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ASAE, MGM Resorts Announce Cancellation of Face-to-Face 2020 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Las Vegas Due to COVID-19

ASAE to Deliver First-Ever Virtual Annual Meeting & Centennial Celebration Experience in August 2020

ASAE, in close collaboration with MGM Resorts International, announced today it will cancel its in-person 2020 Annual Meeting & Exposition, scheduled to be held August 8-11, at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas due to public health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

ASAE is instead working with scheduled speakers, sponsors and industry partners to deliver a reimagined Virtual Annual Meeting & Exposition the week of August 10. Registration information, exact dates and industry partner opportunities for the Virtual Annual Meeting will be shared with the ASAE community by the first week of June. The ASAE Board of Directors will also hold a virtual meeting on Aug. 7.

“After careful discussion of every aspect of the meeting and experience with our fantastic partners at Mandalay Bay and MGM Resorts, ASAE has made the difficult decision to move the 2020 Annual Meeting & Expo to a virtual experience,” said ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE. “As excited as we were to put on a robust, memorable in-person Annual Meeting in Las Vegas this August and to celebrate ASAE’s Centennial with the association community, the public health and safety of our attendees, staff and volunteers and the MGM staff outweighed any other considerations in our collective decision-making process.”

“Our team worked closely with ASAE to build out what would have been an incredible event in August, but we understand the hard decision they had to make in the current climate,” said Stephanie Glanzer, Senior Vice President & Chief Sales Officer for MGM Resorts. “We have long valued our relationship with ASAE and are eager to welcome the association community back to Las Vegas very soon.”

ASAE, MGM and other event partners in Las Vegas were in regular contact during the planning of ASAE’s 100th Annual Meeting and paid careful attention to the timing of federal and state of Nevada plans to ease air travel restrictions, social distancing guidelines and restrictions on large gatherings once the COVID-19 threat has abated. Given the number of still-unknown factors related to the containment of the virus, and with ASAE Annual Meeting attendees typically coming from all over the country as well as internationally, all parties concluded that cancelling the face-to-meeting meeting was the safe and responsible action.

“ASAE and MGM were beyond prepared to exceed attendee expectations for the 2020 Annual Meeting. We look forward to working with our Las Vegas partners in the future,” said Amy Ledoux, CAE, CMP, ASAE’s Chief Learning and Meetings Officer. “Shifting gears, we are now fully immersed in creating the most dynamic Virtual Annual Meeting experience for our members possible. Virtual attendees can expect the same great content that we were primed to deliver in Las Vegas, so stay tuned. We’re going to structure this reimagined experience to fit every member’s schedule and budget and there are going to be multiple options for engagement.”

Further details about ASAE’s Virtual Annual Meeting & Exposition will be communicated as soon as they are finalized and updated on ASAE’s Annual Meeting website. ASAE’s 2021 Annual Meeting is scheduled to take place Aug. 14-17, 2021, in Dallas, TX.

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.

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, https://www.asaecenter.org/programs/awards-and-recognition/asae-fellows.

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: https://mmcc.asaecenter.org/.

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 https://foundation.asaecenter.org/research/scholarly-research-grants.  

ASAE Reveals 2020 Gold Circle Awards Winners

ASAE announces the winners of the 2020 Gold Circle Awards competition, which denotes excellence, innovation, and achievement in association/nonprofit marketing, membership, and communications programs. With the cancelation of the 2020 Marketing, Membership & Communications Conference due to COVID-19, ASAE will be taking a new, creative approach to recognize, celebrate and share the work of GCA Awardees.

There are two components of the week-long celebration. During the week of April 13, winning organizations and campaigns from each category will be highlighted in short videos shared on the main ASAE Center Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. On Friday, April 17, the celebration will culminate with a live virtual interview of the Gold Circle Awards Overall Excellence Winner from 2-3 pm ET. To join the virtual celebration use https://zoom.us/j/370220073

The 2020 competition received 189 submissions across 15 categories, including a new category for digital content. The Gold Circle Awards committee voted to introduce this new category to address the segment of work associations execute that are not full marketing or communication campaigns such as, apps, blogs, podcasts, or social media. 118 judges from a variety of associations, nonprofits, and for-profit organizations evaluated the submissions this year. The awards are sponsored by HighRoad Solutions, an association-specific digital marketing agency that helps associations leverage email marketing and marketing automation to gain greater insight on how to grow revenue.

“On behalf of the awards committee, I want to congratulate the 2020 Gold Circle Awards and Merit Award recipients. The creativity shown in this year’s submissions illustrates the amazing work associations do on a daily basis, and the impact they have on the world around them,” said Renee Harris-Etheridge, MBA, MS, CAE, Director of Membership, National Association for Home Care & Hospice and chair of the Gold Circle Awards Committee.

“MMMC has always been a tremendous platform for the Gold Circle Awards. And while the current health crisis forced the cancelation of the event, it does not diminish the extraordinary work of the Gold Circle Awards winners, nor our ability to showcase and share how their efforts move their organizations and the community forward,” said ASAE Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Robb Lee. 

Here are the 2020 Gold Circle Awards winners:

Advocacy Campaign
Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed); Saving Jobs and Lives – End Device Tax

Convention/Meetings Marketing Campaign
Insured Retirement Institute; IRI Annual Conference Marketing Campaign

Digital Content
Infectious Diseases Society of America; #WhyIVaccinate: Taking Twitter by Storm to Spread the Truth About Vaccines

National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies; Perspectives Magazine

Association of Equipment Manufacturers; AEM Industry Advisor e-Newsletter

Media/Public Relations Campaign
Institute of Management Accountants; Management Accounting – The Gateway to More

Member Retention Campaign
American Urological Association; Stretching Beyond Excellence – American Urological
Association’s 2019 Member Retention Campaign

Membership Recruitment Campaign
IPC; IPC Membership Recruitment Campaign

Member/Volunteer Engagement Campaign

ISACA; ISACA’s 50th Anniversary: Honoring Our Past, Innovating Our Future

New Product/Service Launch
Chicago Association of REALTORS®; Young Professionals Network (YPN) Real Estate Boot Camp

Print Magazine
American Optometric Association; Member print magazine (AOA Focus) redesign re-imagined

Rebranding Campaign
National Association of REALTORS®; That’s Who We R 2019 Consumer Advertising Campaign

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization; My Legacy, My Hospice: Lou’s Story

Society of Surgical Oncology; SSO Website

Overall Excellence Award Winner

Infectious Diseases Society of America; #WhyIVaccinate: Taking Twitter by Storm to Spread the Truth About Vaccines

We recognize the Merit Award as a distinguished honor awarded only on a case by case basis, to an applicant who had a very strong submission and project. However, the judges determined that the submission did not meet the level of a Gold Circle Awards. Merit Award winners were voted on by the Judges to award the work and impact executed by the organization, of which they believed was deserving of recognition by its peers.

The 2020 Gold Circle Merit Award recipients are:

Digital Content
Society of Women Engineers; Society of Women Engineers’ “Diverse” Podcast

American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; College Insider

Member Retention
AAMI; Membership Restructuring Initiative

Member/ Volunteer Engagement
Austin Board of REALTORS®; Be A Member Campaign

Rebranding Campaign
American Physical Therapy Association; ChoosePT


National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; NACDL.org

For more information on the winners, visit Gold Circle Awards.

ASAE Calls for More Association-Specific Relief for COVID-19 Impacted Organizations

ASAE applauded Congress for swiftly constructing a $2.2 trillion emergency coronavirus relief package last week, while calling on policymakers to include more association-specific relief in a fourth relief package currently taking shape.

A review of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, shows that Congress allocated extraordinary relief for individuals, small businesses, corporations, hospitals, state and local governments and 501(c)(3) nonprofit groups, but few provisions that directly assist trade and professional associations experiencing severe revenue losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many associations have had to cancel large meetings, trade shows and other in-person events due to the pandemic, and others are experiencing the same operational shortfalls that have befallen large and small businesses in recent weeks.

Two provisions in the CARES Act apply for 501(c)(6) associations: an employee retention payroll tax credit available to businesses that have seen at least 50 percent reduction in revenue in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2019, among other qualifying conditions; and emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grants that can be used for payroll costs, rent or mortgage payments, or repaying obligations that cannot be met because of revenue losses.

“Fortunately, there are a couple of avenues Congress has provided for associations to obtain assistance in these difficult times, but we need more,” said ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE. “Many associations are already experiencing extreme financial losses directly tied to the coronavirus pandemic, and more difficult decisions for these groups are on the horizon. ASAE calls on Congress to include association-specific relief in the next legislative relief package that is negotiated.”

A fourth relief measure will reportedly take shape over the next several weeks. In a sign-on letter sent to Capitol Hill today, ASAE and nearly 3,000 organizations across the country called for additional aid for associations experiencing financial losses from cancelled meetings and events, and specifically, allowing 501(c)(6) groups to be eligible for small business interruption loans to prevent layoffs and continue paying employees. ASAE has also suggested Congress create a pandemic risk insurance program to create a federal backstop for prospective insurance claims related to a pandemic or epidemic.

ASAE Seeking Nominations for Board Positions

ASAE has opened the call for association professionals and industry partners to fill open positions on the ASAE, and the ASAE Research Foundation Board of Directors to help lead the association dedicated to furthering the profession of association management.

Association professionals and industry partners are encouraged to serve in leadership roles for the following positions: Secretary-Treasurer, four At Large Directors and one Industry partner. All directors selected will serve on the ASAE Board and two of the four selected will also serve on the ASAE Research Foundation Board.

“If you have a passion for associations, I strongly encourage you to apply or nominate a peer. Joining the ASAE board provides not only the opportunity for professional growth, but you will also be able to use your experience to advance the association industry,” said Stefanie Reeves, MA, CAE, ASAE board member and Executive Director of the Maryland Psychological Association. 

ASAE and the ASAE Research Foundation value and seek diverse leadership as defined by race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, appearance, geographic location, and professional level. It seeks leaders from all types and sizes of eligible organizations.

Interested parties should contact Jenna Worley, CAE at jworley@asaecenter.org. Nominations must be received no later than April 24, 2020.

There are many benefits of serving as a volunteer leader, including:

  1. Playing a significant role in advancing the profession;
  2. Having an opportunity to enhance the value of ASAE and the ASAE Research Foundation to the association community;
  3. Accessing up-to-date information about the challenges facing the profession; and
  4. Exchanging ideas and perspectives with other volunteer leaders.

The Leadership Committee has identified a number of desired attributes that will be part of the selection process for new Board members. Applicants should possess:

  1. Demonstrated leadership commitment and involvement with ASAE and the ASAE Research Foundation, and the nonprofit community. Examples include but are not limited to: service on an ASAE and ASAE Research Foundation committee, section council, commission, task force and/or obtained the CAE credential. 
  2. Recognized leader in the association community. Examples include but are not limited to: serving as chair of an Allied Society; ASAE and ASAE Research Foundation committee, section council, commission or task force, or philanthropic organizations.
  3. Relevant expertise in the disciplines of organizational management. Examples include but are not limited to: branding, fundraising, component relations, finance, international and strategic alliances.
  4. Commitment to participate in 3-4 board meetings a year. ASAE board members are asked to provide financial support to the Annual Giving, APAC, The Power of A, and special events and/or campaigns.
  5. Positive leadership attributes, emotional intelligence, ability to work collaboratively and engage in appropriate debate and discussion when needed.
  6. Visionary and strategic thinker. Demonstrated ability of new and innovative programs within their sphere of influence. Examples include but are not limited to: incorporating strategy, leadership, future focus, risk taking and an entrepreneur spirit.

ASAE Announces New Membership Benefit: The Member’s Edge Program

ASAE members now have access to the Member’s Edge Program featuring curated benefits that help ASAE members succeed personally and save time and money. 

“The Member’s Edge Program provides members with unique offerings designed to make their lives easier at special ASAE-negotiated rates,” said Betsy Piper/Bach, JD, CFP®, CIMA®, President, ASAE Business Services, Inc. “We have worked diligently to find companies that can help us deliver real value to our members, and we look forward to expanding that list as the program continues to evolve based on our members’ needs.”

Offerings currently available to ASAE members through the Member’s Edge Program: 

  • ASAE Concierge Service Powered by Circles 123 – This concierge service can help manage stress by helping individuals to accomplish a range of tasks quickly and efficiently. From booking travel, to planning events, to securing tickets, to sourcing service providers, the ASAE Concierge Service powered by Circles123 is designed to assist with important activities. 
  • The ASAE Business Book Summary Program Powered by The Business Source: This program provides a smart, easy way to boost business knowledge. Concise summaries of the best ideas and strategies from today’s top business books are provided in a variety of formats – print, digital, audio, and video – that can be downloaded to any device to provide access when and where the user wants it.

 “As an organization, we are committed to continuously looking for new and unique products and services that will add to the value of an ASAE membership – the work Betsy and her team have put into the Member’s Edge Program reflects that commitment,” said Susan Robertson, CAE, Interim ASAE President and CEO. 

For more information, or to sign-up for the ASAE Member’s Edge Program, visit: asaecenter.org/membersedge. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Precker, CAE, lprecker@asaecenter.org, 202-626-2735. 

ASAE Announces Partnership with Meeting Professionals International

ASAE and Meeting Professionals International (MPI) announce a partnership in which the two organizations will collaborate on projects and education programs to benefit the association and meeting professional communities. ASAE is the premier source of education, community and advocacy for association professionals around the world. This partnership with MPI will cement both organizations position as leaders in experience design and will focus on developing and certifying expertise among association meetings professionals in tailoring events to the needs and motivations of attendees.

“Providing opportunities for association professionals to transform society through the power of collaboration is a focus for ASAE. The partnership with MPI will allow members from both organizations to take advantage of educational opportunities and relationships with industry partners in the experience design space while reaching a more diverse group of association meeting planners too,” said Susan Robertson, CAE, interim ASAE president and CEO. 

“MPI is thrilled to share resources and best practices with the ASAE team. ASAE is the leader of the association industry,” said Paul Van Deventer, MPI president and CEO. “This collaboration promotes a larger context for business events industry professionals by combining resources and insights in ways that build on the value that we provide to our members while extending our reach. This partnership exemplifies these efforts.”

The upcoming collaborative programs will provide attendees with ASAE’s essential elements of experience design education with the added benefit of working towards MPI’s certificate in experience design. These initiatives will support ASAE’s planner members as well as MPI and its association members, with joint educational experiences.

● MPI will collaborate on the education line-up for ASAE’s Xperience Design Project:
   May 19-20, 2020 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, MD.

● ASAE will offer education for MPI association attendees at WEC:
  June 6-9, 2020, Grapevine, Texas.

● MPI will provide education at ASAE’s Annual Meeting & Exposition on Experience Design:
  August 8-11, 2020 Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV.

● MPI and ASAE will collaborate on key programs during IMEX Association Day:
   September 2020, Sands Expo, Las Vegas, NV.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Precker, CAE, lprecker@asaecenter.org, 202-626-2735.