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A Pair of Lessons Learned From #ASAE12

The following is a guest post from a pair of colleagues who attended the ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo together: Kimberley Gray, event coordinator, and Juanita Kardell, training coordinator, at Associated General Contractors of Alaska.

Kimberley: The Importance of Moving On

While at this year's ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo, I attended some sessions that sounded like they were a perfect fit for me because the title and description covered a topic that would aid me in my work. For most time slots I actually picked two sessions and soon learned why that was a good decision. For a few of my selections, it took only 10 minutes in the first session before I was able to ascertain that it was not quite the right fit. I didn't want to waste my time (I don't mean the session wasn't of value; I know it was of value to others, just not for me), so I moved on to my second choice. Now, as I return to the office, I wonder if it isn't time to take that same look at my programs. Yes, I attended the Mary Byers session on just that topic, and I can see why.

I know when I start each new project for my association it seems like such a great idea and will be a value to my members. But can that be true of every new project or event? With new information fresh in my mind, it is a good time to look at my programs with a critical eye to make sure that they are a "fit" for my members. So even in leaving a session, I gain information that will help me on my return to Alaska.

I do know that I had a great time at the ASAE conference, both during the day and during the after-hour events, when I was able to network with a wide variety of people, share information about the association world, and even just relax among my peers, which is always a good thing!

Juanita: First-Time ASAE Attendee

After viewing a general description of the conference, I decided which sessions could help me improve in my job, so I signed up to attend. Then the ASAE conference book came and I thought to myself "How do I attend more than one session at a time?" Yikes! Thank goodness I had time to further pare down my choices before the conference. The ASAE app was a great help in making a plan of action. I had finally pared down my choices but by no means had made any final decisions yet. I finally had my list down to three sessions during each time slot and felt ready to tackle the conference. The decision to have options was a good one. All sessions I attended were great but not always what I needed, so the option to move on was a valuable choice. I did find sessions that were a fit for me, some were the first choice I made, but some were the second. I think ASAE did a great job finding a variety of topics to meet the needs of attendees. I am very glad I attended!



I appreciate Kimberly's point about choosing a session and having a back up. The SXSW Interactive Conference has a culture people moving on if the session is not right or if the speaker does not grab their attention. I like this as an attendee AND as a speaker (as everyone is where they want to be!).

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