Association executives, directors, and other association professionals gather at the ASAE Annual Meeting every year to learn about new association technology tools and attend educational seminars for professional development. If you are an association leader attending the ASAE Annual Meeting, take advantage of this amazing event which offers great opportunities to advance your organization's mission by checking out the newest technologies on the market and learning from your peers.
We’ve put together a few tips to guide you through the ASAE Annual Meeting, so you can maximize every conversation with exhibitors, and find incredible technology tools along the way (stop by Muster, Booth 408, to chat with us at ASAE!)
- Attend the ASAE with a few specific goals in mind. If you’re interested in visiting a specific booth at the conference, locate the company's booth number ahead of time. Booth staffers appreciate it when an attendee expresses a direct interest in learning more about their product, so never shy from walking right up to a booth that you would like to learn more about. With that said, keep an open mind as well. You may come across new and useful technology at ASAE that you weren't aware of prior to the conference.
- Cut to the chase. If you are looking for a software product for your association, and you know exactly what you want and need, just ask the staffer you are speaking with about the exact capability you are looking for. Avoid gray area, superfluous chatter and confusion by just asking the question that you need an answer to in order to make an informed purchasing decision later on. Example: "Does this advocacy software integrate with Salesforce?" which in fact, Muster does.
- Collect business cards. If you’re interested in a product and want to keep a running dialogue with a company, business cards are a great way to remember who you spoke with at the ASAE Annual Meeting. Additionally, make sure you carry your own business cards so you can network with fellow ASAE attendees and exhibitors.
- Attend the educational seminars and break-out sessions offered by ASAE that interest you, adding to your skill-set as an association professional. Here is a list of all the educational offerings at this year's ASAE 2016 conference: http://annual.asaecenter.org/alleducation.cfm.
- If you are evaluating several different software programs that perform similar functions like advocacy software, ask booth staffers to distinguish their competitive advantages over other products in the marketplace.
- Have an open mind. If you attend a trade show, like ASAE Annual, armed with a list of the 9 companies that you are interested in learning more about- great! But, keep your eyes open to new possibilities and new companies that can fill you association’s needs just as well, if not better. Stop by the booths of companies that you haven’t heard of yet, they might be offering just what you are looking for.
- Exhibitors design and develop materials to hand out and inform prospective clients, while also making sure that interested parties receive demos of the product. Ask for pamphlets and demos to learn more about a software solution you are interested in.
See you at ASAE Annual in Salt Lake City this August!