Many of my events industry colleagues are headed to the 2010 ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) Annual Meeting and Exposition this weekend. From what I understand there is a terrific program. Unfortunately, I won’t be attending this conference, face2face, or otherwise.
In case you are wondering virtual content is available for individuals unable to attend the event face2face. In fact ASAE is offering a virtual access pass which includes the following:
- Twenty four (24) preselected education sessions that will be streamed live via video, including three (3) general sessions, nine (9) interactive thought leader sessions, and twelve (12) learning lab sessions.
- Attendees may earn upwards of 12 CAE (Certified Association Executive) credits.
- Access to various events designed specifically for the Virtual Annual Meeting including online networking opportunities.
- up to seventy (70) on-demand learning lab sessions which are recorded on site and made available to the virtual attendee through November 2010 via audio synch-to-slide technology.
Does this information call you to action? Are you ready to register? Well, here is the catch. ASAE’s virtual package is going to cost you a whopping $595.00 if you are a member, and $795.00 if you are not. Note: The non-member deal is actually better than the member’s offer, because ASAE is including one year’s membership with that package.
Through my active involvement in PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) I am clearly aware that many associations are still struggling with restricted travel and education budgets in 2010. The continued financial pressure has made it difficult for many event professionals to attend events, particularly “big-ticket” conferences such as ASAE. In fact, attendance by many association executives at regional/local versions of these events has also decreased over the last couple of years.
Given financial sensitivity, how does a hefty Virtual access pass fee accommodate the greater ASAE membership’s needs? Or, is this package targeted at only organizations, or individuals, with a fat wallet? How does this pricing strategy drive membership loyalty?
Where’s the Membership Value?
How are the needs of less fortunate members being met … individuals who don’t have the fiscal resources to pay that large virtual registration fee? I am sure they would also love to benefit from some education content. Where are these folks getting membership value? Is ASAE even concerned about that? Just wondering …
It will be interesting to see how many association executives actually write the check for this virtual pass? I am even more interested in how they will perceive the value of the experience, given the size of the investment. Will ASAE share these statistics with the industry? I doubt it.
Today I saw an interesting tweet on the #ASAE10 hashtag, announcing “30% of virtual attendees will become in-person attendees.” Awesome! My question, while we are discussing relevant statistics is, how is ASAE performing in the category of membership retention?