The ASAE 2017 Conference recently took place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and it didn’t disappoint, providing attendees the usual ASAE can’t-miss experience. There was so much to take away, and, heading home from the event, I took a few mental notes of highlights that can hopefully inspire your next event.
An Experience It Was
There’s always another industry article being published about the need for conferences to focus on the attendee experience, and with good reason. To keep attendees coming back, you need to find a happy balance of providing what they already love about your event and finding that next thing they can fall for!
With its relentless focus on the experience of its attendees, ASAE has mastered this balance. Innovation is a key word I would use to describe the process they apply for the continual improvement of their event. For example, ASAE provides their attendees with an exceptionally immersive experience. The morning Daily Newspaper at each attendee’s hotel door is but one example of the multitude of ways ASAE delivered content. In short, ASAE succeeds at providing participants a (nearly) fully customizable experience based on what each one most wants from their time at the conference.
Mobile is the Way
ASAE’s mobile app offering has improved each year, and this year, it was a home run. From engaging through the social feed to building my schedule, the app was my hub in keeping me tuned in and on time throughout the event. In short, it was a one stop shop for managing my experience in Toronto.
Walking the City
While shuttles were available from almost all hotels, what could have been a short bus ride was often 20-30 minutes of sitting in traffic. This was enough to convince most of us put on the ol’ walking shoes and head out for a stroll to the Centre. Fortunately, Toronto had beautiful weather during the Conference, which made the trek to the Convention Centre on foot pleasant.
The one observation for improvement I did make was locations: Looking at the calendar for future editions of ASAE, my emotions are mixed. While Chicago and Columbus hold some excitement for me, heading back to Atlanta and Dallas isn’t quite as appealing. The more we can expose attendees to new and exciting locations, the better, and perhaps ASAE can show more love for the west coast!
Overall, however, ASAE 2017 was another resounding success, providing me and the entire Talley Management Group team with even more commitment and passion to make our clients’ events powerful and influential experiences.