Friday, February 4, 2011

What I Learned at the ASAE Technology Conference
by Darcy Watson, IT Director

Everything I needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten ...
EXCEPT for what I learned at this year's ASAE Technology Conference and Expo!

Year after year, I’m amazed at the top-notch job the American Society of Association Executives does in presenting their annual Tech Conference. It’s the perfect blend of training on new technologies, best practices for Associations using those technologies and the use of those cutting-edge technologies to produce and facilitate the meeting. It’s a learning experience on so many different levels for the thousands of IT association professionals from across the country who participate. We take time out of our busy professional and personal lives to attend, in order to gain knowledge, perspective and insight into the technology issues facing our associations and nonprofits.

This year’s conference focused on the changing role of IT, mobility, technology strategy, business intelligence, web analytics, data security, systems solutions, cloud computing, web 3.0, and other technological advances that will enhance the way our associations do business.

Using electronic audience polling devices at the Town Hall meeting we learned in real-time that the current technology issues facing our associations are strategic social media, mobile apps, and digital publishing. We also had small group discussions to learn about each other’s association technology priority matrix.

During the General Session, we learned how mobile technologies are changing the face of associations. We know iPhones, iPads, Droids, Blackberries and other mobile technology tools are changing the lives of all Americans. At the conference, we learned how they can also help associations change the way they operate and communicate with stakeholders.

We also met with over a hundred exhibitors featuring hands-on demos and technology solutions. We chose from more than 70 high-level, practical education sessions to participate in. We competed in an electronic scavenger hunt by following clues, completing tasks and tweeting pictures of our finds. We contributed photos to the meeting’s Flickr photo pool from our cell phones. We used Foursquare to participate in the Trade Show Booth Crawl. We visited the Tech Hub to follow the social media excitement around the event. And we used the official conference mobile app to navigate the show floor with interactive maps, search the exhibitor directory, schedule and track our sessions and download whitepapers, demos and session handouts on our iPhones.

I’m here to say that the time spent is well worth the experience I took away and the information I was able to bring back for our clients.

Question: Is a wordle worth a 1,000 tweets?

This wordle highlights the most commonly used terms via tweets about the Tech Conference.


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    Association Management