Celebrating both AYSO’s 50th anniversary and its exhilarating future, AYSO EXPO is the new name that will unveil in 2014 for the events formerly known as “Section Meetings." With nine AYSO EXPO events scheduled across the U.S. between January and June, the first-year edition of the renamed series will be showcased as “AYSO EXPO -- The 50th Anniversary Tour.”
AYSO EXPO is open to all AYSO volunteers at every level of the organization. Early Bird Registration and discounted hotel reservations will be available for all venues on Oct. 18 at AYSO.org/AYSOEXPO
The unveiling of “AYSO EXPO” re-emphasizes that these events are inclusive opportunities for networking, skill building, education and fun for all AYSO volunteers, including Regional coaches, referees, and all other volunteers.
“Our feedback indicated that the term ‘meeting’ didn’t convey to our Region volunteers the true nature of these events, and many volunteers believed they were just for Executive Members, Section or Area staff,” said AYSO National President Paula Berriz in making the announcement. “Frankly, ‘meetings’ sound boring, and no one wants to attend another meeting on the weekend. As we move forward in our next 50 years, the AYSO National Board of Directors wants to help all Region and Area volunteers feel included in these expanded, inspiring learning and networking gatherings.”
“Our Sections do a tremendous job serving as hosts and venue organizers,” President Berriz added, “but too often local coaches, referees, and other grassroots volunteers don’t realize that this as an opportunity for them, too. We’re all working together to change that image.”
The AYSO EXPO will include a wide array of continuing training workshops for coaches, referees, and management volunteers, along with roundtables, opportunities to meet with AYSO national leaders, certification courses, networking and award events, and a vendor alley to get a jump on your Region shopping and ordering.
The AYSO EXPO Tour will make nine stops across the country in 2014, starting with Section 8 (Michigan and Indiana) on Jan. 17-19 in Traverse City, Mich. Activities around the AYSO 50th anniversary will be part of every EXPO event with a unique interactive exhibition at each venue called “The History of AYSO in 50 Moments, Memories and Mementos”, along with special contests, giveaways and guest appearances.
“Every coach, referee, RC, CVPA, VIP volunteer, Safety Director, Treasurer and everyone else will want to come to AYSO EXPO,” said AYSO Section 5 (Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana and Florida panhandle) Director Michael Mays who. will host an AYSO EXPO tour stop in Nashville, Tenn. on Feb. 7-9. “The Section Meetings have always been an amazing event, but we just didn’t make it sound as interesting as it really is. So a new name will help all AYSO volunteers understand that this is for them!”
In 2014, six AYSO Sections --Sections 1, 2, 9, 10, 11 and 12 -- have decided to work together to create a grand scale AYSO EXPO in Las Vegas, Nev. These six Sections, which together cover all of California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Utah, Montana, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming and Texas will gather at the Rio Las Vegas Hotel and Casino on March 21-23 for a grand scale AYSO EXPO which will include low cost hotel rates, over 50 workshops for all levels of volunteers, plus plenty of time in the evening to network with fellow AYSO volunteers and enjoy all Las Vegas has to offer.
Other AYSO EXPO stops will include:
- Section 14 (Florida): Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Boca Raton, Fl.
- Section 6 Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, NW upper Michigan): Feb. 21-23 in Lincolnshire, Ill.;
- Section 3 (New York, New England): Mar. 7-9 in Southbury, Conn.;
- Section 13 (Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, W. Virginia, Maryland and DC): Mar. 14-16 in Williamsport, Penn.;
- Section 7 (Hawaii): Apr. 11-13 in Waikiki Beach, Hi.
- Section 4 (South Dakota, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri) Jun. 20-22 in Wichita, Kan.
Organizations and vendors interested in exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities at any AYSO EXPO event should contact Vanessa Lucero at VanessaL@ayso.org or 424-221-7928.