ASAE Shifts Its 2020 Annual Meeting & Exposition to Virtual Due to COVID-19

May 12, 2020

ASAE has canceled its face-to-face 100thAnnual Meeting & Exposition, originally set for Aug. 8-11 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. A virtual version of the show will take place instead.

The association will deliver its first-ever Virtual Annual Meeting & Exposition the week of Aug. 10 and is working with scheduled speakers, sponsors and industry partners to create a reimagined digital experience.

Registration information, exact dates and industry partner opportunities will be announced to the ASAE community by the first week of June, while the ASAE Board of Directors will also pivot to a virtual meeting on Aug. 7.

“As excited as we were to put on a robust, memorable in-person annual meeting in Las Vegas and to celebrate ASAE’s Centennial with the association community, the public health and safety of our attendees, staff and volunteers and the MGM staff outweighed any other considerations in our collective decision-making process,” said Susan Robertson, ASAE president and CEO.

According to ASAE officials, the association had been in regular contact with MGM International Resorts and other Las Vegas event partners during the event’s planning process. Careful attention was paid to the timing of federal and state of Nevada plans to loosen air travel restrictions, social distancing guidelines and large gathering restrictions once the COVID-19 threat abated. 

With all the unknown factors related to the virus’s containment, and with Annual Meeting attendees typically heralding from across the globe, all parties concluded that canceling the face-to-meeting event was the safest and most responsible decision.

“Our team worked closely with ASAE to build out what would have been an incredible event in August, but we understand the hard decision they had to make in the current climate,” said Stephanie Glanzer, senior vice president and chief sales officer for MGM Resorts. 

The association is now immersed in creating the most dynamic Virtual Annual Meeting experience for its members as possible, said Amy Ledoux, ASAE’s chief learning and meetings officer. 

“Virtual attendees can expect the same great content that we were primed to deliver in Las Vegas, so stay tuned,” Ledoux said. “We’re going to structure this reimagined experience to fit every member’s schedule and budget and there are going to be multiple options for engagement.” 

The news of ASAE’s live event cancellation and switch to virtual comes as other annual industry conferences are expected to go forward, including the SISO Summer Conference, scheduled for Aug.11-13 in Dallas; Connect 2020, set for Aug. 17-19 in New Orleans; and Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition, planned for Dec. 8-10 in Louisville, Ky.

ASAE’s 2021 Annual Meeting & Exposition is scheduled for Aug. 14-17 at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. The 2019 event, which took place in Columbus, Ohio, attracted 5,400 association professionals and industry partners. 

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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 tradeshows and expositions.   At Mohegan Sun we have built an industry-leading COVID-19 Resource Center,  with a combination of pictures from recent successful events held since our reopening on June 1st,  along with several easy to share,  downloadable documents such as our Operati