Initial musings from ASAE

August 12, 2011

Another ASAE annual meeting has come and gone…yet it wasn’t just another ASAE annual meeting. If you were there, and/or follow the Twitter stream (#asae11) and the association blogosphere, you know that already. There was just something about this meeting that struck a very positive chord throughout the association community.

I suspect it has a lot to do with ASAE’s responsiveness to the significant criticism of the 2010 event in Los Angeles. ASAE listened (and perhaps St. Louis did, too), a critical association skill I wrote about early in the week, and made a number of changes in response. Kudos to everyone involved in those changes! The ones I noticed the most were the wide variety of session possibilities (Game Changers, Ignite, Deep Dives, Learning Labs, Conversations that Matter, Innovation Exchange) and the spaces opened up – near all the action, this time – for participants to gather and discuss topics of their choice or just relax (Flash Learning, Online Engagement Lounge, and others). It was probably the first ASAE meeting in a long time (and I’ve been to a lot of them) in which I truly wish I could have cloned myself to avoid having to choose from among what all looked like wonderful sessions.

My biggest regret…

…that my Tuesday morning session on “Deconstructing John Medina’s Brain Rules” was scheduled opposite Joe Gerstandt’s “How to Fly Your Freak Flag” session. Being somewhat of a closet freak myself, I wanted to attend this session. Alas, it was not to be. And once I read all the buzz about it on Twitter and heard people who were there talk about how powerful it was, I felt like I’d missed something important. I hope ASAE will invite Joe back to offer this session again; meanwhile, I’ll take Joe’s advice and do my best to let my freak flag fly.

Missing Joe’s session in no way diminishes…

My biggest joy…

The people who attended my aforementioned session on Tuesday morning. As we explored how John Medina’s Brain Rules might apply to association learning, it was heartening to see you all so fully engaged in the session. I think I can safely say we proved the point that you can have fun while learning, and having a portion of your anatomy attached to a chair isn’t a prerequisite. Thank you so much for all your kind words then and throughout the rest of the day. I’d love to hear from any of you who share with your own subject-matter experts the active learning tools you experienced in the session…let me know how it goes!

I’m still contemplating a number of other perspectives taken from the ASAE meeting: big themes, small details, learning (of course), and more. Meanwhile, I’ll be trying to keep up with the post-event musings of other bloggers; one sign of a great meeting is, after all, that it provokes thought in those who participate.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Lutz August 13, 2011 at 7:43 am

Kathi, it was great to finally meet ya in St. Louis! I so wanted to be in your session on Tuesday, but had a meeting pop up. Keep on blogging. Love reading your posts!


Kathi August 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Thanks, Dave…hey, “stuff” happens. You’ll just have to come to another of my sessions at some point! 😉 I intend to be much more “regular” about blogging…your encouragement is inspiring. I enjoyed meeting you, too; so nice to have an opportunity to chat during the PD reception and elsewhere at the meeting.


Lyne Tumlinson November 9, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Ok, I’m slow to comment. I have now been able to apply some of what you taught us and it has made a huge difference. I saw that same sort of energy in my last presentation, with people learning-by-walking-around! Thanks for all that you do.


Kathi November 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Thank you so much, Lyne! It’s always good to know I’ve made an impact…I love hearing what happens when people begin to apply what they’ve learned in my sessions. Thanks also for the listserver recommendation…I appreciate it!



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