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The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and The Center for Association Leadership will offer a virtual component to its 2010 annual meeting and exposition, just one of the several new twists at the event, scheduled to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center August 21-24.


The annual assembly will also feature a scaled-back expo floor, a new business appointment lounge for exhibitors and attendees, free registration for meeting planners who accompany their CEOs, and two major music stars to open and close the conference.

The blended meeting component will provide an opportunity for those not able to travel to the live meeting to attend virtually.

“The ASAE will stream live all three general sessions, as well as 24 other sessions throughout the conference,” said John Graham, ASAE’s president and CEO. “The sessions will be archived and available for viewing for 90 days. The fee to attend virtually will be about 20 percent less than the regular registration fee.”

Since this is the first time it’s been offered, Graham has no concrete expectations for registration numbers.

As for the live conference in Los Angeles, Graham believes attendance will be higher than last year in Toronto because so many people had to miss last year’s conference in Toronto due to the economy, there will be pent-up demand to attend this year.

“We are seeing increased attendance at our other face-to-face meetings in the last several months,” said Graham.

At this year’s conference, the expo hall, called the Association Solutions Marketplace, will run for just two days, Sunday and Monday, instead of the usual three days. The current state of the economy and low exhibit hall attendance on the third day prompted the change, however the exhibit hall will be open longer on the two days it is open.

A new feature, the Business Connection Lounge, will be open Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Exhibitors who want to participate in the Business Connection Lounge will have an opportunity to schedule one-on-one business appointments or demonstrations with attendees, either to be scheduled in advance or on site.

ASAE will offer exhibitors and attendees opening and closing night entertainment. Grammy winner Melissa Etheridge will open the conference with a performance, and multi-platinum recording artist Cyndi Lauper will close the event with a show on Tuesday night.

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