Association Brain Food Weekly: 2.17.17


A month ago, I shared an article about morning routines and mentioned making changes to my own. I’m happy to report my mornings are more productive now – and I haven’t suffered. The biggest change is not going on the web until around noon. Seems so obvious in hindsight.

I used to go online to quickly check my emails for anything important and I’d end up reading newsletters and community digests, moving onto Hootsuite, falling down the black hole of clicking on tweeted links, reading more articles, and oh why not just a glance at LinkedIn too, then more newsletters and suddenly hours have flown by. No more.

I start my day by reading a book. You remember those. I set the timer to 20 minutes. When it goes off, I read to the next natural stopping place. Next, I meditate for 20 minutes. After that I journal about anything on my mind, three things I’m thankful for, and three things I want to accomplish today.

Then I get to work with my mind in the right place. If it’s a yoga day, sometimes I practice before work or I save it for a few hours later. If it’s a running/walking day, I’ve been saving it for later because it’s been cold and, more importantly, because it still exhausts me. Maybe that will change when I’m a stronger runner.

Around noon I check emails for the first time but I save online reading for later in the day when my brain is pooped from writing and researching. The question I have for myself is: why didn’t I figure this out earlier? Live and learn.

I realize this type of schedule is easier for a freelancer like me but you may find ways to make your day more productive by batching tasks or disabling notifications. Or waking up just a little bit earlier to snatch some quiet time for yourself.

Back to business, here are a few of my favorite reads from this week.

Amy Sample Ward, CEO of NTEN, says, “Nonprofits will have to invest in both the people and technologies they’ll need to fulfill their missions in the future.” She identifies three jobs nonprofits will have to fill in the future. I wonder if any of these jobs are in associations’ future too.

Phishing emails are becoming more common and more difficult to detect, just ask John Podesta. Hackers use spoofed email addresses to trick people into clicking links and opening attachments. DelCor’s Chris Ecker and Dan Lautman explain how to spoof-proof your organization’s incoming and outgoing emails.

Speaking of geeks, heh heh, if you’re an IT professional, check out this tech geek guide to talking to other people at work by Anett Grant. Very handy if you’re trying to persuade colleagues to adopt better cybersecurity habits.

So many books, so little time. Is that how you feel too? Neil Pasricha has advice on how to read a lot more books this year. Seeing how he’s the director of The Institute for Global Happiness, I’m thinking he knows a thing or two about getting the most out of life.

Now, onto the list of this week’s free webinars and learning events. If you host webinars, check out Blue Sky eLearn’s webinar on Friday about, wait for it, webinars.

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 2/21 at 10 a.m.* – EMEC Prep

If you’re eager to get the most out of your time at the European Meetings & Events Conference, think of this webinar as a “must-attend.” Familiarize yourself with the innovative ways you can learn and network with your colleagues in the industry, both inside and outside of the classroom. Hear a review of this year’s offerings in an interactive and personalized manner so you can choose the areas of the most value and interest to you. More info/register.

Host: MPI

Presenter: Jessie States, CMM, manager of professional development, MPI

*All times are Eastern Standard Time unless otherwise noted.

Tue 2/21 at 2 p.m. – Association Chat

Watch/participate live or view the recording.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, founder, Amplified Growth

Tue 2/21 at 2 p.m. – 5 Best Strategies for Successful Membership Growth

Need a fresh approach to association growth in 2017? Plan to join the discussion. More info/register.

Host: The Moery Company

Wed 2/22 at 7:30 a.m. – The Billhighway Road Show (Reston VA)

Join a gathering of liked-minded folks from chapter-based associations that face similar challenges to discuss ideas and solutions for measuring and increasing the health of chapters and how it can be done; best practices for chapter operations (volunteer tools, processes, etc.); and how to get the right statistics which will help prevent members, at both the national and chapter level, from leaving. Location: Reston VA. More info/register.

Host: Billhighway

Wed 2/22 at 1 p.m. – Top Trends in Experiential Marketing for 2017

Learn about the latest trends to engage your guests and make your brand resonate with your participants. Discover what exciting events are doing in experiential, the role of technology in experiential events and how can you make the most out of it, and cutting edge tactics to get the wow factor. More info/register.

Hosts: EventMB and Eventbrite

Presenter: Julius Solaris, editor, EventMB

Wed 2/22 at 2 p.m. – How Non-Dues Revenue Keeps Your Association Afloat and the 5 Best Ways to Maximize It

Learn how to maximize your non-dues revenue earning potential. Find out how to implement best practices for effective advertising sales; gain a better understanding of your communications strengths and opportunities; craft a compelling media strategy to boost advertisers’ success and ROI; and best leverage your resources to sell smarter, not harder, for maximum return. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Naylor Solutions


  • Tara Ericson, group vice president, Naylor Association Solutions
  • Jon Meurlott, group vice president, Naylor Association Solutions

Wed 2/22 at 2 p.m. – 5 Things You Need to Know about Optimizing Your Event with Sponsorship

From new tech activations to new visibility methods, learn how you can align your brand and messaging to create optimal ROI for both you and your sponsors. More info/register.

Host: FMAV

Wed 2/22 at 3:30 p.m. – AENC Charlotte Connection Event (Charlotte NC)

Join us for conversation and networking and helping to plan future activities in the area. Location: Charlotte, NC. Info/register.

Wed 2/22 at 4 p.m. – Simple Ways to Use Technology to Improve Your Event

Find out how to identify and select easy-to-use tools that can help with event planning, content management, analytics, website management, marketing, scheduling and more. Learn how to best use these tools to meet your event’s needs, improve attendee experience, and increase event ROI. More info/register.

Hosts: Hubb and Event Tech Tribe

Presenter: Allie Magyar, CEO and founder, Hubb

Thu 2/23 at 12 p.m. – Show Some TLC to Your Chapter KPIs

Explore the importance of lagging and leading KPIs to develop effective dashboards. Learn why the right KPIs are important to help you move the needle and then dive into examples of KPIs you should be tracking. The session will walk through a template on how to create your own top-notch KPIs and provide a demo of how to spin up your own dashboard. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Billhighway

Presenter: Kyle Bazzy, director of growth, Billhighway

Thu 2/23 at 12 p.m. – 3 Microlearning Methods to Make your e-Learning Program a Success

For a majority of your members, dedicating time to focus on continuing education is difficult, yet often required for their professional certification maintenance. Learn three microlearning methods to boost the success of your learning plan amid busy professionals and declining completion rates. More info/register.

Host: YourMembership

Thu 2/23 at 1 p.m. – The Learning Business Maturity Model: What It Is and How to Use It to Set Your Strategic Direction

Find out what we mean by a “learning and education business.” Take a close look at five domains we’ve found to be critical to the success of learning and education businesses (leadership, strategy, capacity, portfolio, and marketing). Take home suggestions for how you can use the model to assess the maturity of your organization’s learning business and set plans for growth and improvement. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Tagoras

Presenters: Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele, founders, Tagoras

Thu 2/23 at 1 p.m. – Association Women in Technology (Washington DC)

A community is forming in the DC-area to provide support, sponsorship, and networking opportunities for women association leaders in technology. At the meetup you’ll connect with other women who serve in a variety of technology-related roles at different levels in their associations and have a safe space to swap stories, share advice, and learn from each other’s successes. You’ll also be able to give input on the types of networking, collaboration, and informal learning opportunities you’d like to participate in to continue growing as a female technology leader. Location: Washington, DC. More info/register.

Organizers: Gretchen Steenstra, Moira Edwards, Rhea Steele, Rebecca Achurch, Gayathri Kher, Tori Liu, Rene Shonerd

Thu 2/23 at 2 p.m. – Turn Your Website into a Membership Growth Engine

Even someone without any tech experience can turn their website into a new member recruiter — in just an afternoon. Learn about three website changes that will start attracting new members right away; how to get volunteers to easily make updates by themselves (even if they don’t have any tech experience); and how other organizations use their website to drive membership growth. More info/register.

Host: Wild Apricot

Presenter: Terry Ibele, growth specialist, Wild Apricot

Thu 2/23 at 4 p.m. – Professional Development Book Club

Grab a copy of Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit and start reading, then join the PD Book Club for a video conference to discuss the book and how it relates to the work you do as a PD professional. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Professional Development Section

Fri 2/24 at 1 p.m. – The 6 W’s of Webinar Promotion: Fill More Seats with Qualified Prospects

Learn the 6 questions to ask when developing your webinar promotion plan, plus proven marketing strategies to get your prospects to open up, sign up and show up. Discover ways to zero in on your target audience – and where to find prospects, 3 tools for promoting your webinars – without using email, proven copywriting tips to entice prospects and compel them to register, and when to start marketing your webinar – and how often to send promotions. More info/register.

Host: Blue Sky eLearn

Presenter: Jenny Hamby, seminar marketing coach and direct-response copywriter

Save the date: Wed 3/1 at 4 p.m. – Association Open House (Washington DC)

Hear about the emerging shifts and trends in volunteering that associations should discuss within their strategic visioning and planning process. 1 CAE credit. Location: Washington, DC. More info/register.

Host: Institute for Organization Management

Presenter: Lowell Aplebaum, CAE, Institute faculty member

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 the forest by Michail Prohorov

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.

2 thoughts on “Association Brain Food Weekly: 2.17.17”

  1. Diedre – love the new routine! I have a “Get Shit Done” time from 9am-12pm scheduled in my calendar (to keep out meeting requests!) but it includes getting online and you know how that goes!! I’ll try some of your ideas for starting the day. I really like the time for reading!

    Regarding the three jobs non-profits need, I would say that this definitely applies to associations as well. A Chief Culture Officer is critical to ANY organization as it keeps our minds on our core values and how we live by them (at least that’s how it works for Aptify). Also, the Data Scientist and UX Designer roles are needed now…not in the future. But it will all require vision from association leaders to reprioritize $$ and people. Fingers crossed!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The timer on my phone helps me limit online reading time. It works best when I put it across the room and have to get up to turn it off — but I always close tabs before doing that. If I’m expecting a reply back from a client — a reply that could affect my morning work — I’ll use my phone to quickly check my inbox, but that’s it.


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