Association Brain Food Weekly: 1.10.20

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

As many in my family can tell you, I’m not always good at noticing someone’s sent me a text, so I’m not in need of a digital detox. But if you are, or even if you’re not, you might like this story about a professor who asked his students to try an experiment: turn in their cell phones for nine days and write about living without them. In this MIT Technology Review article, he said, “What they wrote was remarkable, and remarkably consistent.”

If your association has chapters in Europe, you’re already dealing with data privacy regulations, namely GDPR. Many states here are starting to enact similar legislation and it’s only a matter of time before the feds follow suit. Billhighway explains how to handle and prevent chapter data privacy issues—another post in their series on chapters in crisis.

Talk about a crisis… check out this comprehensive timeline from Claire Ryan about the implosion of the Romance Writers Association. Now, think, could anything remotely similar happen to your association—or one of your chapters? I’m sure the staff and volunteer leaders at RWA didn’t think it could and now look.

Maybe one sign of a looming implosion… your conference is stuck in the dark ages. In this Wired article, Dr. Esther Ngumbi and Dr. Brian Lovett discuss the need for exhausting, expensive, and exclusive science conferences to modernize and provide some ideas for improvement. “Perhaps it’s time for a conference reimagining the conference format for the new decade.”

 One way to cut through information overload is to see what other people are reading. That’s why I like the “most popular posts of the past year” posts that come out this time of year, like this one from AMS provider MemberSuite and this one from LMS provider WBT Systems. A common theme throughout both is providing experiences that engage and help associations differentiate themselves from the competition.

Getting back up on my soapbox… California wanted its new law AB5 to protect Uber drivers, but, sadly, it will put freelance writers (and other freelancers) out of business. Nellie Bowles and Noam Scheiber explain why this bill must be amended. Legislators in other states who are considering similar legislation need to think about the impact before passing these poorly written bills.

Quick hits before we get to the list of this week’s free education:

  • Lots of useful advice here: 20 of the best SEO tips for keyword rankings and Google in 2020. (Mike Murray, Content Marketing Institute)
  • How to build a successful content marketing strategy from scratch. (Elise Dopson, Databox)
  • Per study, women don’t self-promote as much as men. (Christine Exley and Judd Kessler, Harvard Business Review)

Good eats—skip down to the list of free webinars etc. if you’re not into cooking:

  • Last week, I shared tons of recipes, but this past week has been all about leftovers and take-out, tsk tsk. I did cook one meal, chicken Milanese, an old stand-by. Alongside, I served blistered green beans with garlic, a delicious simple recipe from Bon Appetit. The leftover beans, chopped up and mixed in mashed potatoes, were excellent.

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 1/13 at 1 p.m.* – Chatting with Agnes & Cecilia

This series of 15-minute videos cover hot topics and issues related to 501c organization management. A new episode is posted every Monday by 1 p.m. More info.


  • Cecilia Sepp, CAE, CNAP, principal and founder, Rogue Tulips LLC
  • Agnes Amos-Coleman, MBA, CMP, education, conference, event, certification consultant, Amos-Coleman

*All times are Eastern Standard Time unless otherwise noted.

Tue 1/14 at 1 p.m. – Top 10 Tips in Software Selection for Managing Associations

Learn how to navigate an enterprise software selection process, avoid the biggest mistakes in your software search, save hundreds of hours in googling, and become a rock star software buyer. More info/register.

Host: Engage Software

Presenter: Chad Stewart

Tue 1/14 at 1 p.m. – 2020 eLearning Formats

Explore 2020 trends (not just out-of-reach AI) that impact learner expectations of your online programs. Try on learning formats you can create in your LMS right now. Take away key criteria for selecting the right format for the right content. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: CommPartners

Presenter: Tracy King, MA, CAE, Chief Learning Strategist & Founder, InspirEd

Tue 1/14 at 1 p.m. – How to Double Your Nonprofit’s Facebook Fundraising

Facebook Giving Tools are not just the next generation fundraising platform – for many new and small charities, they are now the main source of individual giving. Hear case studies from nonprofits of all shapes and sizes who are working out through innovation, trial and error, how to thank, engage and capture new supporters through this new and growing area of social media fundraising. More info/register.

Host: Nonprofit Tech for Good

Presenter: Nick Burne, CEO/Founder of GivePanel – the Power Tool for Facebook Fundraising

Tue 1/14 at 2 p.m. – Association Chat on Twitter (#assnchat)

The original #assnchat Twitter chat is back. Join an online tweet chat with fellow association professionals by following the #assnchat hashtag on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. More info.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, founder, Amplified Growth, and senior consultant, Tecker International

Wed 1/15 at 12 p.m. – Meeting Your HR Needs in 2020 (Washington DC Idea Swap)

Learn how to make the most of your association’s greatest resources—your staff members. Whether you’re adding new team members, refreshing staff skills, or changing your recruitment and retention approach, now is a great time to determine your HR needs. Find out how your association can develop its HR function to improve performance and staff morale in 2020 and beyond. 1 CAE credit. Location: Washington DC. More info/register.

Organizer: ASAE Greater Washington / National Capital Community

Presenter: Cynthia M. Schuler, PHR, SHRM-CP, CPRW

Wed 1/15 at 12 p.m. – How to Train and Manage Your Booth Staff

Learn how to train and manage an effective booth staff that properly engages and qualifies attendees. Hear how to qualify an attendee, engage in effective conversations, select motivated staffers, and find staff training resources and worksheets. More info/register.

Host: Skyline Exhibits

Presenters: Sofia Troutman, Sr. Digital Marketing & Product Innovation Manager, and Danny Pace, Services Product Manager, Skyline Exhibits

Wed 1/15 at 1 p.m. – 5 Human Truths From 3,400+ UX & Research Studies

Based on qualitative research, learn about 5 Universal ‘Human Truths’ that are consistent through digital experiences, whether that be e-commerce and content, application-oriented (e.g. AMS) or networking & social engagement. Find out how users consume content, what influences sharing of content and how to boost sharing, the dangers of ‘inside out design,’ and the impacts of flawed research methods. More info/register.

Host: ACGI Software

Presenter: James Wynne, User Experience Director, Sandstorm Design

Wed 1/15 at 1 p.m. – The Science of Attention and Engagement

A number of myths persist about people’s allegedly ever-shortening attention spans—but what does the science say? In this session, you will learn what the current science says about how attention, willpower, and decision-making interact and how that influences the design of eLearning environments. Having a deeper understanding of this topic will help you create more effective and engaging learning solutions. More info/register.

Host: eLearning Guild

Presenter: Julie Dirksen, Learning Strategist, Usable Learning

Wed 1/15 at 1 p.m. – How to Prove the Value of Your Live Event Program

The average B2B organization spends 40% of its marketing budget on live events, but most event marketers continue to struggle with proving the value of those events. Did you know that event technology, as part of the marketing tech stack, has the power to unlock the mystery behind event leads and give marketers the insights they need to prove event ROI? Join us while we discuss how live events are uniquely capable of delivering incredible returns when integrated as part of a multichannel marketing strategy. More info/register.

Host: Meetings Today

Presenter: Myllisa Patterson, Senior Director, Event Cloud Marketing Campaigns, Cvent

Wed 1/15 at 2 p.m. – 2020’s Top Data and Analytics Trends for Associations

Hear about the top ten data and analytics trends that can have a direct impact on how associations can improve their member engagement, manage their data, leverage data to predict member needs, and so much more. We will share real examples from your association peers and leave you with takeaways to implement in your organization. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Hosts: Association Analytics and Altai Systems

Wed 1/15 at 3 p.m. CST – The Pros and Cons of Having Corporate Partners (Chicago, IL)

Sometimes associations and not-for-profit organizations have a “love-hate relationship” with corporate partners. This session will delineate the advantages and disadvantages of having corporate partners. Then we’ll discuss how to accentuate the advantages and overcome the disadvantages. Join us for an informative discussion followed by a networking reception. 1.5 CAE credits. Location: Chicago IL. More info/register. (free for Association Forum members)

Hosts: Partnership Professionals Network and Association Forum

Thu 1/16 at 11 a.m. – The Trouble with Tech Debt and How to Get Rid of It

That easy and “cost-effective” platform or technical solution sounded good at the time, but now you must pay for costly upgrades and patches. Even worse, upgrades have slipped and left the organization with a broken, outdated and unpatched system that will cost twice to fix what it was to implement—this is a bad case of tech debt. Hear about a framework for identifying tech debt in your organization. Learn when and why staff might be hanging on to old systems, how to sniff out and prevent future technical debt, and how to identify quality technology software products, services, and investments. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Matrix Group

Presenters: Matrix Group CTO Maki Kato, MatrixMaxx Product Manager Tanya Kennedy Luminati, and CEO Joanna Pineda

Thu 1/16 at 12 p.m. – Chapter Benchmark Report: What the Data, Success Stories & Opinions Tell Us

Join a discussion based on industry data from the latest Chapter Benchmarking Report. We’ll share stories on what methods associations have used to leverage their data, and how they have helped chapters and staff make better decisions. Find out how your chapter programs compare to those of other associations; what the standard practices are regarding chapter membership, programming, requirements, and metrics; what support and services you should be giving chapters; and how you can assess the performance and value of your chapters. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Hosts: Billhighway and Mariner Management

Presenters: Peter Houstle and Peggy Hoffman, Mariner Management

Thu 1/16 at 2 p.m. – Foresights Talk

Hear why it’s important to create full-bodied experiences of the future in order to truly immerse people in your vision. More info/register.

Host: Institute for the Future

Presenters: award-winning design futurists and the instructors of IFTF’s new Design Futures Training, Dr. Jake Dunagan and Jacques Barcia

Wed 1/22 at 1 p.m. – The Business of Customer Education – How to Cultivate Sustainable Growth

Educating members and nonmembers about your professional development programs is not just good business. It’s also profitable business. They’ll put your products to use faster and more effectively. Speed counts because successful customers are more likely to buy again from you and recommend you to others. Learn what it takes to build a successful customer education program, the kind of structure that will scale well with your business, and how you can win executive approval for this approach. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Talented Learning


  • John Leh, Lead Analyst, Talented Learning
  • Khalid Shaikh, Head of Customer Learning Services, DataStax
  • Bill Cushard, Director of Marketing, ServiceRocket

Thu 1/23 at 1 p.m. – LMS Selection: Mastering the Process, Avoiding the Pitfalls

Great content is only part of the equation for successful online education—most organizations also need a way to effectively deliver the content, track participation, and manage credit and certificates. The right technology can mean the difference between a big success and a big headache, but the selection process can be daunting. Hear about a time-tested process for selecting a learning management system and the pitfalls to avoid. Get a clear understanding of how to lead your organization in choosing the right learning technology.

1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Tagoras

Presenters: Celisa Steele and Jeff Cobb, co-founders of Leading Learning and Tagoras

Fri 1/24 at 1 p.m. – Unlocking the Member Voice: An All New Member Benefit and Revenue Generator

You can help your members make smarter buying decisions, give them a place to voice opinions on products and services they use at work all while creating a new unexpected source of non-dues revenue for your organization. Learn how to use a review site to elevate your organization and industry. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Matrix Group


  • Matrix Group CEO Joanna Pineda
  • 100Reviews Co-Founder Teri Carden

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 before Thursday afternoon.

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Creative Commons image by Jeremy Stanley via Unsplash

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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