ASAE Annual convention

ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition Provides Insight on Workplace Innovation, Importance of Face-to-Face Communication

WASHINGTON — More than 5,400 association professionals and industry partners attended the 2015 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, August 8-11, in Detroit. Attendees participated in more than 130 education sessions, networked in the exhibit hall, and took part in Detroit Destination Tours and EduTours. The ASAE Foundation sold more than 2,000 tickets to The Classic, held at Detroit’s Fox Theatre, which is the highest attendance in its history. 

The final attendance breakdown includes: 2,812 executives, 1,799 exhibitors, 790 others, including guests, spouses, press, volunteers, vendors, and staff, for a grand total of 5,401.

A total of 431 companies representing 684 booths exhibited in the expo hall this year, which resulted in a strong ratio of 61 percent buyers (association staff) to 39 percent sellers (industry partners).

“Eighty-seven percent of attendees had not held a meeting in Detroit in the last 15 years, so this provided Detroit Metro CVB a great opportunity to reveal the newly renovated Cobo Center and different meeting locations throughout the city,” said ASAE President & CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE. “Attendees were buzzing about Cobo, the wonderful hospitality, and great content at this year’s event.”  

During the Opening General Session on August 9, Josh Linkner, CEO and managing partner of Detroit Venture Partners, provided five “obsessions” of innovative thinkers as well as strategies attendees can use back in the office. He discussed the importance of being curious, craving what’s next, doing a “judo flip,” finding solutions in unorthodox ways, and pushing the boundaries.

During the Closing General Session on August 11, Sherry Turkle, an MIT professor and author, outlined how technology is impacting our conversations and creating a crisis in empathy that can be cured with having face-to-face conversations. She encouraged attendees to create device-free time and space, unitask instead of multitask, and use the seven-minute rule in conversations.

ASAE held three sold out workshops during the Annual Meeting & Exposition: the Aspiring CEO Deep Dive, Achieving Global Growth, and Executive Leadership Program. For more information, please visit ASAE’s Annual Meeting & Exposition website.

ASAE raised $35,000 for Alternative For Girls, which helps homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence, teen pregnancy, and exploitation. Participants made bookmarks, read to the girls, and packed hygiene kits. ASAE raised money through volunteer efforts, city tours, 5K Fun Run/Walk fees, and individual donations.

The 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition will be in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 13–16.

ASAE thanks the following Alliance Partners for their continued support of the association community:

Strategic Partners

Abila, Aptify, Atlanta CVB, Business Events Canada, Detroit Metro CVB, Personify, Reno Tahoe USA, Team San Jose

Corporate Partners

Visit Baltimore, Dallas CVB, Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, Fort Worth CVB, GEICO, Louisville CVB, Mexico Tourism Board, Naylor Association Solutions, Omaha CVB, Visit Orlando, Visit Salt Lake, Meet in Washington State

Event Partners

BrightKey, The Broadmoor, CliftonLarsonAllen, DelCor Technology Solutions, Dubai Association Centre, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Johnson Lambert LLP and Veris Consulting Inc. , Korea Tourism Organization, Manifest, MemberClicks, Meet In Minnesota, New Orleans CVB and New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 9,300 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit

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