Well, I missed a week of my Friday posts but I was still recovering from some great, thought-provoking meetings in Salt Lake City: the AMC Institute and ASAE. It’s a beautiful city with great restaurants and the modern convention center is easy to navigate.

My first aha moment/key take-away was a session on strategic planning at the AMC Institute’s summer meeting for the association management industry: AMCs Engaged. As Bostrom has implemented Agile Association Management, the idea of strategic planning has had to change too, and I was glad to see a new take on it in Keith McFarland’s session: Built for Speed: Three Leadership Levers for Increased Agility.  (If you haven’t read his best-selling books Bounce and The Breakthrough Company, they are worth the read!). McFarland’s take on planning and execution and their relationship and role in making your company great reminded me of a lot of Agile concepts that are critical to today’s fast-paced, changing environment.

The ASAE meeting was jam-packed with a wide variety of content and sessions designed for different learning styles. ASAE is always on the cutting edge of experimenting with new approaches and I have to say the final night’s picnic basket and concert was fabulous! But I was there to learn and network, too, so I need to mention a couple of top-of-mind take-aways: content is still king, engagement is crucial for membership growth and retention and there are new ways of engaging members.  And finally, it seems we’ve moved from “how do we grow internationally” to culturally adapting to our global world as if expansion was already a given.

On the marketing front, inbound marketing techniques and marketing automation are top-of-mind subjects that help small and large associations efficiently and effectively build one-to-one communications.

The Closing Keynote from Derreck Kayongo, CEO at the Center for Civil and Human Rights, reminded me of why all of us work so hard in association management. When people come together for a common purpose, the world can change.