Annual Conference Recap - 9 Good Things



One hundred fifty association executives, professionals, and industry partners came together for MSAE's Annual Conference at the lovely Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest to learn, share, and connect with colleagues. Lots of great activities, conversations, and connections occurred, but here's a quick recap of nine items that stood out for me: 

  1. Inspirational speaker Alex Sheen shared his compelling story and reminded conference attendees that our word is our promise and fulfilling those promises can change lives. When Alex first handed out promise cards as a tribute to his late father, who always kept his promises, he never dreamed it would set off a chain reaction across the globe and affect millions of lives.  You can learn more about Alex's story here
  2. Tobi Lyon, MBA, CAE, and  Douglas Small were elected to three-year terms on MSAE's Board of Directors. Lyon is the CEO and Founder of Ngage Management, an association management and consulting company that provides a broad spectrum of supports to associations. Small is President & Chief Executive Officer for Experience Grand Rapids, the convention and visitors bureau that serves the greater Grand Rapids area.
  3. Participants reconnected with colleagues and heard about the latest products, services, and improvements to venues in the Solution Lounge. It was great to see so many familiar faces and meet new industry partners! (But we sure did miss some of our long-time perennial attendees who couldn't attend due to pandemic-related reasons!)
  4. CEOs heard from Mark Ostach on the importance of fostering connection with employees and practiced some of the strategies Mark recommended.
  5. Association executives Belinda Chandler, CAEBrian CalleyJada Paisley, CMP, and David Martell, CPA, shared their experiences over the past 18 months and discussed their strategies for moving their organizations forward in the coming months.
  6. Nearly forty association executives, meeting professionals, lobbyists, industry partners, and subject matter experts shared their expertise with event participants in breakout sessions and roundtables.
  7. Graduates of the Academy of Association Management and professionals who earned their Certified Association Executive and Certified Meeting Professional credentials were recognized.
  8. President of Crystal Lake Partners Kristine Metter, CAE, and I explored ASAE's Foresight Works COVID Driver and helped conference participants practice their newfound foresight skills in conversations at their tables. A champion of Foresight and incredibly knowledgeable, Kristine's practical approach makes practicing foresight attainable for even the smallest or busiest associations.
  9. Hands down my favorite thing about the 2021 Annual Conference was seeing so many MSAE members gathered together again! 

We understand that many of our association colleagues and industry couldn't attend this year's event  - know that you were missed! We look forward to having you join us in the future!