Detroit Played Host to ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition

Did you know that Lionel Richie is still performing? I did not, until I saw Aaron Wolowiec’s pic on Facebook. He was right up front at Richie’s concert at Fox Theatre – part of the American Society of Association Executives’ Annual Meeting and Exposition at Cobo Center in early August.

The gathering was referred to widely as the Super Bowl of conferences, because it brought more than 5,000 people to Detroit – many of them whose job it is to plan conferences for their respective associations. According to ASAE’s president and CEO, John Graham, the convention could result in $500 million in business for metro Detroit over the next five years. These were the kind of people we want to impress, in other words.

And we did. Which, despite that the fact that so many of us spent the conference’s few days holding our collective breath, perhaps should no longer surprise. We’re often the first to criticize ourselves and see our region’s faults – but visitors tend to find a lot to love.

Graham told the Freep that ASAE committed to the conference in 2009 (not exactly a stellar year for our region), largely on faith in Larry Alexander, the CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, and his commitment to have Cobo Center ready in time. Alexander and his team, of course, delivered on that promise.

Based on past ASAE experience, 20 percent of its attendees will book a conference in the host city within five years if it went well. It went well. So let’s get ready for the next wave of visitors.

The hospitality community enjoyed the spotlight recently as more than 500 guests turned out to honor members of it for their excellence in customer service.
 
The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) presented its annual Recognition of Service Excellence (ROSE) Awards at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn. 
 
 

Cowboys aren't known for sitting around, and the American Cancer Society’s annual Cattle Baron’s Ball aims to keep its attendees on its feet. 

The ball, held Sept. 24 at Cobo Center, drew 700 attendees and raised $1 million to support the society’s mission. It featured a strolling supper with local celebrity chefs making their signature item; a live auction; and entertainment. The event, though open to the public, is primarily a corporate fundraiser that draws its support from sponsorships.