"For me, the Association Convention, more than any one other thing, has given identification with other members and with the field."
-A History of the American Speech and Hearing Association 1925-1958, 1970
A popular event of earlier conventions was the Association Cocktail Party and Dance. Open to all registrants, it took place in the hotel ballroom and featured live music. The 1967 program listed the event with the following: “Music for the cocktail party and for the dance will be provided by the Norm Krone Empire Room Orchestra.”
Another heavily attended event was the Association Luncheon. Also held in the convention hotel ballroom, it was highlighted with an address by a well-known person. Speakers over the years included anthropologist Margaret Mead; civil rights leaders, the Reverend Jesse Jackson and Whitney Young, Jr.; Senator Mark Hatfield; and NBC television newsman, Edwin Newman. This event eventually became today’s keynote address at the opening ceremonies.
An important aspect of the convention was the ability to search and apply for jobs. A Placement Center became an important feature at convention and provided listings of the latest job opportunities, application forms for positions, and the ability to interview with prospective employers on site.
Starting in 1987, as part of an awards program of the National Council on Communicative Disorders, was the presenting of the Annie Glenn award. Given to a person who helps foster understanding and awareness of persons with communication disorders, it grew into ASHA’s leading public honor given annually at convention. Annie Glenn presented the award in person for almost thirty years, which is now known as simply, the “Annie.” Accompanied by her husband, Senator John Glenn, they became a beloved part of the modern-day convention.
In the course of ASHA's history, the annual convention has been cancelled only twice. The first time was in 1943 due to World War II and the second was in 2020 due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.