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Business Un-Usual.

For me August is always a landmark. For one thing, August marks the culmination of the effort we've put into publishing a jam-packed issue of ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT, often the largest of the year. For another, I can rest assured that I'll find in ASAE's annual meeting and exposition a new lens for looking at the challenges to come. It'll be in a speaker's words or in a side conversation or simply in an observation. But it'll be there.

The promise in this month's meeting in Philadelphia was obvious: Bernard Shaw, Lily Tomlin, intriguing educational programs, 905 exhibit booths. Plenty to explore. As I prepared for the meeting, two debuts scheduled for Philadelphia piqued my interest for their potential to help reshape the way we think about business as usual. The first was the release of the results of the ASAE Foundation Futures Scan. This research builds on the foundation's earlier environmental scan and draws heavily on a 10-month dialogue among 100-plus association executives. It peers ahead to the issues associations must address in 2010 and beyond-and cautions us that we need to be thinking about them now. Your sneak preview begins on page 77. The second interest-piquing debut was Meetings & Expositions Days, a "conference within the convention" developed by the ASAE Meetings and Expositions Section and sponsored by Universal Orlando Resort. What's so important about the August 6-7 event, featuring Fast Company co-founder Bill Taylor and several high-level best-practices presentations and discussions, is that it reflects the underlying understanding of the strategic role of association meetings and those who plan them. With meetings and expositions the leading source of nondues revenue for many associations--and the heightened pressure to deliver the best and most productive meeting experiences--associations will demand of event planners a level of strategic savvy that matches their traditional mastery of logistics.

The business pressures pushing productivity aren't exclusive to a particular discipline, of course. They're across the board, and the required response in the meetings area illustrates the kind of skill sharpening that association executives must do to ensure organizational growth and relevance. In this issue, ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT takes on the challenge of enriching your professional skills in a number of areas. I think you too will find a new lens or two through which to view the developments that are likely to dictate a departure from business as usual. Here are some highlights.

Senior Editor Carole Schweitzer recognized recurring conversations among association leaders and a study documenting increased future demand for senior executives as the makings of a big story, and she was off and running. The result is our cover story, "Mentoring Measures," which explores several associations' use of mentoring initiatives to develop leaders within their industry or profession.

Complementing the cover piece is an array of articles focused on both operations and strategy. Two pieces alert you to new threats that require stepped-up cybersecurity. A trio of articles written by association executives with small staffs address the development of online educational programming, the creation of a self-funded insurance plan for members, and the broadening of an association's scope. If governance issues are on your mind, don't miss "Rethinking Governance." And if a comprehensive evaluation of your programs and services is in your future, you'll definitely want to read "Are Your Programs Worthwhile?" We haven't forgotten more personally relevant topics either. In "Power Trip," Associate Editor Jane Eisinger provides a fast read with tips on traveling well and follows up with "High Anxiety," taking a look at the all-too-familiar stress demon and what we can do to keep it at bay.

I've saved "Pat Takes on the Pirates," an interview with former Colorado Congresswoman and now Association of American Publishers CEO Pat Schroeder, for last for a particular reason. The interview is one of the final pieces Gerry Romano, CAE, will contribute as senior editor and features manager at ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT. Her byline will appear another time or two this fall, but Gerry has decided to move on to the top editorial rung at Business Officer, the monthly magazine of the National Association of College and University Business Officers, in Washington, D.C. Gerry's tour of duty here lasted more than eight years, and her contributions are too numerous to count. Thank you, Gerry. And congratulations.

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Title Annotation:annual American Society of Association Executives meeting
Author:Skilman, Keith C.
Publication:Association Management
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2001
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