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

WBT Systems encourages associations to provide educational programs for vendor members—you may call them affiliate, associate, or supplier members, I like to think of them as industry partners. These members need industry knowledge. And, whether they know it or not, they need to learn how to effectively network and build relationships with fellow members.

I also like a term I picked up from Bruce Rosenthal: “corporate partners” instead of “sponsors.” At Association Success, he explains how associations can provide real ROI value to their corporate partners, instead of the minimal transactional value they usually provide.

You can’t take anyone’s inbox and attention for granted. Maybe you can get a member to open your email, but will they read it, or at least skim it, to the end? MemberSuite shares four tactics for improving email content and format that will make your emails more compelling and engaging.

If your association still has a file storage server in a closet somewhere, you need to read this article by Brian Sheehan at DelCor Technology Solutions. He explains how cloud-based file storage solutions have changed in the last six months and what you need to consider before making a choice.

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

  • Quartz hired three Fiverr workers to write about Fiverr’s IPO. Lesson: you get what you pay for. (Alison Griswold, Quartz)
  • A compelling argument: scientific research shouldn’t sit behind a paywall. (Randy Schekman, Scientific American)
  • Is voice over-hyped? A new survey suggests lower adoption than previously thought. (Greg Sterling, Search Engine Land)

Good eats:

  • A few things I love about this recipe for “jammy” summer squash and basil pasta… It’s easy and scrumptious. You have a reason to splurge on big ziti-style pasta tubes from that specialty brand you normally don’t purchase. A mix of cayenne pepper and sweet paprika can fill in for Aleppo pepper, but now you have an excuse to buy Aleppo pepper for next time. A few nights later, forget the pasta and just make squash this way, yum.
  • I sense a meatball phase coming on. Blame these chorizo meatballs. Instead of red onion, I used spring onions because they’re taking over my produce drawer (blame my CSA), and wheat breadcrumbs because I forgot to buy bread and all we had was an old wheat hot dog roll—perfect. By the way, Leite’s Culinaria recipes never fail.

Here are the educational events scheduled for the next two weeks – there’s nothing going on next week due to the holiday. 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.


I usually don’t list events with a registration fee but since it’s quiet around here, and the Billhighway and Mariner folks are friends of mine, I’m making an exception just this once.

Wed 7/10 at 8:00 a.m.* – Chapter Workshop: Leverage Chapters to Engage & Grow Membership (Washington DC)

Learn how to leverage chapters as a channel to reach new audiences, tap into (and boost) chapters’ unique ability to provide community and optimize the member experience, and leverage chapter experiences to drive community influencers. Dive into how you can lead, support and measure these initiatives. You’ll have a stronger channel and your chapter network will be aligned to association membership goals. CAE credits. Location: Washington DC. More info/register (fee).

Hosts: Billhighway and Mariner Management & Marketing

*All times are Eastern Daylight Time unless otherwise noted.


Wed 7/10 at 12 p.m. – Learning from Successful Advocacy Campaigns

Successful advocacy campaigns have impact only if you have clear goals and objectives, a strategy and tactic in place, and metrics to evaluate success. During this live chat, award-winning panelists from the American Massage Therapy Association for their advocacy campaign on Addressing the Opioid Epidemic with Massage Therapy will be available to answer any questions you have about planning and launching a successful advocacy campaign. More info/register.

Organizer: ASAE Communications Professionals Community

Presenters: Jocelyn Pysarchuk, Senior Director of Knowledge Transfer, and Kristin Taylor, Strategist, Communications & Content, American Massage Therapy Association


Thu 7/11 at 11 a.m. – What’s New in User Experience?

Member engagement, client happiness, customer satisfaction—they are all related to User Experience. Learn how to audit your current customer and member journeys, determine where the pain points are, and use design to make an experience intuitive and smooth. Find out how crossing systems (e.g., from CMS to CRM or AMS to LMS) is often where user experiences go south and what to do about it. Hear recent examples of user experiences that we optimized for our clients and what we learned as a result. More info/register.

Host: Matrix Group

Presenters: Matrix Group CEO Joanna Pineda, Creative Director Alex Pineda, and Senior Consultant Kevin VanEvery


Thu 7/11 at 2 p.m. – Welcoming Diverse Travelers with More Inclusive Events

Organizers want everyone to feel welcome at their events, but LGBTQ+ attendees face challenges that are often not understood or even addressed by the industry. From gender-neutral bathrooms to inclusive language, forward-thinking planners and venues are stepping up their efforts to welcome gender-diverse attendees and breakdown heterosexual biases. Take a closer look at who LGBTQ+ attendees are, what their particular needs and sensitivities are, and how their experience can inform a more inclusive welcome for all attendees. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA

Presenters: Billy Kolber, Ed Salvato, and Kenny Porpora, co-founders of HospitableMe


Thu 7/11 at 3 p.m. – ASAE Reston Loudoun Idea Swap (Reston VA)

Save the date, more info to follow.

1 CAE credit. Location: Reston VA.

Organizer: ASAE Greater Washington / National Capital Community


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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