All associations have a core mission to build a vibrant community for people or organizations that have a common purpose, and then providing a variety of services to members, including advocacy, networking and professional education.
Within that context, events are vital. Indeed, association events have traditionally been around half of the Tradeshow Week list of the 200 largest events. We wanted to learn a little bit more about the role of events for associations. We connected with the Association of the United States Army’s Alex Brody for a brief conversation. Brody is the senior director, meetings, for the AUSA.
Here’s an edited transcript of our conversation.
Fox Tales: Describe the role of events in the AUSA mission.
Alex Brody: As the Army’s premier, nonprofit, educational and professional association, AUSA’s mission is to Educate, Inform and Connect.
- We educate those we serve (soldiers and their families, Army civilians, retired soldiers and veterans, and the businesses and industries that support the Army) with programs, products, resources and events.
- We Inform our members, Congress, and the American public about issues affecting America’s Army—the Regular Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve.
- We connect America’s total Army, its industry partners, like-minded associations and other supporters at the national, regional and chapter levels.
We set out to accomplish this mission at each of our events. This mission guides our planning efforts and plays an integral role in how we define the success of each event.
Fox Tales: Tell us where events fit as a percentage of the AUSA whole, revenue-wise, alongside membership, donor, advertising, etc.
Brody: AUSA’s events generate about three quarters of the association’s yearly revenue.
Fox Tales: What’s the primary mission of the AUSA Annual Meeting and who are the target attendees? How many people attend? Is there a major sponsor presence? If yes, what’s their profile?
Brody: The AUSA Annual Meeting is the largest land-power exposition and professional-development forum in North America. More than 30,000 people attend this event each year, including key leaders from around the world.
The Annual Meeting is designed to deliver Army messages by highlighting the capabilities of organizations and presenting a wide range of industry products and services. AUSA accomplishes this task throughout the event by providing informative and relevant presentations on the State-of-the-Army, panel discussions and seminars on pertinent military and national security subjects, and a variety of valuable networking events available to all attendees. AUSA’s Annual Meeting includes the total Army—Regular Army, Guard, reserve, civilians and family members. It is one of the three key communication platforms employed by the Army to educate and inform government, academic, civic and veteran advocates, and leadership on Army priorities and issues impacting America’s Army.
Here’s what attendees can expect:
Key addresses from Army senior leaders including the Secretary of the Army, Chief of Staff and Sergeant Major of the Army, to name just a few.
Quality connections, access to world-class education, cutting-edge technologies and solutions on the show floor that will support the force of today and tomorrow. There are more than 700 exhibitors in five halls on both levels of the Washington Convention Center.
- The Army Exhibit featuring daily presentations in the Warriors Corner.
- The Army Small Business Seminar and Matchmaking Sessions.
- Key representation from across the total Army including many different commands and units.
Fox Tales: How does the association’s editorial component—Army Magazine and its supporting products—serve to support the events division and the association at large?
Brody: AUSA’s editorial team plays a tremendous role in supporting our events throughout the year. The team amplifies our messages for each event through Army Magazine, AUSA Extra and headline news stories on our website.
Fox Tales: Tell us about your partnership with Fox Associates, which is well known and universally respected in the B2B and association-media space?
Brody: Fox Associates is one of our key partners! We’ve been working together for a number of years and appreciate the tremendous collaboration and support.