Association Brain Food Weekly: 1.31.20

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

Marketing General Inc.’s (MGI) 2020 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Survey is open. If you received an email from MGI with a personal link, please use that. If not, go to to participate in one of my favorite benchmarking studies.

Whenever I come across a volunteer-run chapter, I’m amazed it even exists. How do chapter leaders with full-time jobs find the time and energy to manage a chapter? Even more shocking (to me), year after year, new leaders take the reins—until they don’t. Billhighway shares advice on handling and preventing leadership succession problems.

You don’t often see one of the most valuable membership benefits listed on an association’s website: a sense of belonging and community. MemberSuite explains how to help members develop relationships and have experiences that will give them a sense of belonging and community.

WBT Systems describes how to think differently about professional development and credentialing programs in the age of digital transformation, and how to get your leadership on board for the cultural changes it requires.

Find out how to have a great content strategy in less than two minutes in this video from web strategist Ray van Hilst of Yoko Consulting. Then, if you have more time, check out the advice and resources in this Gather Content interview with content strategist Hilary Marsh.

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

  • Are SMART goals stupid? Whatever you decide, he provides good advice on goal setting. (Adrian Segar, Conferences That Work)
  • How to stop thinking about work at 3 a.m. This happens even when you love your job. (Rebecca Zucker, Harvard Business Review)
  • A guide to hotel tipping. I’m sure the readers of this blog tip well, but just in case. (Julie Weed, New York Times)

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

  • Ah, pasta, ye temptress. We thoroughly enjoyed this baked chicken rigatoni with a roasted poblano béchamel sauce—just a white sauce, nothing to fear. I added broccoli stems, jalapeño, half a red bell pepper, and subbed onion for the shallots. Instead of dragging out my blender, I used an immersion blender to puree the béchamel right in the pot.
  • A recipe for Neapolitan meatballs in a recent issue of Milk Street caught my attention so I decided to make that for Sunday dinner. Not a fan, too crumbly and bland. I guess I need a Massachusetts meatball, not a Neapolitan one. I have an old favorite recipe somewhere in a huge pile of clippings, how archaic, but until I find that, I remain on the hunt for my ideal meatball.
  • I am a fan of this recipe for garlic bread. I know, I know, why do you need a recipe for garlic bread, it’s so simple, yeah, I get it. But, oh my, this bread is so good. Don’t leave out the mozzarella.
  • To accompany our Spag MB (restaurant dup lingo from back in the day when restaurants didn’t have computers), I made a José Andrés recipe for boiled broccoli with garlic, pepper flakes and basil from another issue of Milk Street (Sept/Oct). I’ve been in a roasted broccoli rut, so I wanted to try something different. This is not your grandmother’s boiled broccoli—it’s very good.
  • Have you used your Instant Pot to make hard-boiled eggs yet? 7 minutes is perfect with a natural release, just saying.

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 2/3 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 2/4 at 12 p.m. – Customer Facing Analytics (Association Data Analytics Brown Bag)

For association professionals who are responsible for reporting analytics to leadership, boards, and other stakeholders, share your lunchtime and discuss topics such as customer facing analytics. Online conversations will include presentations and attendees discussing challenges and key points on each topic. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Organizers: Association Analytics Network

Tue 2/4 at 1 p.m. – Your Virtual Event: From Idea to Execution

We’re going a little meta on you: this virtual event is about creating virtual events. Are you thinking about spearheading your own virtual initiative, but don’t know where to start? Are you looking for ways to improve how you convene online? Hear from association professionals who have blazed the trail themselves. Learn how to navigate the trials and tribulations of launching your own virtual event, how to make it financially viable, and how to identify compelling conversations to host virtually. 1.5 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: Matchbox Virtual Media

Tue 2/4 at 2 p.m. – Association Chat on Twitter (#assnchat)

Join an online tweet chat with fellow association professionals by following the #assnchat hashtag on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. If you’re interested in moderating a future #assnchat, contact KiKi. More info.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, founder, Amplified Growth

Wed 2/5 at 11 a.m. – Association Health Coverage Options as a Member Benefit

If you’re an association executive, you’ve probably been asked about healthcare as a member benefit before… And let’s be honest, there haven’t been many interesting or new options available in quite some time. Learn about new options available this year that will increase member retention and non-dues revenue. More info/register.

Hosts: LIG Solutions and PeopleKeep

Presenters: Tim McNichols of LIG Solutions and JD Cleary of PeopleKeep

Wed 2/5 at 12 p.m. – Association Insights: Why Strategy and Foresight Are Not the Same Thing (Alexandria VA)

Associations need both strategy and foresight, and while these two types of essential learning are clearly connected, they are not the same thing. Unfortunately, most boards and chief staff executives conflate strategy and foresight in ways that can be counterproductive for their organizations and stakeholders. It is critical for association decision-makers to develop a clearer understanding of both strategy and foresight, how they are related, how they are different and how to maximize the benefit of both. 1 CAE credit. Location: Alexandria VA. More info/register.

Host: Association Insights

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

Wed 2/5 at 4:30 p.m. – ASAE Communication Professionals Happy Hour (Washington DC)

The ASAE Communication Professionals Advisory Council is ready to kick off 2020. This is a great opportunity to connect with other association communication professionals. We have the space to ourselves from 4:30 until 8:00 and Mighty Citizen is providing your first drink. Location: Washington DC. More info/register.

Host: Mighty Citizen

Thu 2/6 at 1 p.m. – 2020 Event Trends: Insights from Marketing Leaders

Hear insights from Bizzabo’s 2020 Event Trends Report, top event trends to expect in 2020, tips for designing engaging experiences that drive ROI, and how Lyft and Medallia define and achieve event success. More info/register.

Host: Bizzabo


  • Natalie Graham, Senior Field & Partner Marketing Manager at Medallia
  • Amanda McDermott, Event Marketing Manager at Lyft

Thu 2/6 at 2 p.m. – Wellness Magic: Secrets for Energy, Vitality and Longevity

Hear about natural health secrets that can help your body to heal itself—even while traveling. Discover the foundational pillars of natural health to unlock your optimum wellness. More info/register.

Host: Smart Meetings

Presenter: John Ayo, author of Travel Balance

Wed 2/12 at 4:30 CST – Content & Digital Conversation Circle for Associations & Nonprofits (Chicago IL)

An opportunity for members of the association and nonprofit communities in Chicago to come together to share our issues and challenges around digital and content. Location: Chicago IL. More info/register.

Organizer: Hilary Marsh, founder, Content Company Inc.

Host: Association Forum

Thu 2/13 at 12 p.m. – CEX Virtual: Equipping Your Chapter Leaders & Volunteers for 2020

If you work with, manage or nurture chapters leaders or volunteers, join a virtual discussion about opportunities for change, promising developments, and solutions that can create alternative futures for chapters. This Association Component Exchange (CEX) Virtual After Party will turn crowdsourced answers into actionable insights. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Hosts: Billhighway, Mariner Management and Matchbox Virtual Media


  • Diana Tucker, CAE, Vice President for Membership and Chapter Relations, NAIOP
  • Wesley Carr, Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society
  • Nabil El-Ghoroury, PhD, CAE, Executive Director, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Peggy Hoffman, FASAE, CAE, Co-Founder & President, Mariner Management

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 Mark Boss via Unsplash

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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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