ASAE’s Springtime Expo to be Replaced in 2017 with Xperience Design Project

April 28, 2016

After more than 40 years as an event for association professionals and industry suppliers, the ASAE Springtime Expo will no longer be held, replaced instead with what is being called the Xperience Design Project

The Xperience Design Project is a two-day, business-focused experience for associations and industry partners at which participants will co-create solutions to shared challenges, as well as build meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships.

There won’t be a traditional showfloor, with attendees and industry suppliers having the opportunity to meet one-on-one in a Business Exchange environment.

“Why is ASAE launching a new event?” asked ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham, IV, FASAE, CAE. “The meeting planning industry has changed dramatically since Springtime started. Relationships are still key, but how they are created and maintained has shifted.”

He added that Springtime has served the community well, but now it was “time to move on.”

“Xperience Design Project will transform the meetings industry,” Graham said.

The new event, which was developed in partnership with 360 Live Media, will be held May 23-24 next year at the Gaylord Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.

On day one of the new event, in a room set up that will reflect a hub and spoke concept, there will be six key topics around meeting trends: Location: Technology: Experience Strategy, Design & Production; Performance Metrics & ROI; Marketing; and Curriculum.

On day two, there will be a kick-off breakfast, followed by findings from day two Day 1 are unveiled through a “TED-style” recap.

In addition, attendees will participate in the Business Exchange, which will be one-on-one conversations with businesses in dedicated meeting space for association professionals and businesses to discuss upcoming events.

Don Neal, founder and CEO of 360 Live Media, said there are three main trends in the meetings industry impacting the way events are being held.

“Audience expectations are very different today than they were even 3-5 years ago,” he added.

For example, at any given meeting, there might be five generations in the room who all learn in unique ways.

Neal also said that new event models, such as SXSW, are constantly challenging the traditional event model, and events also are becoming more of an ‘experience’ that attendees actually have a hand in co-creating.

He described the experience of walking up to a Coca-Cola machine at which a consumer can make their own flavored drink with a myriad of choices.

“It gives a sense of ownership in the product we are creating,” he added, which can be parlayed into attendees helping to co-create an event they are taking part in as well. “There is a higher collaboration rate when collaboration occurs,” Neal said.

To develop the concept of the new event. ASAE and 360 Live Media went through a three-part development process that included: research, experience strategy and design, industry co-curation and branding of XDP.

For information and to pre-register for XDP, visit

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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: