their (President Trump’s and Vice President Pence’s) eyes were closely on Orleans and Jefferson Parish a few weeks ago … and they’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the work that’s been done. Which is why, every time I talk to the Vice President he asks me to relay to the folks of Louisiana how much he and the President appreciate the work that’s been done here.

Watch the full press conference here.

From’s April 27, 2020 report:

Pence applauded Louisiana’s aggressive effort in testing with the state testing among the highest number of people per capita (in America).

“In discussions with your governor, we’ll continue not only to offer our best counsel, but we’ll continue to offer medical support, medical equipment, that personal protective equipment and we’ll continue to offer support as Louisiana continues to try to increase testing across your state. Although, I will tell you that Louisiana can be proud to have one of the highest per-capita numbers of testing of any state in the country,” Pence said.

Governor John Bel Edwards stated in his Monday news conference that while metropolitan New Orleans would meet the White House criteria for reopening, including infections, hospitalizations and the testing capacity, but due to other parts of the state that are lagging, he extended the state-mandated restrictions to May 15.  This delay will put the state in a better position to adequately test state-wide and not just the New Orleans area. Edwards also stated the Vice President’s support of delaying the start of phase one in Louisiana in his call this week with the nation’s governors.

“I have to say how proud we are, despite the heartbreaking loss of people in our community and the families who’ve lost loved ones, New Orleans has made great progress and Louisiana has made great progress by putting the health of their neighbors first,” Pence said.” 

Read the full story here

Planning to Re-open

  • Our Governor has created the Resilient Louisiana Commission tasked with safely reopening the state, with key committees led by New Orleans & Company’s Executive Counsel and Senior Vice President for Legislative Affairs Walt Leger and Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Mark Romig.
  • Our industry is developing plans with local and state officials aimed at positioning New Orleans as a model destination. We plan on being a leader in developing and implementing new protocols in safety, cleanliness, and sanitation moving forward. 
  • The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center continues to undergo its $500 million master plan renovation under the leadership of its new board chair, New Orleans & Company’s Leger.
  • Hotels, attractions, restaurants and the Convention Center are all working through plans to relaunch utilizing national guidelines to ensure the highest degree of safety possible for employees, and visitors.

Count on New Orleans leading the way in preparedness and safety as we turn the corner on COVID-19. Every step we’re taking right now is with your safety in mind as we prepare to welcome you back. 

ASAE Announces Five Association Leaders for 2020 Class of Fellows

Five association leaders have been selected for ASAE’s 2020 Class of Fellows. The Fellows program recognizes individual accomplishments and contributions to ASAE and the association sector, and it is a call to service for the profession.

“Congratulations to the 2020 class of Fellows. The ASAE Fellows program is a recognition bestowed upon less than one percent of ASAE’s membership. It represents the best of the association community, and this group truly embodies that,” said Debra S. BenAvram, FASAE, CAE, CEO, AABB (formerly named American Association of Blood Banks) and chair of the ASAE Fellows Selection Committee.

The Class of 2020 includes:

Steven Anderson, IOM, CAE

President and Chief Executive Officer

National Association of Chain Drug Stores

Lowell Aplebaum, CAE, CPF

CEO & Strategy Catalyst

Vista Cova

Patricia Montague, CAE

Chief Executive Officer

School Nutrition Association

Stefanie Reeves, CAE

Executive Director

Maryland Psychological Association

Donte Shannon, CAE

Chief Executive Officer

Association of Equipment Management Professionals

The 2020 Fellows join 268 association industry professionals who have received this designation since the program’s inception in 1986. Serving as role models and ambassadors for the association community, Fellows seek out opportunities to serve on boards and committees and participate as speakers, authors, reviewers, and mentors.

The Fellows selection process includes: endorsement by a peer; an in-depth application describing the individual’s innovation, leadership, and commitment to the profession; an interview with two members of the selection committee; and selection from among a group of highly-qualified candidates.

For more information about ASAE’s Fellows program,

A Message From Our Meetings and Events Teams

Our friends at the Universal Orlando Resorts would like to share the below message with you.

To our Friends in the Meetings & Events Industry,

While for now our parks are closed, our roller coasters quiet and hotels empty, we wanted you to know that we are still here. We are taking care of each other, our families and our community. Our hearts go out to those that have been especially impacted by this crisis.

We are also thinking about you; our partners, our clients and the entire meetings and events community. We stand with you as we navigate these unprecedented times and recognize the need for increased flexibility going forward. Our sales team is here and eager to assist you with your meetings and events needs when you are ready.

In the meantime, we are busy enhancing current procedures and developing new ones. Every decision we make begins with the health and safety of our team members and guests. Our goal is to make the best use of this time so that we are more ready than ever to deliver unforgettable experiences that engage, inspire and entertain.

So it goes without saying; we can’t wait to welcome you back to Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood when the time comes. After all, it’s the power of bringing people together that unites us. Until then, please take care of yourself and your family.

We’ll see you soon.

Your Universal Parks & Resorts Meetings & Events Team

Virtual ASAE Marketing, Membership & Communications Event Sees Three Times Normal Attendance

Over 3,000 individuals registered for the reimagined one-day virtual Marketing, Membership, & Communications Conference on April 29. The previously scheduled event on April 16-17 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual MMCC was the largest ever with registration over three times higher than the event’s highest recorded attendance in 2015. The event could not have happened without the support of ASAE’s Strategic Partner; Naylor Association Solutions; the virtual platform provider TopClass LMS by WBT Systems who made it possible for attendees to access the event free of charge, and Matchbox Virtual who provided video production services for the event.

Attendees experienced a virtual MMCC tailored to focus on relevant communications and membership issues based on the COVID-19 crisis. The virtual event kicked off with a keynote from Afdhel Aziz, Founder and Chief Purpose Officer Conspiracy of Love, a brand purpose consultancy advising Fortune 500 brands. He shared the three principles of purpose that organizations should keep in mind as they begin to envision a post COVID future. He stated purpose needs to be built from the inside out, purpose does not have to be political, and purpose must measure what matters. Aziz concluded by encouraging attendees that in these difficult times to remember to be transformational, rather than transactional and that resilience is a responsibility.

The keynote presentation was followed by 12 additional sessions that focused on proven email techniques, membership strategies, and the intersection of crisis communications and cultural chaos among many other topics. Each of the sessions was pre-recorded which allowed speakers to participate with attendees in real time during their sessions. The event concluded with a moderated virtual happy hour where attendees discussed the highlights of the day.

“Due to the extreme circumstances presented by COVID-19, marketing, membership and communications professionals were seeking ideas and solutions that can be thoughtfully applied in a rapidly evolving environment. Speakers quickly pivoted to recast and reframe their content to address the current climate. And sponsors jumped in to ensure the content could be delivered in a way that was user friendly for attendees and speakers” said Robb Lee, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, ASAE.

All content from speakers will be made available post event. For details visit:

5 Key Considerations When Transitioning from In-Person Events to Virtual

By Beth Becker, Global Meeting Services Manager, Attune

Many planners today find themselves scrambling to transition their in-person events to virtual platforms.  Below are five areas to consider when converting your event:

1. Content

When hosting a virtual meeting content is king.  Content will attract attendees, maintain audience engagement, successfully communicate your message, and promote sales. Virtual meetings should promote collaboration; however some content or activities may not transfer well to a remote environment.   it may be necessary to adjust your content slightly to accommodate a virtual setup and maintain attendee engagement.

2. Platform

Deploying a virtual attendance platform typically involves buying a license (or licenses) for virtual meeting rooms and determining how those rooms will be utilized during live events.

There are quite a few platforms available on the market today, most of which are capable of sharing content. Choosing the right platform should be dictated by the nature of the content. If it’s purely informational, shorter in duration, or has 50 or more attendees, a webinar format may be your best option. For content that is more interactive, a two-way platform may be a better choice as it will better replicate a live, in-person environment.

3. Peripheral Equipment

Virtual meetings can be conducted using the built-in camera and microphone that come with most modern computers. However, upgrading your equipment can go a long way in improving presentation quality.  Items to consider include: a high-definition video camera, external microphone, external lighting, larger monitor, and enhanced bandwidth. These items, with the exception of bandwidth, are easily accessible at local stores and online.

4. Delivery and Support

Just as with in-person events, proper planning, preparation, support, and backup plans are essential to the success of virtual events.  Many planners underestimate the value of technical support. Unless you have a dedicated IT department that has both the knowledge and bandwidth to support your event, you’re better off working with a meeting delivery specialist, like Attune, to help you plan, deliver, and support your event.

Whether you choose to go it alone or work with an event delivery partner, here are a few key considerations as you plan your event.

Presenter Training:  How familiar are your presenters with technology and virtual platforms?  Conducting a training session with an experienced virtual technician can help presenters feel more comfortable with the technology and reduce delays or confusion during the live virtual event.

Attendee Support:  Attendees can occasionally experience challenges logging in or staying connected. An established protocol and dedicated support team will ensure maximum participation, attendee engagement, and satisfaction scores.

Rehearsal:  One of the benefits of virtual events is the ability to conduct unlimited rehearsals.  This allows you to work out the kinks and address any technical difficulties ahead of time.  Inviting a few colleagues to attend the rehearsal as audience members can provide valuable feedback prior to going live.

Backup Plan:  It’s important to establish a backup plan in case encounter problems or an internet outage occurs. Many platforms offer a dial-in option that enables the user to listen in and take part in the conversation, though they won’t see any video or content being shared.

5. Optional Features

There are many optional, interactive features offered by today’s virtual platforms. Items such as live chat, polling, and built-in surveys can be useful for gathering information and maintaining attendee engagement.

beth becker

In today’s uncertain environment, virtual attendance platforms can provide viable options for delivering live events. Planning, technical support, and back-up plans are a must to mitigate failure. Planners should seek assistance from an event delivery partner who can assist in the set-up and support of the virtual event.

To learn more about converting in-person events to virtual, Attune is currently running a webinar series on this topic.  Click here to register one of their upcoming webinars.

Beth Becker is the Global Meeting Services Manager for Attune and has more than 20 years’ experience in the travel/hospitality and meetings industry. 

Active in the Meeting community, Beth currently serves as a moderator for MeCo and Global Correspondent and Talent Bench member for i-Meet. You can connect with Beth via Linkedin.

PlanetIMEX Countdown

On 6 May IMEX will launch two of three PlanetIMEX islands. Islands where you can reconnect, talk future business and continue learning in the company of friends and colleagues from the global business events community.

Community Island – live 6 May

News, views, research and insights from our business events world – it’s all here on Community Island. Plus, this is the place to kick back and enjoy some downtime PlanetIMEX style from #imexstillrunning to laid-back island music mixes.

Education Island – live 6 May
Explore our full programme of education, designed to continue our commitment to provide high quality professional development to our industry.

  • EduMonday Live will be taking place on 11 May, where you’ll have the opportunity to register for a full day of education and interactive content. Also, hear from Ray Bloom and Carina Bauer as we embark on a new exploration into the virtual world of PlanetIMEX.
  • Don’t miss the keynote with Guy Bigwood, Managing Director, Global Destination Sustainability Index, he’ll be discussingThe big pivot: Towards a regenerative events industry’.  Futurist Rohit Talwar will present ‘The Future of Events – Three Scenarios’ and guide us towards five survival strategies for the future.
  • Be sure to join the She Means Business debate with a panel including Julia Brewing, Head of Marketing DACH at Facebook and Gabriela Suhoschi, Director of World Water Week, where they’ll be discussing the tough decisions women in business and events are making today. A joint event by IMEX and TW Magazine supported by MPI.
  • On Tuesday 12 May, our Community Day will bring together education from industry partners and associations including EIC, ADMEI, GCB, IAEE, IAPCO, ICCA, ZEUS and more.
  • The Education island is also home to our Sustainability Village and our Nature Talking Point.

Networking Island – live 14 May
Explore potential new business relationships and spark up one-to-one conversations with our global business events community.
Joining instructions coming soon…

Best wishes,

Your PlanetIMEX Team

ASAE Research Foundation Announces Recipient and Update to Scholarly Research Grant Program

The ASAE Research Foundation named the latest academic institution to receive a grant from the Scholarly Research in Association Management Grants Program (SRGP). The SRGP provides investigators with funds to conduct research on a cross-section of topics relevant to association and member-based organization management. This cycle’s recipient will receive a $13,250 grant that starts on April 15 and lasts for 18 months. 

This cycle’s recipient is: 

University of Washington 

How, When and Why do Associations Advocate? Association Engagement in the Policy Process 

Mary Kay Gugerty, Professor, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy & Governance 

“Congratulations to Dr. Mary Kay Gugerty and the University of Washington. Dr. Gugerty’s research will provide valuable insights about advocacy, and associations’ engagement in the public policy process. This study is a great example of the ASAE Research Foundation’s ongoing collaboration with the academic community to help advance a body of knowledge in the field of association management. We look forward to sharing the results of Dr. Gugerty’s work over the course of the next several months,” said ASAE Research Foundation President and Chief Research Officer, Sharon Moss, Ph.D., CAE. 

A new addition to the SRGP portfolio is the Sal Martino Legacy Grant, which supports research exploring diversity, equity, and inclusion in association management. It is intended to direct funds to the research activities of those working (or matriculating) in an academic community, association management professionals, and consultants/private contractors in association management. 

Funding for the Sal Martino Legacy Grant for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Research is provided by Webster, Chamberlain & Bean, LLP. Applications open on May 11.  

To learn more about the Scholarly Research Grant program and additional opportunities to apply, visit  

An open letter to #eventprofs – as an industry united, we are stronger together

Our friends at Visit Britain would like to share the following letter with you.

Dear events industry colleagues

In these uncertain times, as the world copes with COVID-19 and the challenges it brings you, your organisations and your events, we want you to know you are not alone. This is a time charged with difficulty both professionally and personally, and the UK is here to support you.

It’s a turbulent period for the events industry, as we tackle postponements, cancellations, rapid switches to virtual events, as well as uncertainty about what the future may bring. Yet the events industry is like no other – we are a community that supports each other both in times of celebration and in times of need.

So, the UK wants to say to all event professionals that you’re not alone. It’s tough right now, but we’re here for you.

VisitBritain and its UK partners are committed to supporting you in any way we can as we navigate these turbulent times. As an industry united, we are stronger together.

Acknowledging that your immediate priority will be to support your events, staff, customers and members, we want to ensure that you have access to the most up-to-date information on the situation in the UK. For the latest information on holding events in the UK, please visit our website for updates.

We want to assure you that, when the time is right, we will be here to welcome your events back to the UK. But until then we are planning virtual ways to meet, talk and help you explore the UK event possibilities from your home.

For now, we send you this message of our continued support – we will get through this together.

From the Business Events team at VisitBritain

Planners Helping Planners

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In these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever to share knowledge. 

Let other meeting planners in on your best tips and advice to navigate the current climate. What have you learned from meeting cancellations, postponements, working from home, or doing more with less staff?

Enter your tips for a chance to win a gift card and vote for your favorites.