Unlike the other Ben, Dallas wasn’t my first ASAE Annual Meeting: It was my tenth! In fact, it was my tenth straight, dating back to 2003!

Having attended the Annual Meeting for all these years, both as an association executive and now as a vendor, one of the highlights is reconnecting with old friends.This year I got to catch up with a boss from my second association job (one I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years) and another association industry friend from my days living in the DC area.

Over the years, I’ve also become a big fan of the hallway track— those informal peer-to-peer conversations between sessions. I find that’s where I learn the most. So much so that a few of my closest colleagues in the community met up for an idea bazaar on the last day of the conference.

Ben Martin ASAE 2012 #2 This year, I was privileged to be an Idea Labs speaker along with staff from two Avectra customers: Nina Goldman of the American Council of Engineering Companies and Thomas Nordby of the National Defense Industrial Association. I was pleasantly surprised to see such a large and attentive group gathered for our session on member engagement scoring, despite the unfortunate location (at the very end of a very, very long hallway) and 9 a.m. time slot on the last day of the conference. These attendees were so engaged, we had to politely excuse them from the breakout room because the next speaker needed to set up! Click here if you want to know what the big deal was.

Ben Martin ASAE 2012 #3I also got a hoot out of being able to wear my Avectra football jersey at Cowboys Stadium (now a throwback jersey, thanks to our re-branding), as well as my belt buckle, cowboy boots, and hat out in the wild, wild west.


Overall, I’d say this ASAE Annual Meeting ranks #2 all-time for me, exceeded only by 2008’s meeting in San Diego. Bravo, Dallas! Atlanta (site of ASAE’s 2013 Annual Meeting) has some big boots to fill!

Ben Martin ASAE 2012 #1