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

Free professional development resources and events for CAEs, association staff and others in the association community

Oh my god, Millennials, Gen Z, they’re here! Quick, change everything about your educational programs because these young folks are soooo different. No, don’t. Don’t fall for sensational generational learning myths. WBT Systems explains what you really need to think about when developing and marketing education for all generations.

If you haven’t tried member journey mapping, let me tell you, you’re going to love it. So enlightening, I kid you not. We did one at the Association Component Exchange (CEX) last fall, thanks to the tutelage of Diane Magers, CEO of the Customer Experience Professionals Association. In a two-part post (part 1 and part 2), Billhighway walks you through the steps of this transformative exercise. Put it on your calendar!

Speaking of calendars, MemberSuite suggests making this the year you schedule time for professional growth. Yes! They suggest all kinds of free educational options in the association community (including Association Brain Food) and provide advice on getting your boss to support your professional development needs.

Some quick hits before we get to the list of next week’s free webinars:

  • More calendar talk: why your association should use a content calendar in 2019. (Tim Ebner, Associations Now)
  • Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian says we’ve hit “peak social” and users will migrate away from social networks (like Facebook) to more community-focused platforms. Is this an opportunity for associations? (Isobel Asher Hamilton, Business Insider Australia)
  • How to quickly check if a link or website is safe. (Clifford Chi, HubSpot)

Here are the educational events scheduled for next week. If you have any free webinars or events coming up, please send me the link. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not product-centric.

Mon 1/28 at 12:30 p.m.* – New Year, Fresh Start: Clean Data for Big Results

Explore ways to kick off 2019 with optimized data designed to deliver the results your organization is looking for, including the real impact of poor data on your organization, how to identify and understand the root cause of bad data quality, and practical tips and techniques to get your data healthy – and keep it that way. More info/register.

Host: Personify

*All times are Eastern Daylight Time unless otherwise noted.

Tue 1/29 at 8:30 a.m. – New Year, New Digital Strategy (Association Coffee Talk, Alexandria VA)

Let’s start 2019 with a discussion around your digital strategy. How are you planning to use web and mobile to create personalized experiences for your members? What (and whom) will you need to help accomplish your goals? Join this Coffee Talk to share your resolutions, hear best practices, and exchange ideas with your peers. 1 CAE credit. Location: Alexandria VA. More info/register.

Host: Results Direct

Tue 1/29 at 1 p.m. – Event Technologists: The New Role Taking Over the Events Industry: Who Are These People and Why Are They So Powerful?

Not a geek, not an administrator, this leadership role is now one of the most critical in the event industry. Event technologists could be directing event technology strategy, making purchasing decisions, collecting and interpreting analytics, live wiring experiential touch-points and inventing experiences too. Find out more about the opportunities this role offers corporates, associations and individuals and why it will be the number one job in the industry in 2019. More info/register.

Host: Event Tech Tribe

Presenters: Michelle Bruno, President of the Bruno Group, and Marie-Claire Andrews, CEO of the Event Tech Tribe

Tue 1/29 at 2 p.m. – Branded Entertainment and Content Storytelling (Association Chat)

Guest David Beebe talks with Association Chat about the changing media landscape and transforming marketing organizations and brands to create creative and content that wins the hearts, minds, and wallets of members in an age of disruption. More info/register.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, founder, Amplified Growth

Tue 1/29 at 2 p.m. – 3 Steps to Effective Storytelling to Grow Your Memberships

Are you finding it a challenge to grow membership? For many organizations, the culprit is not telling the right stories to motivate your target audience. Learn how some of the most successful membership organizations use strategic storytelling to attract and engage members. Find out why storytelling is important to grow your membership program, the 5 key ingredients of effective storytelling, and 3 ways to use storytelling to attract new members. More info/register.

Host: Wild Apricot

Presenter: Vanessa Chase Lockshin, The Storytelling Nonprofit

Tue 1/29 at 2 p.m. – The Top Ten Two-Minute Tips for Inclusive Meetings (Meetings Master Classes 2019 Session 1)

Unconscious bias in meeting design can exclude some of your potential attendees and degrade the meeting experience for others. As well as potential legal consequences, overlooking the needs of certain groups or individuals can limit the breadth of contributions and impoverish the experience for all attendees. Learn about simple strategies that can overcome bias and create a welcoming event for everyone. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: MeetingsNet

Presenter: Tahira Endean, CMP, DES, CED, Head of events at the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence

Wed 1/30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – PCMA Convening Leaders Live Rebroadcast

The PCMA Digital Experience Institute will rebroadcast the most discussed sessions from “Disrupt + Deliver” in Pittsburgh. 5 CMP credits. More info/register.

Host: PCMA Digital Experience Institute

Wed 1/30 at 1 p.m. – Ways to Save: Maximizing Your Meetings Budget

Learn specific methods to generate real cost savings, including metrics to define and measure results. Understand industry issues and trends that impact value based negotiations. Review key cost savings strategies, including room rates, concessions, food and beverage, audiovisual, hotel fees and surcharges for Internet/technology support services. Learn methods to create value formulas and metrics that define, measure and report success. More info/register.

Host: Meetings Today

Presenter: Terri Woodin

Wed 1/30 at 2 p.m. – How to Get the Attention of the New Congress

Learn the best ways to grab the attention of the new members of Congress. More info/register.

Host: Phone2Action


  • Sam Morgante, Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Dorian Wanzer, Senior Manager, Grassroots Advocacy, The American Institute of Architects

Wed 1/30 at 2 p.m. – 7 Trends Shaping Experiential Events

Understand the differences between events and experiences. Get basic strategic principles, from portfolio planning to measurement and optimization. Explore experience design methodologies, including security, experience platform development and journey mapping. Learn what major brands are doing to drive engagement and become more memorable, and how to personalize experiences at scale. More info/register.

Host: Pathable

Presenter: Lindsay Martin-Bilbrey, CMP, Pathable

Thu 1/31 at 8:30 a.m. – New Year, New Digital Strategy (Association Coffee Talk, Reston VA)

Let’s start 2019 with a discussion around your digital strategy. How are you planning to use web and mobile to create personalized experiences for your members? What (and whom) will you need to help accomplish your goals? Join this Coffee Talk to share your resolutions, hear best practices, and exchange ideas with your peers. 1 CAE credit. Location: Reston VA. More info/register.

Host: Alexandra Mouw, CAE, and Dan Scheeler, CAE, Results Direct

Thu 1/31 at 1 p.m. – How to Reduce Time-to-Value with Modern Customer Training

For mission-driven organizations and commercial businesses, alike, onboarding customers as quickly as possible is a smart move. Learn how effective training accelerates customer time-to-value, why time-to-value can make or break your success, the critical connection between onboarding and time-to-value, how learning platforms are evolving to support these strategies, how quick wins and learning pathways drive customer engagement, and which customer training KPIs matter and why. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Hosts: Talented Learning and Thought Industries


  • John Leh, CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning
  • Samma Hafeez, VP of Customer Success at Thought Industries

Thu 1/31 at 1 p.m. – User Generated Content for Associations

Did you know that 86% of organizations are now utilizing user-generated content as part of their marketing strategy and websites with featured UGC report a 20% increase in return visitors? Learn how to power your association’s marketing with content created from your members and harness the benefits of user generated content. More info/register.

Host: Unleashed Technologies

Presenter: Chris Forhan, Director of Growth at Unleashed Technologies

Thu 1/31 at 2 p.m. – Payment Processing 101

Learn how payments process through online transactions so you can assure your members of safe and secure ecommerce from your association. Understand payment technology terms, for example, a gateway from a processor and a merchant account from an acquiring bank. Know where your AMS platform meets critical points in the payment processing chain. Learn about fraud management tools that help you mitigate risk on transactions. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: EnSYNC Corporation

Tue 2/5 at 2 p.m. – From Hollywood to Silicon Valley: Bridging Content and Technology (Association Chat)

From Hollywood to Silicon Valley to Broadway to associations… what has Hollywood’s first social media talent agent learned about social media marketing since his days of teaching Johnny Depp to tweet and what can association marketers learn from his lessons? More info/register.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, founder Amplified Growth

Guest: Eric Kuhn

Wed 2/6 at 8:30 a.m. – How to Get Organized Internally to Ensure Corporate Partnership Program Revenue Growth (Chicago IL)

Location: Chicago IL. RSVP.

Organizer: Partnerships Professional Network Idea Exchange

Thu 2/7 at 12 p.m. – How to Get Organized Internally to Ensure Corporate Partnership Program Revenue Growth (Washington DC)

Location: Washington DC. RSVP.

Organizer: Partnerships Professional Network Idea Exchange

That’s it for now. 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 free professional development for the association community, please send me the link via email or Twitter.

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Creative Commons image by Annie Spratt via Unsplash