Association Brain Food Weekly: 2.3.17


“I was showing the America I knew and observed to others who might not have noticed.”

Norman Rockwell said that, and today’s his birthday. “Rockwell?” you yawn. “Big deal.” Yeah, I used to think that too, being a sort of art snob. After all, I used to volunteer at the National Gallery of Art, la dee dah. The NGA was my cathedral, especially when I worked there on Sundays and worshipped at the feet of the masters, old and new.

I used to characterize Rockwell as pedestrian, beneath my notice. As I’ve grown older and wiser (work in progress), I’m not so elitist about art or lots of other things. Life’s too short for a close-minded attitude. You can find pleasures in the least expected places.

After seeing two Rockwell exhibitions several years ago, I spent some time thinking and then writing about his work. Check it out if you think you might need your own comeuppance.

Before we get to the webinars and learning events for next week, here are a few of my favorite reads from this week.

If you want to keep up with the mergers, sales and acquisitions in the association technology market, subscribe to Ben Martin’s He’s been the first one recently to break the news about moves in the industry, including the recent acquisition of YourMembership.

An association Twitter stalwart, and the original founder of #assnchat, Jeff De Cagna, has a new Twitter handle and business name, one that makes perfect sense for him — @dutyofforesight and Foresight First. Indeed!

The first time I sat in on a PM Poker session at the Avectra Users Conference years ago, I could have used a translator. I didn’t even get some of the jokes. What are these people talking about? Thankfully, DelCor has decoded the mysterious language of project management for all of us regular people.

Have you subscribed to Cynthia D’Amour’s Wake Up Wednesdays email yet? Trust me, she’s laying down some serious truths. I especially loved the most recent edition about the power shift from national (or HQ) as gatekeeper to chapters as value-deliverer. Amen!

My name is Deirdre and I have a podcast problem. How many do I subscribe to? I don’t want to know, let’s just say, a huge amount. I’m always behind in listening to new episodes. But, I’ll go on a listening binge to catch up on a few of my favorites, including the Leading Learning podcast from Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele at Tagoras. This is a “must subscribe” podcast for association professionals. Start your listening with their trends and predictions episode from December.

Now, on to the list of this week’s free webinars and learning events. If your organization has a webinar scheduled in the next few weeks, please send me the link. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not too product-centric.

Tue 2/7 at 12 p.m.* – Addressing Public Health Crises in the Age of Social Media

Today, thanks to social media, we can learn about a crisis literally as it’s unfolding, whether it’s a new case of Zika or a terrorist attack. How does this new reality affect your association? How might you respond to a crisis in your profession or industry? What can you do to prepare? Hear how experts handled a crisis in the healthcare field. Learn how you can prepare your association to manage a crisis smoothly and effectively. More info/register.

Host: ASAE


  • Jennifer Morales, director of communications, Infectious Diseases Society of America
  • Diana Olson, vice president of communications, Infectious Diseases Society of America

*All times are Eastern Standard Time unless otherwise noted.

Tue 2/7 at 12 p.m. – Hotel Contracts Boot Camp for Experienced Meeting Pros

You can be the best negotiator in the world, but the bottom line is whether your contract is legally clear, inclusive and enforceable. Find out what every meeting professional must understand to survive in today’s business climate and avoid expensive lawsuits. Identify and understand the issues and legal principles in hotel contracts that cause the most friction between planners and suppliers; the difference between penalties versus damages, and what’s enforceable; and the various methods of calculating attrition and cancellation damages in guestrooms and catered food and beverage functions. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: MPI

Presenter: John Foster, hospitality law specialist, attorney, Foster, Jensen & Gulley LLC

Tue 2/7 at 2 p.m. – The Director Experience: Designing a Stronger Board through Foresight (Association Chat)

Find out how to use the power of foresight effectively to better your association. Watch/participate live or view the recording.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, founder, Amplified Growth

Guest: Jeff De Cagna, FASAE, executive advisor, Foresight First LLC

Tue 2/7 at 2 p.m. – How to ID and Avoid Problem Causes

Don’t make the mistake of writing contract clauses that are unenforceable or that hotels will not accept. Learn to identify your meeting’s specific legal needs, write clauses that will address them, and avoid problem clauses. More info/register.

Hosts: SmartMeetings, Sheraton Grand Los Angeles and Sundance Helicopters

Presenter: Lisa Sommer Devlin, JD, meetings industry legal expert

Tue 2/7 at 2 p.m. – Where Do I Go From Here? Engage Volunteers in New Ways

This webinar will help you think about new strategies and help you evolve your program to include new roles and responsibilities for volunteers, pathways for more involvement and leadership positions in your program, how recognition plays a role in retention, and the importance of including continuing education and professional development to keep your volunteers engaged. More info/register

Host: VolunteerMatch

Presenter: Jennifer Bennett, senior manager of education & training, VolunteerMatch

Wed 2/8 at 7:30 a.m. Central – Component Relations Chicago Roadshow with Billhighway (Chicago)

Join a gathering of liked-minded folks from chapter-based associations that face the same challenges as you for a discussion about: measuring and increasing the health of chapters and how it can be done; best practices for chapter operations (volunteer tools, processes, etc.); how to get the right statistics which will help prevent members, at both the national and chapter level, from leaving. CAE credit. Location: Chicago IL. More info/register.

Host: Billhighway

Facilitators: Kyle Bazzy, director of growth, and Max McCain, growth specialist, Billhighway

Wed 2/8 at 1 p.m. – Using Facebook LIVE to Broadcast Impact

Learn how to get started with Facebook Live. Find out to pick the best topic for your first broadcast and get examples of creative Facebook broadcasts from other nonprofits. Learn how to promote your broadcast to your community, manage and monitor discussions during your broadcast, repurpose your Facebook Live recording for other social media channels, avoid common mistakes made before, during, and after your broadcast. More info/register.

Host: 4Good


  • Sam Frank, founder, Synthesis Partnership
  • John Haydon, digital marketing expert for nonprofits and charities

Wed 2/8 at 2 p.m. – 7,000 Subject Line Tests Later

Kick your open rates up a notch and learn more about your audience with subject line testing and sample size testing – the easiest way to test and immediately apply the learnings. Find out what elements your peers are testing, what works, and what doesn’t as we review results from over 7,000 subject line tests performed in 2016. More info/register.

Host: Informz

Wed 2/8 at 2 p.m. – How Content Will Transform Your Events, With or Without You

The evolution of content is changing how we learn and connect with the world around us. Events play a pivotal role in this transformation and it’s time to rethink how you define, design and deliver event content. Learn how to guide your organization through these changes and how to prioritize intent before content, the evolution of presentations, and what we can learn from the five best examples of event content marketing in U.S. history. 1 CE credit. More info/register.

Hosts: PCMA Digital Experience Institute and Calgary Telus Convention Centre

Presenter: Sourabh Kothari, DES, founder and CEO, Not-Content, Inc.

Thu 2/9 at 12 p.m. – 5 Strategies to Engage Members in Your Online Community

Learn about five easy automated strategies to make a significant impact on the value and satisfaction your members receive. Harness the power of your AMS and online community, turning your members into lifetime advocates. More info/register.

Host: YourMembership

Thu 2/9 at 12 p.m. – 9 Things Every Association Exec Should Know About Content Strategy

Many associations and nonprofits still don’t have a strategy to guide their content, but they should. Having a content strategy is an imperative for being a valued and preferred source of information for your community. Learn essential content strategy tips, including how to create a plan that will get the right content to the right users at the right time. 0.5 CAE credit. More info/register. (Free only to .orgCommunity members, otherwise $18)

Host: orgCommunity

Presenter: Heather Swink, CAE, content and marketing strategist, orgSource

That’s it for this week. If you can’t attend a live webinar, go ahead and register if the topic interests you. Most webinar hosts send registrants a link to the recording.

Association Brain Food Weekly is published Friday mornings. If your organization offers professional development for the association community, please send me the link via email or Twitter.

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<Creative Commons licensed image of North Carolina longleaf pines by Justin Meissen>

Author: deirdrereid

Deirdre is a freelance writer for companies serving the association market, who after more than 20 years in the association and restaurant industries, is enjoying the good life as a ghostblogger and content marketing writer. Away from her laptop, you can find her walking in the woods, doing yoga, going to shows, journaling, cooking, or relaxing in a comfy chair with a good book and a glass of something tasty in hand.

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