2020 ASAE Great Ideas Conference Attendees Encouraged Explore, Expand, and Elevate

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ASAE–From March 1-3, a total of 424 association executives and industry partners convened for the first time in Salt Lake City, Utah for ASAE’s 2020 Great Ideas Conference at The Grand America Hotel. Over three days, ASAE had 7 Main Stage speakers, hosted by Visit Salt Lake, in addition to 35 Idea lab sessions, three workshops, and four leadership intensive offsite opportunities.

ASAE held two Executive Leadership Workshops before the conference, a Women’s Executive Forum hosted by Choose Chicago, Learning Circles, and the ASAE Research Foundation Pour, hosted by Visit Salt Lake, on Monday night.

“This was our first year holding Great Ideas in Salt Lake City. Innovation and creativity resides in the DNA of Salt Lake City and that energy was reflected through the experiences of our members. Throughout the event, they embraced the opportunity to change their mind set, explore and innovate,” said Susan Robertson, CAE, ASAE president and CEO.

On March 1, ASAE had two Main Stage speakers Torin Perez, equity & inclusion consultant and author of Who am I to Lead? The World is Waiting for you, and Dr. Lior Zoref, researcher, advisor, TED speaker, and author of Mindsharing: The Art of Crowdsourcing Everything.

Perez shared how diversity leads to stronger leaders and better decisions. Main themes from his keynote were that when we strive to make an inclusive workplace, people feel valued, a sense of belonging, and safe to bring their authentic selves. In addition, he stressed that building inclusion is everyone’s responsibility. Dr. Zoref followed with an engaging and high energy discussion about the power of collective intelligence, and how it can assist associations in making better decisions and fewer mistakes.

For Monday’s Main Stage session, there were three thought leaders: Mark Coopersmith, Fortune 500 executive and author of The Other “F” Word: How Smart Leader, Teams and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to Work; Lisa Sun, founder & CEO of GRAVITAS; and Shelley Row, P.E., CSP, president & CEO of Shelley Row Associates LLC.

Coopersmith shared how attendees can get better at failure on their way to achieving success. He encouraged the audience to use the “Failure Value Cycle” to make their failures work for them. Sun used a combination of personal storytelling and audience engagement exercises to teach attendees how to shut out the doubt and fear to become more confident and successful in all areas of their lives. Row closed out the morning by sharing her five step process association professionals can use to hone in on the real issues facing their organizations.

The final set of keynote speakers were Jeff Fromm, president FutureCast, and author, The Purpose Advantage, and Bofta Yimam, Emmy® & Murrow Award-Winning journalist, national news correspondent, international speaker, and executive coach.

Fromm shared strategies to creating a competitive advantage for associations through meaningful differentiation, he encouraged attendees to get their organizations employees fully invested in the organizations mission and goals. He shared you can’t win the outside, meaning the member, if you haven’t won the inside. Yimam’s keynote focused on the power of storytelling in the business environment. She recommended that the audience look at the core themes of their messaging to help guide them to the best stories to share with stakeholders.

Next year’s Great Ideas Conference will be back in Salt Lake City, Utah at The Grand America Hotel, February 21-23, 2021.

ASAE thanks the following Alliance Partners for their continued support of the association community:

Strategic Partners

Atlanta CVB

Destination Canada

Choose Chicago

Experience Columbus

Community Brands

Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB

Naylor Association Solutions

Discover Puerto Rico

Corporate Partners

Visit Austin

Visit Baltimore

Caesars Entertainment

Destination Cleveland

Visit Dallas

DelCor Technology Solutions


Louisville Tourism

Visit Omaha

Travel Portland

Visit Salt Lake

Visit San Jose

Event Partners

IMIS by Advanced Solutions International


The Broadmoor



Higher Logic




Discover the Palm Beaches


About ASAE

ASAE is celebrating 100 years of making society smarter, better and safer. The Centennial anniversary represents ASAE’s role as a leader and supporter of progress and innovation in the association industry. ASAE is a membership organization of more than 48,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Since it was established 100 years ago, its members have and continue to lead, manage, and work in or partner with organizations in more than a dozen association management disciplines, from executive management to finance to technology. With the support of the ASAE Research Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge, and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession and provides resources, education, ideas, and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. Visit ASAE at asaecenter.org.



Lauren Precker, CAE lprecker@asaecenter.org, 202-626-2735


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