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The Power of In-Person: ASAE's Power of A Summit Awards

American Society of Association Executives

LAI Live had the pleasure of producing and designing the 2021 ASAE Summit Awards. After a year of virtual programming, the Summit Awards returned to its home at the National Building Museum for an in-person gala complete with reception, recognition, and of course, music! 

Live and In-Person!

This year’s theme focused on the power of associations supporting their member communities during the events of this past year and staying strong while doing so. To visually represent this theme, LAI Live utilized a scenic concept made from bands of material running parallel to each other, but bonding together at the top. The branded sign for the awards was placed in a location that turned the bands into a letter A, for “The Power of A.”

Design that Set the Stage

The artwork for the show was designed to pair with the elegant on-stage scenic elements to create a unified, sophisticated, and festive visual atmosphere for attendees. Since the event took place during the evening, the graphic art showcased darker navy blues contrasted with pops of gold metallic tones to communicate a celebratory mood. The thin stripes of gold ribbons moving throughout the artwork in animated motion provided refined visual interest to highlight the work of awardees and their member organizations. All of this, combined with dramatic lighting effects, came together with the elegant columns and 100 ft. ceiling of the National Building Museum atrium to create an atmosphere that entertained the eye, honored recipients, and inspired attendees. 

Storytelling Through Video

Veteran partners of the Power of A Summit Awards, LAI Video returned for its eighth collaboration on the gala, producing a tone-setting show opener and six short “trailers” that gave recognition to the honored associations. Working with members from each group, the video team created an emotional series that not only outlined the individual programs, but also reinforced the night's broader theme: associations make America stronger. 

Using the Space to Its Full Potential

With new spacing guidelines in the museum, our audience now spilled out beyond the columns so we added screens and sound into the outer courts for those attendees. We also encouraged guests to fill the entire show space, not just the reception area, to allow for social distancing prior to show start. As is always difficult to wrangle guests from one location to another in a timely manner, we utilized flashing lights and a frequently reoccurring VO in the five minutes prior to program start. We started off the show with a filler video, alerting guests to the fact that programming was starting, then followed up with the request to rise for the National Anthem, ensuring everyone was also quieted. These few adjustments allowed for an on-time start.

On stage, we suggested multiple solo presenters instead of co-hosts, to give everyone space and a time to shine. With quick tempoed scripting, upbeat music, and videos packing a punch, the program was energized and kept the audience’s attention. The award show wrapped with a performance by a country music superstar, keeping the high excitement of in-person events going well into the dessert reception!