Association Leadership - September/October 2015 - (Page 21)

M E ET i nG S &E duCAT iOn Advancing Association Meeting Through Place-based Education by Aaron D. wolowiec, MsA, cAe, cMP, ctA Q A OUr ATTENDEES ArE INTErESTED IN GETTING OUT Of ThE CLASSrOOM TO ExPLOrE ThE LOCAL COMMUNITY. WhAT LEArNING OPPOrTUNITIES ExIST fOr ThESE ADVENTUrE-SEEKErS? The number of continuing education units required by our attendees to maintain their professional designations often determines the number of breakout sessions offered at our annual meetings. But as more emphasis is placed on the conference experience, attendees are increasingly interested in getting out of the classroom and into the community. And, why not? There's a lot to see and do in the conference destinations we select. Take Detroit, for example. ASAE held its 2015 annual meeting in Detroit this August. It's no secret that Detroit has a rich history of both successes and setbacks. But the city's perseverance - as evidenced by its vibrant business community - tells a remarkable story. Detroit was proud to pull back the curtain, share its lessons learned and serve as a safe space for association professionals to both discuss the city's challenges and walk away with new ideas immediately applicable to their own organizations. Place-based education seeks to help attendees learn by exploring community problems and solutions, and then bridging those insights with current workplace challenges. Place-based education differs from conventional classroom-based education in that it recognizes the local community as a primary resource for learning (which is often hands-on and project-based). At the ASAE annual meeting, attendees visited The Parade Company, which produces one of the largest, oldest and most spectacular parades in the country. America's Thanksgiving Parade attracts nearly one million spectators annually. The Parade Company's success is due, in part, to the more than 1,500 parade volunteers who donate more than 25,000 hours to the cause. Not only did ASAE attendees discover how the organization effectively recruits, retains, trains and recognizes its volunteers, but they also considered opportunities for maximizing volunteer capacity within their own organizations. Place-based education is a new way of thinking about our attendees and their role in society. It involves leveraging our conference environments Sponsored by: to identify relevant local issues as topics worthy of our attention and energy - focusing more on problems or questions than on traditional academic experiences. Research strongly suggests that place-based education positively impacts learning and is a legitimate source of professional regeneration for subject matter experts, speakers and practitioners alike. Place-based education is changing the landscape of conferences, which have traditionally been held in a hotel or conference center. This learning revolution is inspiring new partnerships among conference organizers, attendees and the communities in which these events are held, and is illuminating the best and brightest cultural, environmental, economic and governmental innovations within our communities. ● Aaron Wolowiec is founder and president of Event Garde. For more information visit Read the digital version at 21

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Association Leadership - September/October 2015

Message From the Magazine Chairman
60-Second Solutions
Quick Takes
From the Public and Private Sectors to Association Management: Meet the New Tsae Chairman, Bill Keese, Cae
TSAE’s Newest Board Members
Is Your Website Safe?
Advancing Association Meeting Through Place-Based Education
Red Flags at the Board Table
Don’t: Tips for Reviewing Your Association’s Products and Services.
Destination Planner
New Members
Index to Advertisers
Work Smarter

Association Leadership - September/October 2015