IAAO 2020 - A Virtual Recap

September 21, 2020 by Joe Wolff

IAAO 2020 - A Virtual Recap

The 86th annual International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) conference was unlike any other in its history. The association’s first virtual conference took on a whole new look to engage with members and participants across the globe. Roughly 1,100 attendees from more than seven different countries joined the online experience to interact with vendors and participants with goals of learning and enhancing their operations.

A new environment for sponsors and attendees alike, the virtual event had a few challenges with different media platforms and web browsers competing for screen time, but folks seemed to embrace the new opportunity with open arms. IAAO’s president, Amy Rasumssen, opened with an address to participants and invited attendees to stay tuned for a fun evening — including two live bands performing throughout the night. Tyler Technologies, one of the premier sponsors, played host for Sunday evening’s welcome reception with an opening video featuring Mark Hawkins, president of the Appraisal & Tax Division, and also sponsored caricature artists and a photo wall for even more engagement. Attendees seemed to be getting the hang of interacting in the virtual environment and the conference was off and running.

The exhibit hall opened the next morning, following a gripping and emotional keynote speech from Allison Masari, a motivational speaker who fought through burning alive to share her outlook on a more positive, uplifting, appreciative existence. As vendors opened their virtual booths, attendees had the ability to visit various virtual exhibitor spaces and participate in interesting learning sessions and classes throughout the day. Using Zoom and vMeet platforms for face-to-face meetings and demos, Tyler launched its newest solution for harnessing the power of data in assessing offices, Assessment Connect, which was met with a flurry of interest. Along with this solution launch, demonstrations and meetings occurred throughout the day, and participants were excited to learn more about how they could improve capabilities in their offices.

As the conference rolled on, folks would hop in and out of virtual booths to see what everyone had to offer. The virtual nature of the event allowed everyone to browse freely, and participants seemed to be more comfortable engaging with vendors. On Tyler’s page, attendees could find informative materials such as brochures, flyers, and more, visit a meeting space to talk with representatives, watch videos on powerful solutions, or visit Tyler’s new virtual booth – the Innovation Lab. The Innovation Lab offered visitors a rich cache of literature and content to inform conversations and decisions while also serving as a secondary meeting space for meetings and demonstrations.

It is also important to note, Tyler’s digital egg-hunt game was a huge success. Running throughout the event on Tyler’s page, the game gave visitors the opportunity to hunt for eggs onscreen and leave information for a prize drawn at random. In return, to demonstrate our focus on connecting communities and putting communities first, the Tyler Foundation offered a check for $10,000 to Denver’s Metro Caring, a fantastic anti-hunger organization aiming to reduce poverty and offer food and healthy living assistance to the metro area.

In review, IAAO 2020 turned out to be an extremely beneficial event to vendors and attendees alike and proved a virtual event can be very successful in offering a multitude of opportunities to participants. Digital engagement was high, ideas were shared, strategies were discussed, and relationships were built and strengthened. Though the current environment may have limited our reach in-person, it’s clear to see we can still build relationships, learn from one another, and enjoy each other’s company apart.

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