August 16, 2009

First Day of ASAE 2009 in the Books

What a day today! I woke up at 3:15 am to catch a flight to Toronto, and am running on fumes now at 9:15 pm after an exhilirating day at the 2009 ASAE & The Center Annual Meeting & Expo.

Upon arriving at the Convention Centre, I was able to take part in the Expo and meet a number of vendors for a very specific thing that is coming down the pike for my organization - online elections for one of our Board members... It was interesting to talk to them and hear about their strengths and in some cases, weaknesses.

There were a number of additional highlights for me:

1. The session about Associations Now's crowdsourcing experiment on one of their recent issues really was outstanding. They highlighted a lot of great things that they did, but also laid out a great deal of ways in which they felt they could have improved their experiment. I really find that the real jewels and lessons for others come from the mistakes that were made that people are willing to share. I appreciated Lisa, Joe and Samantha's willingness to share the few areas in which they felt they could have been more successful.

2. The awesome impromptu tweetup following the first bank of educational sessions allowed me to meet a great deal of people I knew virtually, but not IRL (in real life). It was great to spend some time with an alumnus of our organization, Eric Casey, as well as all of the others. I love that there is so much social media being integrated into this year's ASAE Annual meeting.

3. I sat in on an interesting session called 10 Steps to Use Social Media to Engage Volunteers, which was led by a Communications Sections Council buddy Jennifer Ragan-Fore. She and her co-presenter really did a nice job of explaining the concepts behind engagement of volunteers using social media, without getting bogged down in the vehicles. I thought that was a really great aspect of their session. Not all platforms work for every organization, and by not talking about specific platforms too much, I think they held my attention a lot more than if they would have talked about Second Life the whole time... I just don't think that we would be successful using that tool... The concepts were really great though.

4. The Gold Circle Awards Ceremony was great, as outstanding efforts in communications over the last year were recognized with awards. I believe that there were a number of very deserving award winners, and I congratulate each and every one of you.

The evening ended with a quick dinner, and me heading back here to the hotel to get some work done for tomorrow. I am looking forward to a GREAT Day 2 (for me, Day 3 for everyone else.)

Until then, it's now B.E.D.T.I.M.E.

Thanks for reading...

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