Association Brain Food Weekly: 5.24.19

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

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

Billhighway asks, “Do your chapter awards spark joy?” If your chapter awards program has turned into an obligatory yet tortuous task and yawn-inducing night of ho hum, take a look at Billhighway’s new series of posts. They suggest ideas for unconventional approaches to awards programs; increasing entries; scoring, selecting, and awarding winners; livening up the award presentation; and sharing the winners’ success stories.

Who’s in charge of talent development at your association? Anyone? Bueller? Associations put a lot of effort into educating their members and market, but meanwhile, no one in the association is focused on educating their own staff. And that’s not good in this competitive talent marketplace. WBT Systems takes a look at this unsettling situation and suggests ways to bring learning into the association workplace.

Instead of complaining about departmental silos, do something about them, like the American College of Radiology did with their Coffee Chats. The Association Adviser says, “This engagement initiative randomly pairs employees throughout the organization — from the C-suite to building operations — to meet in-person or virtually to talk about their work and interests over a free Starbucks coffee or other beverage.” So smart.

Are you an association content strategy professional—or wannabe? Check out this new community, Content Forum, organized by Dina Lewis, CAE—your new place to hang out and geek out.

B2B SaaS marketers, you may want to review these SaaS content marketing statistics from Emily Byford. They could be useful for benchmarking or making a case for a bigger budget.

And, once you have that budget, check out the ultimate guide to content marketing strategy from SEMrush.

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

  • Ugh, hopefully this has never happened to you. This isn’t the job I signed up for: when employers oversell themselves and new hires wind up in roles that aren’t exactly as advertised. (Jared Lindzon, Fast Company)
  • Contra Vance, heh heh. There’s a lot more to Appalachia than what you find in mainstream books and movies. (Rachel Bryan, The Baffler)
  • These prints were all over my bedroom walls when I was a kid. The sordid truth behind Degas’s ballet dancers. (Julia Wolkoff, Artsy)

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.

Tue 5/28 at 12:30 p.m.* – Digital Badges for Associations: Using Micro-Credentials to Boost Member Engagement

Learn about digital badges for associations. Hear insights on useful tools for issuers of credentials, the earners of those credentials and those who consume those credentials. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Web Courseworks

Presenter: Pat Leonard, Vice President for Business Development, Credly

*All times are Eastern Daylight Time unless otherwise noted.

Tue 5/28 at 2 p.m. – How to Build Memberships at Every Step in Your Organization’s Life Cycle

Learn how being more intentional about your infrastructure, partnerships and contracts can help you keep growing steadily. Find out how to refine your organization’s goals and vision, and hear about 3 keys to making the most of your partnerships – both existing and new. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Wild Apricot

Presenter: nonprofit legal expert Erin McClarty

Tue 5/28 at 2 p.m. – Back Off! How to Design an Effective Meeting Code of Conduct

It’s not enough to just have a sexual harassment policy or meeting code of conduct if your meeting planning team and event attendees don’t understand it or there are no real consequences for the harasser. Learn how to create and enforce a meeting code of conduct (or ensure your existing policy has real teeth), and strategies for communicating the policy. 0.5 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: MeetingsNet

Presenter: Stephanie Davis, Esq., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, President of Employment Practices Solutions

Tue 5/28 at 2:00 p.m. – How a Small Comm Shop Can Execute a Killer Communications Strategy

Many associations say the #1 communications challenge is the struggle to relay their membership value proposition because they don’t have the bandwidth to execute. The struggle is real. Learn about a strategic communications effort that a small comm shop can lead. More info/register.

Host: The Moery Company

Presenter: J.P. Moery, founder, The Moery Company

Wed 5/29 at 1 p.m. – Content Forum Check-In

Join Content Forum colleagues for a 15-minute chat about association and nonprofit content strategy. Share your wins and challenges, and get answers to your burning questions. More info/register.

Host: Content Forum

Wed 5/29 at 1 p.m. – Know Before You Go: International Meetings and Security Tips

Learn how cultural and language issues can affect meeting planning, execution and negotiation; key international contacts you must include in the planning and execution of your meeting; safety and security needs that must be undertaken when meeting abroad; and how contracts may differ for international meetings. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Meetings Today

Presenter: Eric Rozenberg, meetings industry veteran with years of experience planning international meetings

Thu 5/30 at 12 p.m. – Three Reasons Why Associations Must Refocus Governing on the Future…and Three Ways to Do It (Washington DC Idea Swap)

During the last decade, we’ve been giving association boards the wrong work. We should’ve insisted that boards devote more of their attention to understanding, anticipating and preparing for the inevitable impact of the societal transformation that was unfolding before our eyes. We should’ve taken steps to ensure they overcame their preference for short-term, orthodox thinking. Learn why it’s so critical to refocus association governing on the future, as well as three next practices to make it happen. 1 CAE credit. Location: Washington DC. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Greater Washington / National Capital Community

Presenter: Jeff De Cagna, executive advisor for Foresight First LLC

Thu 5/30 at 12 p.m. – Evaluating Executive Benefit Options in the New Nonprofit Tax Environment

Learn about the impact of recent changes in tax law on executive benefit decisions, along with specific areas that a tax-exempt organization should evaluate before deciding on a particular executive benefit structure, including financial statement impact, design and asset efficiency, and disclosures. Find out how to structure a process that results in an objective decision that eliminates bias, properly documents the decision, and provides a structure for similar decisions in the future. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE

Thu 5/30 at 1 p.m. – Harnessing Chapters Using Data Analytics: IPA Success Story

The Illinois Principals Association (IPA) faced several years of declining attendance at their annual conference and wanted to involve their 21 chapters in remedying that. Learn how IPA determined registration goals for each chapter, provided real-time goal tracking to show each chapter their progress, incentivized the chapters, used grassroots marketing for a 700% ROI on registration campaigns, and increased annual conference attendance by 30% in just one year. More info/register.

Host: Gravitate Solutions

Presenter: Drew Thomason, Director of Marketing & Communication, Illinois Principals Association

Thu 5/30 at 1 p.m. – How to Drive Learning in Hard-to-Reach Places: Strategies from Non-Profit Organizations

What can you learn from some of the planet’s best-known NGOs, such as Habitat for Humanity, World Wildlife Fund and Save The Children, that offer workforce training in tough environments? Discover how to assess and prioritize skills across diverse, decentralized environments; anticipate and avoid common compliance risks at a local, national and international level; source, develop and leverage training content; verify content value and effectiveness; and avoid technical challenges in unpredictable environments. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Talented Learning


  • John Leh, Lead Analyst at Talented Learning
  • Ross Coxon, Director of Learning Collaborative at Humentum
  • Bill Mastin, EVP at PeopleFluent Learning

Thu 5/30 at 1 p.m. – The Road to Member Engagement Is Paved with Personalized Marketing

Learn how to gather your best member interactions and pivot from simply collecting data to modernizing your member outreach and engagement strategies. Find out how content personalization can drastically improve member outreach through analyzing interactions and thinking beyond just recipients, as well as leveraging the predictive nature of online activities to tailor the whole member experience. More info/register.

Host: ACGI Software

Presenter: Vivian Swertinski Senior Manager, Strategic Services, Higher Logic

Thu 5/30 at 1 p.m. – Live Long and Prosper: Extending the Life of your Learning to Drive Revenue

Find out how you can repurpose content to appeal to broader audiences of learners that have varying preferences for how they learn and boost revenue at the same time. Hear ten ideas for repurposing content that will help you increase non-dues revenue while becoming the trusted provider of content to your learners. More info/register.

Host: Feathr


  • Kara Adams, M.Ed., CAE, Client Success Manager, Blue Sky eLearn
  • Amanda Davis, CMP, Business Development Manager, Blue Sky eLearn
  • Abhay Khurana, CMO, Feathr

Thu 5/30 at 2 p.m. – Leveraging Member Data to Create Unique Online Experiences

Find out how to create better online experiences using member data. Learn from real, actionable examples that will help your association provide members with the online experience they never knew they needed. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Protech

Presenter: Beth Lilienstein, Protech

Thu 5/30 at 3 p.m. – Diversity of Thought and Inclusion of Ideas Conference Call 

Join association professionals, industry partners, and consultants who have dug into ASAE ForesightWorks resources and started to identify change drivers affecting their industries. Come prepared to share your successes, your challenges, and insight into this process. More info/register.

Host: ASAE National Capital Area Advisory Council

Fri 5/31 at 11 a.m. – Social Media TNT: How to Use Technology + Trust to Mobilize What Matters

Learn how social media, story, and trust are connected. Discover the opportunities for search and social media success that most executives miss and the ways you can use this information to supercharge your marketing and membership initiatives. Learn how you can build a stronger community by articulating your bigger story, creating and sharing great content, and showing up and responding to the people who connect with it. More info/register.

Host/Presenter: KiKi L’Italien, founder, Amplified Growth

Thu 6/6 at 12 p.m. – Partnership Professionals Network Idea Exchange (Washington DC)

In the coming few months, many companies will begin drafting their marketing budgets and selecting association sponsorships for their upcoming fiscal year. Companies are scrutinizing their sponsorships and seeking opportunities for increased ROI. Join a discussion on how to improve your association’s chances of being selected for sponsorship by these companies. Location: Washington DC. More info/register.

Organizer: Bruce Rosenthal

Thu 6/6 at 2 p.m. – Small Staff Association Book Club

Join a discussion of Daniel Pink’s When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. More info/register.

Organizer: ASAE Small Staff Association Professionals Community

Thu 6/6 at 5:30 p.m. – Cheers to Chapters Happy Hour (Washington DC)

Ready for a networking event that brings together component relations and membership association professionals, just like you? Join us for a few cocktails (on us), and a unique opportunity to network and exchange ideas with other like-minded association professionals. Let’s take the community offline and make face-to-face connections with other component-based organizations. Location: Washington DC. More info/register.

Hosts: Billhighway and Community Brands

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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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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