The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

The #Tech13 Top 10 List – It really is "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Mon, Dec 02, 2013


One Site Fits AllThis week is one of my favorite weeks of the year as it is time for the 2013 ASAE Technology Conference and Expo.  And this year is a bit more exciting for us at Vanguard Technology because we’ve put together an exciting booth and will be participating in the expo portion of the conference (Hint: Stop by Booth 1132 to say “Hi!” or pick up a giveaway like a tee shirt with the cool design you see to the right).

But even though we’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on our booth experience, I wanted to be sure check out everything that is going on and map out the “must see” sessions and activities.  This show will have lots of great ideas, learning, discussions, and new technologies that are changing how associations manage their websites, databases and overall serve their membership.

With that in mind, here is my own “Top 10 List” for the 2013 ASAE Technology Conference and Expo.

10) Pathway Sessions – Association staffers wear multiple hats and bounce back and forth between strategist, tactician, counselor and implementer.  This year’s conference recognizes that existence with 5 distinct “pathways” for attendees to choose from.  I’ll be following most of the Content pathway but there are also pathways for CEOs, CIOs, Mobile and Technical.

9) Kristina Halvorson and Karen McGrane  - I am a big fan of both Kristina and Karen and am super excited to hear them present. Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson is my go to resource and I’ve recommended it to many clients. (Hint: Stop by our booth and see how you can win a Kindle copy of the book.)

8) Technology Town Hall – This was one of the most engaging sessions/discussions at last year’s conference and I expect this one to be just as lively. Reggie Henry always leads a great discussion and the addition of the Pathway Thought Leaders is sure to kick it up a notch.

7) Technology Competency for Your Staff – This is one of the new “Express Learning Sessions” and is I think one of the most important. Technology is now part of everyone’s job and Jason Paganessi and David DeLorenzo are two hands on leaders who will have great insight.

6) Website planning is Fun & Easy – Too many people underestimate the effort that goes into a website project and look at it as a siloed project. This session is important for any one planning to reinvent their digital strategy in the next few years and understand how the project can transform an organization’s strategy.

5) How Technology is Transforming Strategy – Speaking of strategy, Jeff DeCagna’s session is a must attend session for anyone facing aging technology and shifting organization strategies as they play for the future.

4) How to Sell Tech Ideas Better Internally – Even though a leader has a great technical (or strategic) vision, there is still a need to build consensus among an organization’s stakeholders.  John Mills and Dan Scheeler are two of the best internal leaders in the industry and are sure to have great takeaways for anyone about to kick-off a technology project.

3) Networking Reception(s) – Some of the best learning of the conference happens in between and after sessions with informal conversation. Be sure to jump into a conversation or ask a question. There will always be someone interesting to chat with or offer some perspective.  

2) New Expo Hall layout – ASAE has changed the layout of the expo hall to create more visibility for the exhibitors and to encourage discussion and exploration. It’s too easy to look at the exhibitors as “sharks trying to sell you something” but many (including Vanguard Technology are genuinely interested in your success.  Go ahead and ask an exhibitor about a question you have. They might have the answer or can tell you how to find what you need.

1) Booth 1132 – Of course, I have to be most excited about our own booth. It’s always great to have a place where we can connect with partners, clients and prospects.  We also have some fun giveaways (including the tee shirt design at the top of this post) and things to show off.  Be sure to stop by be a part of the action.

This is just a glimpse of the great sessions, speakers and activities that will be going on.  So what’s on your list? What are your top priorities for the conference? Let us know and let’s learn from each other.

Topics: web strategy, ASAE, association website design, association technology, content management system, association websites

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