Highest turnout since 2007 as associations flood Chicago

News /  / 
John Graham John Graham

More than 6,000 association executives and industry partners gathered in Chicago for the 2018 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition – the event’s highest attendance in more than a decade.

That probably had something to do with the quality of the keynote speakers – Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler and world champion triathlete Siri Lindley – and an impressive rostrum of ‘game-changer’ speakers from the worlds of politics, publishing, brewing, and technology.

[caption id="attachment_3121" align="alignnone" width="300"]

Yancey Strickler (Image: Jason Keen)[/caption]

Opening the conference, Strickler explained how he started Kickstarter and how it was critical for organizations to articulate other values including community, knowledge, and human capital.

Addressing a packed plenary hall, he said: “Associating and gathering based on non-financial interests is going to be crucial for the future. You all are on the right side of this.”

Closing, Lindley stressed how one of the keys to success was a willingness to fail. She said it was important to ‘let of being afraid’ to reach out goals and learn something about ourselves.

The event, which took place at McCormick Place, 18-21 August, included more than 110 sessions.

“Throughout the conference, our attendees heard from two fantastic keynotes, five Game Changers, engaged in 115 learning labs, and networked with industry partners in the expo hall. Participants found new ideas, strategies, and solutions they could take back to their organization,” said ASAE president & CEO John Graham.


Attendance breakdown

6,092 visitors

3,554 executives

2,120 exhibitors

418 others (including guests, spouses, press, vendors, and staff)

450 exhibitors

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.

Latest Magazine

AMI November 2022 Covershot
Soaraway Inflation
How to plan your next meeting
Read More