Got in late and missed the morning labs. I didn’t have as late of night as some of my friends on the backchannel, who hit the bars pretty hard on Monday night, but I was feeling just a little hungover from the Food & Wine Classic and experiencing a general fatigue from the conference.

Somewhere near the show floor I spotted Jnott and some other friends and chatted briefly. Ate a bratwurst and some of that fried rice and headed over to the afternoon Thought Leader sessions. I arrived late and there was standing room only (typical of just about every session and lab at the conference) in the “Speed of Trust” session with Stephen M.R. Covey. I stood and listened for a couple minutes – his whole idea that speed goes down and costs rise when relationships sour is pretty interesting stuff…but alas, I was tired of standing and decided to just have a seat for 45 minutes. Thanks to backchannelers, I still got some real-time commentary and stats from Covey on my phone over text. Zach, who took a seat next to me, noted that an ASAE employee was smart for wearing flip-flops on the last day. Indeed my feet are nice and blistery after 4 days of wandering around McCormick.

After the break, I headed to the “60 Tips in 75 Minutes – Communicating with Your Members” learning lab presented by Greg Fine of Association Forum, Stu Meyer of the Emergency Nurses Association, and Ben Martin of Virginia Association of Realtors. This was a nice session. Can’t say that all 60 tips were useful to me personally. But the quick-fire format kept things moving along and was perfect for attendees like me, whose brains were a bit fried by Tuesday afternoon. Lisa Junker posted a couple of the tips over on Acronym. There was supposed to be a full list of the tips available somewhere but I can’t find it…paging Ben Martin, where’s that document? Get the full list of tips here (PDF) (Thanks Melissa!)

The final General Session was very good minus the singing and dancing which simply wasn’t for me – too corny (ok, maybe “free buffet” was funny). It was nice to see colleague and friend Jeff De Cagna stand on stage (“in a suit!!!”) and get recognized as an incoming board member of The Center. I sat with some Forumers and held up my “Congrats Tom” sign as Tom Dolan, Ph.D., FACHE, CAE, and fellow Chicagoan accepted his position as Chairman of ASAE. Go Tom!

Then, Chris Gardner (inspired The Pursuit of Happyness) came on and really blew everyone away with his great story. Really inspiring stuff. I won’t comment on Mayor Daley’s brief speech that happened directly after Gardner finished.

I ended up hooking up with Jeff De Cagna, Jamie Notter, Ben Martin, Zach Wilson, and Josh I Forget (nice guy, though) for pizza at Geno’s East but bailed on Natalie Cole and the closing reception. Just too tired (and full of pizza). So Geno’s pretty much ended my ASAE2007 experience… I can’t complain.

I have some thoughts on the conference as a whole and some thanks to give out but I’ll save that for another post.

Written by

Fred Simmons

As a Managing Partner and the Director of User Experience at Gulo, Fred enjoys making website interactions more natural and improving UX design. Outside of work, Fred enjoys golf, BBQ, craft beer, movies where the bad guy wins, comma-separated lists, and talking about himself in the third person.