The weekly list of free educational events for the association community…

free professional development for association management professionals and their community

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Yes, the ASAE Technology Conference is next week! If you see me there, please introduce yourself (even if we’ve met before because my brain is like a sieve when I’m in a crowd—high-adrenaline social introvert syndrome) and tell me you read Brain Food. You will make my day! I love doing this weekly post, I consider it my community service. But it takes time, as you can imagine, so I’m not too proud to ask for positive feedback. I’ll remember it the next time I’m rushing to get it all done before it’s time to make dinner.

Breaking news: Pantone’s color of the year, Ultra Violet. Not feeling it, but maybe it will grow on me.

Something I never thought about: most people centuries ago, if they read, read out loud. In the 17th century, things changed: “As reading shifted away from the social, some researchers believe this helped create what we now call an interior life.” Readers could “learn and reflect without religious guidance or censure.” Progress!

It’s the season to make your list and check it twice. But I’m going to talk about another type of list—a list of requirements for a new association management system (AMS), you know how I love a good AMS post. Ann McDermott at DelCor Technology Solutions explains how to develop that list and why you should do it before asking around for AMS recommendations or sample RFPs.

A recent Leading Learning newsletter from Tagoras led me to this post about building a new business model by “wandering with purpose” and experimenting until an answer presents itself. Plus, it talks about Thomas Kuhn’s paradigm shift, something we’re experiencing, a concept I fondly remember first learning about in a college theology class, sigh:

“Improving operations and driving efficiency can improve the performance of an established model, but do nothing to mitigate the effects of a paradigm shift. When a model is broken, it’s broken. You need to shift to something else.”

KnowBe4 says: if your IT and Marketing departments are not freaking out about GDPR compliance, you are not paying attention. GDPR stands for EU’s General Data Privacy Regulation which takes effect in May 2018. If you don’t know what I’m talking about or you haven’t heard anyone at your organization talk about GDPR, start by reading this post and then do some Googling.

I was not surprised when Real Magnet and Informz were acquired by Higher Logic. I didn’t know who would acquire them but I figured a deep-pocket organization would eventually. Higher Logic explains why—it’s the potential of integrating online communities with marketing automation:

“…online communities provide additional insights into online behavior and content consumption that can turn into meaningful data for content marketing strategies and persona development. Those insights feed into marketing automation systems to make them more effective at delivering messages that provide value to members.”

Another unsurprising acquisition was Nimble AMS by Community Brands. WBT Systems discusses why so many associations are interested in customer relationship management (CRM) systems and AMSes like Nimble’s—an AMS built on top of Salesforce, a CRM.

Now, the main event: this week’s list of free professional development for the association community. If your organization has a webinar scheduled in the near future, please send me the link. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not too product-centric.

Mon 12/11 at 5 p.m.* – Association Women in Technology Champions Happy Hour Meetup (National Harbor MD)

Location: National Harbor MD. More info/register. See you there!

*All times are Eastern Standard Time unless otherwise noted.

Tue 12/12 at 1 p.m. – Solve Your Association Members’ Unmet Needs: Build DIY Disruption Strategies

Learn how to satisfy member needs and turn your organization into a “disruptor” before someone else does it. More info/register.

Host/Presenters: Wendy W. Scott, CAE, and Bob Reed, MBA, Founders and Partners, ReedScott

Tue 12/12 at 2 p.m. – Farm 2 Table for Group Meals: Event Reality or Foodie Fantasy?

Find out what farm to table is and how it can be embraced. Learn about the primary challenges in the food chain that impact delivery and menu price. Hear about practical solutions for offering Farm 2 Table options within your meeting budget. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA

Presenter: Sharmagne Taylor, CMP, President, On-Site Partners, Inc.

Tue 12/12 at 5:30 p.m. – Chapters Only Happy Hour at ASAE Tech (National Harbor MD)

Got chapters? We know chapters add a whole new layer of complexity to your association, especially in relation to technology. We also recognize there isn’t a place or online community JUST for chapter-based associations to converse. Wouldn’t it be nice to be face-to-face with other technology professionals that understand what you’re going through? So why not join us for a drink…or two? After all, it’s on us! Location: National Harbor MD. More info/register. See you there!

Host: Billhighway

Wed 12/13 at 12 p.m. – Partnership Professionals Network Lunch (Washington DC)

Come and have a good time and network with corporate sponsorship and partnership staff from associations and non-profit organizations. Location: Washington DC. RSVP by Friday 12/8.

Wed 12/13 at 1 p.m. – How Digital Marketing can Create Lasting Buzz Around your Educational Offerings

Explore how digital marketing strategies and tactics can increase reach, engagement, and retention of your education programs. Learn how to use keywords, search engines and social media to drive exposure; monetize your content beyond your current membership/community; increase the number of learners accessing your LMS; and how other associations are leveraging digital marketing. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: CommPartners


  • Chris Mechanic, CEO & Co-Founder, WebMechanix
  • Aubrey Mellos, Marketing Manager, CommPartners

Wed 12/13 at 1 p.m. – Contracts: Accommodations

Learn how to apply the principle of mitigation to performance clauses and understand why it’s sometimes fine to ask for something you may not be legally entitled to; what to ask for and how to deal with pending construction and remodeling that may not have been on the radar at the time of contracting; and, how to evaluate attrition clauses to ensure you’re getting credit for all you should be, and you aren’t paying more than the hotel is legally entitled to in attrition fees. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Meetings Today

Presenter: Jim Goldberg

Wed 12/13 at 6 p.m. – CRP Toast to the New Year! (Washington DC)

We know components (chapters, sections, states, affiliates, etc.) add a whole new layer of complexity to your association. We also recognize that there isn’t a place or online community JUST for chapter-based associations to converse. Wouldn’t it be nice to be face-to-face with other Component Relations Professionals (CRPs) that understand what you’re going through? Let’s continue what we started at CEX: Association Component Exchange by meeting up, exchanging ideas and celebrating together! Join us for a drink…or two. After all, it’s on us! Location: Washington DC. More info/register.

Host: Billhighway

Thu 12/14 at 12 p.m. – Small Staff Association Brown Bag Lunch (Farragut/Dupont, Washington DC)

This casual lunch group of association colleagues is specifically for those who work at small staff associations. Attendees share ideas and ask questions about other associations’ best practices. Location: Washington, DC. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Small Staff Association Professionals

Thu 12/14 at 12 p.m. – Seal the Deal: How to Get Great Job References and Recommendations

Learn how to secure strong references and recommendations, determine who makes a good reference or recommender, approach potential references, and coach your references and recommenders so that their feedback can help you. More info/register.

Host: Association CareerHQ

Presenter: certified career coach Phaedra Brotheron

Thu 12/14 at 2 p.m. – Review Chat 

Join the first-ever #ReviewChat. Hear how Teri Carden built an industry-altering review site in a niche technology market. More info/register.

Host: The Review Society

Moderator: KiKi L’Italien, founder, Amplified Growth

Guest: Teri Carden, founder, ReviewMyAMS

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 photo by Bergadder on Pixabay