ASAE’s 2012 annual meeting, August 11–14 in Dallas, will be a little bit country and a little bit rock ’n’ roll—with some rap and disco thrown in—and will feature two of the keenest minds in American politics.
For the opening general session August 12, Democratic strategist James Carville and Republican strategist Karl Rove will talk about the presidential election and the overall political landscape. The session will be moderated by Michelle Bernard, political analyst for MSNBC and founder of The Bernard Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy. “Rove and Carville will engage in an important discussion about politics that will give our members insight into how the election may impact their organizations,” said John Graham, ASAE’s president and CEO.
Author Daniel Pink will be the closing general session speaker, talking about how the art and science of selling has evolved. Pink is the author of four books including the New York Times bestsellers A Whole New Mind and Drive. “We are always looking for ways to become better communicators and advocates for our members, and Pink will provide attendees with a new perspective, tips, and tools on how to be a better seller so they can take their association to the next level,” added Graham.
The Opening Night Celebration will take place at the state-of-the-art Cowboys Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Entertainment will include former Dallas Cowboys stars and other professional athletes, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and a performance by Grammy Award–winning duo Big & Rich. The entire stadium will showcase the best of the North Texas region, with entertainment and tours on every level. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite sports team’s jersey.
On Monday, August 13, the ASAE Foundation is sponsoring a ticketed reception at the Winspear Opera House featuring country music legend Randy Travis and Broadway’s Michael Cavanaugh (“Movin’ Out”). Meanwhile, at the Meyerson Symphony Center, attendees will experience an intimate supper club atmosphere featuring food from 12 top local chefs, fashion shows from Neiman Marcus and the Galleria, and more. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the ASAE Foundation.
The meeting closes with a music extravaganza at Fair Park, home of the Texas State Fair. Participants will see performances from KC & The Sunshine Band, rapper Vanilla Ice, and local band Professor D. The evening will conclude at the Esplanade Fountains where a video will be brought to life with 272 water jets that spray 100 feet into the airin time with music. The show is designed by the same company that created the fountains at Bellagio in Las Vegas.
More than 5,000 attendees are expected at the meeting, to be held at the Dallas Convention Center. Through a partnership with American Forests, a tree will be planted in Texas for every attendee. This effort, part of American Forests’ new Meeting ReLeaf program, will offset the carbon footprint of the meeting and augment ASAE’s broader sustainability efforts. “Our collaboration with American Forests provides us with a great opportunity to help the local climate by planting trees and reducing our carbon footprint,” said Graham. “I urge other associations to consider ways they can reduce their carbon emissions when possible.”
ASAE integrates social responsibility into every conference and tradeshow decision, ranging from sustainable site selection to digitized education and marketing materials to community service opportunities. A compilation of green actions taken for the 2012 Annual Meeting can be found at ASAE’s web site.