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How to Get the Most Out of the 2022 ASAE MM&C Conference

Find out how to make the out of your time at ASAE MMCC (plus, tips on how to ask to go)!

For association marketing and membership professionals, the annual ASAE Marketing, Membership & Communications Conference (MMCC) is a golden opportunity. It’s one convenient place to get up to speed on all the latest in this space, plus network with peers.

You already know ASAE, but did you know they’ve been around for more than 100 years and boast a membership of over 41,000 representing 5,700 organizations?

They’ll bring all this expertise to bear at this year’s MM&C Conference. This year, MMCC is May 17-18 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. This event offers you the latest insights and exposure that could take your marcomm strategy and membership engagement efforts to new heights.

Who Should Go to ASAE MM&C Conference?

It’s right in the name! If you are an association executive or manager whose work touches the areas of member experience, association marketing, or member communications, this gathering is for you.

Justifying the Investment to Attend ASAE MMCC

Unless you’re ready to burn up vacation days and go on your own dime, you’ll probably need to ask your leadership to send you to MMCC. Some articles talk about how to get your boss to “let” or “allow” you to attend a valuable conference, and we recommend using different terminology. This isn’t a gift. This isn’t a perk. This is for the benefit of your association’s business, and you’ll likely see better results if you frame it that way. Some tips to get faster approval:

  • Loop your leadership in on what sessions you’re most excited about and why.
  • Call out specific sessions with the ways your association could quickly benefit from the information. Include your intended sample agenda.
  • Call out any current challenges your team is facing where you can help seek out answers at the conference.
  • Summarize the cost. Keep it short and simple and don’t make them do math.
  • If applicable, note that ASAE offers CAE hours for MMCC sessions toward a Certified Association Executive credential.
  • Offer to provide summaries of your notes for distribution to other employees in order to spread the wealth of your learnings.
  • Put the request in writing and add it as a talking point on your one-on-one meeting agenda. Make it as short and easy to scan as possible.
  • Don’t over explain, which can start to sound defensive or like a hard sell.

What You Can Expect at ASAE MMCC

The ASAE MM&C Conference is designed around these components: Keynotes, Learning Labs, Express Learning Labs, and the Exhibitor Showcase.

Keynotes for 2022 include “Plan D – Empowering Disruptors” from entrepreneur and best-selling author Mike Maddock. His consultancy has helped more than 25% of the Fortune 500 create and launch new products, services, and business models. Then you’ll hear from Rakia Reynolds, founder of Skai Blue Media, on “Distinguishing Your Mission and Vision Through Storytelling.” Rakia has been named by Inc. Magazine as one of the 27 Business Leaders Aiming to Change the World, one of the 25 Most Socially Influential Tastemakers on Dell’s “Inspire 100” list and was recently profiled on Forbes’ “Next 1000” list.

Learning Labs cover a wide range of topics under the three umbrella headings of Membership Engagement & Recruitment (M&E), Marketing & Technology (M&T), and Communication & Outreach (C&O). No matter what area your association could most benefit from, this conference has you covered.

The Exhibitor Showcase is where you can take in the latest tools and services designed to support and enhance member communications. Feel free to gather up materials, get demonstrations, and ask all the questions you can think of. And, of course, don’t forget to find the Higher Logic team there, because we’d love to meet you!

Getting the Most Out of Being at ASAE’s MMCC

Conferences can be overwhelming, and that’s putting it mildly. There’s a lot packed into a short period of time, there are sessions you have to choose between, and somehow you have to carve out time to do some networking and check your emails. But there are a few things that can help ensure you have the most productive MMCC possible:

  • Your experience should start before you even leave. Plan out your sessions and a schedule, leaving realistic time for meals, networking, and visiting the Exhibitor Showcase.
  • Try to find any community that’s built around or that’s talking about the conference and participate, like in ASAE’s Collaborate. You can get lots of tips there and coordinate meetups at the conference.
  • If there’s a conference app, get it and use it.
  • Have backups like paper schedules as a just-in-case. Sometimes the wifi at conventions can be iffy.
  • Make a plan for the exhibitor hall. Take a look at who’s going to be there in advance and jot down two or three booths you definitely want to check out.
  • Stay fed and hydrated. Keeping your energy up will help you stay focused and pay attention.
  • Take great notes. Perhaps one of the most common expressions coming from convention attendees is, “Why didn’t I write that down?” Plus, you’ll want to take these learnings back to others on your team who couldn’t go.
  • Gather up contact information from the vendors and peers you meet. And don’t just take the info, make a note to yourself to remind you about why you got their info. That stuff is easy to forget.
  • Find out in advance if decks will be made available after the conference. However, even if they are, take notes anyway because seeing the slide without the commentary sometimes doesn’t make sense later.

Things To Do After the ASAE MM&C Conference

Rest and recover. Conventions, especially ones with lots of great information, can be draining and exhausting. Even the socializing and networking aspect of it can leave you completely spent (especially if you’re an introvert).

Once you’re rested up and thinking clearly, look over your notes again and pay special attention to how you’re going to apply what you learned at your association. Start with the easy stuff then move on to the bigger things like shifts in overall approach or strategy.

Deliver everything you promised your boss. Distribute learnings to others in the organization and start realizing the promised ROI of your attending.

Follow up with your new connections as soon as possible. Make sure you keep the conversations going with the peers you met and reach out to the vendors you talked with to explore the value they might bring to your association’s mission.

Meet You at MMCC?

It’s always an exciting time at ASAE MM&C Conference. You can feel the energy coursing through the halls and meeting rooms, and you can almost feel ambitions and motivations soaring higher as attendees get inspired by what they’re hearing and seeing.

We at Higher Logic wouldn’t miss it, and we look forward to meeting you. We’ve consistently supported and maintained a presence at this world-class conference for several reasons:

1) We strive to help associations reach and connect members in more effective and personal ways.

2) We create software that enables associations to easily create powerful member experiences. Check out our newest product for associations: Higher Logic Thrive!

3) We’re big fans of association professionals, and we love meeting you and hearing your stories of both challenges and victories.

Until then, feel free to take a look at who we are and what we do; maybe even reach out to us in advance so we can set up a time to get together on-site in DC!

Sarah Spinosa

Sarah Spinosa is the product marketing manager for the association line of business at Higher Logic. Sarah is a veteran of the association industry, with over 15 years of marketing experience. She had been using Higher Logic products for nearly a decade prior to joining the Orange Army in February 2022. She has also worked with SaaS organizations. Sarah served on the 2023 ASAE MMCC Program Advisory Council and as an ASAE Gold Circle Award judge.

Sarah holds a BA in Political Science from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two daughters, and two rescue dogs in northern Virginia.