What I learned at #Tech12

We went, we listened, we spoke, we explored. Yes, the ASAE Technology Conference was another successful event rounding up the best tech minds from the association world. As a member of the ASAE Technology Section Council, I was honored to see the conference we worked so hard to organize come to fruition. It was a busy week for me, attending the Higher Logic User Group (HUG) event happening Monday and Tuesday, as well as speaking at DelCor’s first-ever user group (DUG, affectionately). So here are 5 highlights including what I enjoyed and learned.

1. Social media can be sexy – my interviews with Craig Sorrell and Cecilia Satovich

If you didn’t catch my Sweet Spot interview with Results Direct’s Cecilia Satovich and DelCor’s Tobin Conley last week, it highlighted their sessions at #Tech12. In addition to these pre-session interviews, I grabbed a quick 3-minute interview with Craig Sorrell after his event. A game-style theme with a fun panel, as well as some glow-in-the-dark handcuffs and whips given out as prizes, made his an awesome session to end the conference with.

2. We need to look far, far ahead when investing in new technologies

Past predictions became present reality during Dave Coriale’s Ignite Session – think Star Trek and beyond. In Elizabeth Engel and Dan Scheeler’s session, where we were tasked to work with our table to outline our technology predictions for 2035, surprisingly many of our predictions are not far off from being realized. In fact, items like Google Glasses, driverless cars, 3D avatars, and geofencing that integrates with mobile payments and automated service are already under serious research and development.

3. Responsive design is gaining popularity

At DUG, I spoke about the many mobile technologies on the market, as well as how mobile behaviors are great arguments for why responsive design is a smart choice for your website. There were also 2 sessions on this topic at Tech12. While it takes some strong decision-making to simplify navigation and determine which content items to display, it’s a smart choice for associations looking to future-proof their technologies, while addressing the mobile challenge.

4. Google+ Communities – go and get ’em!

At HUG and in at least one Tech12 sessions, to Google+ or not to Google+ was hotly debated. Having a presence and sharing content on the top search engine will have a serious impact on your SEO, making a strong argument for joining G+. Also, collaborations through Google Drive, Google Hangouts, and the very new G+ Communities all seem like good reasons to believe that G+ will gain popularity very soon in the association community.

5. Cruisin’ on the expo floor and Brian Solis!

Along with great conversations and seeing old friends, I had the opportunity to meet Brian Solis, the man behind the first social media manifesto and one of my all-time inspirational role models, who gave the opening keynote at Tech12. Having read several of his books, I couldn’t wait to meet him in person. Here’s my Instagram moment:

And the DelCor booth was full of incredible retro arcade games like Centipede, Cruisin’ World, and Asteroids, inspiring folks to “go cloud” and turn their old server rooms into game rooms for their staff. Hats off to our marketing manager, Bill Walker, for another great booth idea!