Postcard from Atlanta

ATS returned from a successful outing to ASAE’s (American Society of Association Executives) annual meeting in Atlanta in August. We conducted a special learning lab titled “Mobile Playground: Responsive Web Design” with our client Jamie Carracher from CEA (the Consumer Electronics Association). We also met with hundreds of association staff, partners, and firms – each with challenges and success stories to share.

What’s particularly nice about events such as these are not only the new and current friends you connect [and reconnect] with but it’s the comfort in knowing that everyone around you has similar problems. It sounds odd but think about how good it feels to be in an audience nodding your head in recognition as peers recall a difficult situation or how they overcame an obstacle. There are good stories to share as well – and hopefully you’ve had the feeling of nodding your head in recognition to those as well.

Our top 3 “take-homes” from our time in Atlanta:

    1. You can do it. There is a way for organizations of every size to experiment and effect change. Take, for example, the mobile workshop we conducted. Yes, there’s know-how involved but you can go ahead and conduct a content inventory, prioritizing your website’s content, now. After this exercise, you’ll be well on your way to a redesign/overhaul of your online presence.
    1. Have fun while learning. As anyone who attended the various parties at the ASAE event will tell you, it’s advisable to do both at the same time. If you’re comfortable and enjoying yourself, you’re more likely to retain knowledge. If you’re not feeling good while collaborating toward something new – to quote my nephew – you’re doing it wrong. Work with someone you trust and enjoy being with and it will go a long way toward achieving your goals and making you feel even better about yourself and your organization.
    1. There’s no silver bullet. Chances are you’ll be sorely disappointed if you’re intent on uncovering an end-all-be-all solution. Almost every solution comes packaged with compromises. To borrow from our learning lab session again, responsive design is fantastic but not so much, for example, if there’s a need to display heavy data. The greater the flexibility you’re able to come to the table with, the happier you [and your board!] will be in the end.

Attending an ASAE event? Let us know so we can be on the lookout and invite you to any special event ATS is hosting around the occasion. ATS wants to be your resource in good times and, yes, even when you’re doing it wrong.

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