Last month, ASAE released a framework developed to inform ASAE Board decisions when state and/or local policies or legislation exist that are counter to ASAE’s organizational values in a destination hosting an ASAE meeting or event.
The framework, titled Event Location: Questions for Consideration, includes a series of questions the ASAE Board will consider when a contentious legislative or policy issue has been flagged in a confirmed or potential host city for an upcoming ASAE event.
The framework is broken down into sections, including: information-gathering on specific legislation prior to action; contract legal and ethical questions for consideration; equity analysis; association actions to address the issue; ongoing issue scanning; and collaboration with the destination. The Event Location document was created by a State Meetings Task Force appointed by the ASAE Board and edited by numerous ASAE volunteer groups for member feedback.
“Meeting location decisions have a different calculus in every organization, but ASAE is sharing this framework with the broader association community for informational purposes because this is an increasingly complex issue for association leaders to navigate,” said Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, CEO of The American Institute of Architects and ASAE Board Chair. “The takeaway for me in helping to develop this framework is that there are actually many actions an organization can take to affirm and live by its core values without cancelling or moving an event.”
In addition to considering how adverse policy issues impact associations in an event location, ASAE also sought feedback and constructive input from destination leaders as well in developing the Event Location document.
“This is a challenging time for our industry, and that includes our event partners all over the country,” said ASAE President and CEO Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE. “Association leaders must abide by their organizational values but their partners in the destination management and hospitality communities are often willing and able collaborators to find a solution for associations struggling with how to respond to adverse political issues.”
According to a recent pulse survey from the ASAE Research Foundation, 86% of respondents did not cancel or move meetings/events as a result of a political, social, or cultural issue.