Association Brain Food Weekly: 2.14.20

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

This got me thinking and maybe it will get you thinking too… How do you measure progress in your career? Nilofer Merchant says, “Money is a shitty metric for work. Only you can find the right one.” Not a vanity metric, but a meaningful one. I can’t measure what I’d love to measure so I’m still thinking.

This post also talks about “your onlyness.” She says, “When we define the metric that matters, we can track the progression and activation of our onlyness.”

I’ve never heard the phrase “success theater” before, but it’s so perfect. Alex Birkett at HubSpot describes success theater and how to eliminate it. He warns that refusing to discuss failure will erode a culture of growth.

I got a chuckle out of Amanda Kaiser’s post about those shifty characters who live in the office with us: Productivity, The Muse, Effectiveness and Procrastination. Oh, I know them well.

You can introduce your members and customers to Effectiveness by teaching them how to succeed as online learners. Don’t assume they already have what it takes. WBT Systems provides advice that will hopefully keep Productivity at their side and Procrastination locked out.

Just when you think you’ve experienced all the ways a chapter can bring on full-fledged nightmares, Billhighway comes along with another doozie. In the latest post in their series on chapters in crisis they explain how to handle and prevent chapter legal liabilities like antitrust, conflicts of interest, copyright and other depressing yet possible situations.

Can we talk about something nice now? Let’s spend time learning about all the things your association (and your exhibitors) can learn from attendee and event data. MemberSuite shares quite a list, including the data wishes of several association departments.

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

  • Humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview. Hello, politics. (Adrian Bardon, The Conversation)
  • Basecamp received 1200+ applications for a job opening. If you’re having trouble attracting talent, copy their hiring approach: hire remote, be explicit about pay, and detail the job exhaustively, like so… (Javan Makhmali, Basecamp)
  • A Google doc full of unique icebreaker ideas. (Rob Walker)

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

  • My seafood share is back from winter break. In the first share, one of my favorites… monkfish! I gave it the Mummy Lorraine treatment. Growing up, we had cod or scrod pretty much every week. When I go home, she still makes one of our childhood favorites: top the fish with a mix of melted butter, crushed Ritz crackers, lemon zest and garlic salt (okay, that last one is my addition, I think). Bake and impatiently wait.
  • I combined almaco jack and vermillion snapper in this Venetian fish soup recipe from Food & Wine. I omitted the clam juice and used all shrimp broth instead because I have lots in the freezer. I also omitted the shrimp for no good reason and used dry vermouth instead of white wine.
  • Giving in to my carb-cravings, I made this garlic clam bread recipe from Taste to go along with the fish soup. Oh, yes. A little mozzarella on top takes it to another level.
  • It’s been a while since we’ve had any southwestern flavors so I made turkey taco casserole—a recipe from The Kitchn. Ground turkey was on sale, so I didn’t go with beef as the recipe instructed. I added poblano and jalapeño to the mix too.

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 2/17 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 2/18 at 1 p.m. – Tech Trends to Watch in 2020

It’s now possible to buy a cup of coffee using Bitcoin, but does digital currency have any effect on your nonprofit? Self-driving cars are on the streets and AI is in our homes, but should nonprofits bother getting up to speed on these emerging technologies when some are not yet in the cloud?

In this discussion on the tech trends your organization should know about in 2020, our panelists will tackle these topics and answer audience questions while focusing on what’s worth our attention and what practical steps we can take to prepare for the future. More info/register.

Host: Tech Impact


  • Melanie Meyer, Tech Advisor, Tech Impact
  • Jordan McCarthy, Infrastructure & Security Lead, Tech Impact
  • Peter Schiano, Senior Data Services Consultant, Tech Impact
  • Leonardo Hughes, Data Consultant, Tech Impact
  • Patrick Callihan (moderator), executive director, Tech Impact

Tue 2/18 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. Check KiKi’s Twitter stream for the latest details.

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

Tue 2/18 at 2 p.m. – Conversations with Community Movers + Shakers  

Have you been looking into community for your organization, or are not sure if you’re using your current community effectively? Join us for an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) webinar on the community topics you want to chat about. More info/register.

Host: Higher Logic


  • Heather McNair, Chief Community Officer, Higher Logic
  • Josh Slyman, Community Manager, Higher Logic

Tue 2/18 at 2 p.m. – Quick Start Guide to Creating Engaging Events

Learn everything you need to know to maximize the reach and impact of your next virtual event, including how to live caption your sessions to increase accessibility, help your speakers design dynamic and interactive presentations to engage online audiences, and make on-demand recordings available to everyone for easy reference year-round. More info/register.

Host: Mediasite


  • Sofia Leiva, Marketing Programs Manager, 3Play Media
  • Georgia McGoldrick, Product Marketing Specialist, 3Play Media
  • Matthew Doyle Olson, Product Manager, Mediasite

Tue 2/18 at 2 p.m. – 7 Things Your Nonprofit Can Do to Get the Most out of Your Website in 2020

Hear client case studies and key insights on how to improve your web presence so your marketing efforts don’t go to waste. Learn how to evaluate your website and take seven actionable steps to ensure that your organization is putting its best foot forward in all things digital for 2020. More info/register.

Host: TechSoup

Presenter: Kyle Barkins, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Tapp Network

Wed 2/19 at 1 p.m. – How to Scale Education Experiences Beyond the Classroom

Are you struggling to scale your continuing education reach and profitability without bringing your team to its knees? Is it possible to achieve the perfect mix of on-demand and in-person training in a profitable way? Learn how to develop the ideal mix of self-paced, virtual and in-person training content. Hear strategies for educating subscribers or members more effectively at every stage in the relationship, tips for measuring business impact, and advice on how to choose a technology foundation that efficiently serves diverse audiences and fluctuating demand. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Thought Industries


  • John Leh, CEO and Lead Analyst, Talented Learning
  • Brittany Tamul, Director of Customer Success, ArrowStream
  • Barry Kelly, CEO, Thought Industries

Wed 2/19 at 2 p.m. – AMA on Customer-First Design and User Experience (Rockville MD)

User-centric design isn’t a nice-to-have in today’s market. It’s a must-have. Associations are competing with personalized, intuitive, and advanced customer experiences provided by companies like Stitch Fix, Netflix, Lyft, and Airbnb. How do you design and develop products in a way that based on the needs, wants, and limitations of your customer? Get answers to all your questions about customer-centric design. Location: Rockville MD. More info/register.

Host: Association Women Technology Champions

Presenter: user experience expert Rhoni Rakos

Wed 2/19 at 2 p.m. – Coronavirus: Community Conversation on Association Impact

Expert panelists will address issues about the virus, the current travel situation, key steps to take to mitigate losses with hotel and vendor contracts, and other legal considerations. The panel will also discuss insurance options if events must be cancelled or attendance is at risk of being greatly diminished. 1.25 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: ASAE


  • Felicity Clancy, vice president, marketing, communications, and membership, Infectious Diseases Society of America
  • Jeffrey S. Tenenbaum, Esq., managing partner, Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC
  • Seth J. Fleischer, business development professional, Aon Affinity Nonprofits
  • Robb Lee, chief marketing and communications officer, ASAE
  • Lori Anderson (facilitator), FASAE, CAE, president and CEO, International Sign Association

Wed 2/19 at 2 p.m. – Behind the Scenes: The Production and Planning of Convening Leaders LIVE 2020

Join us for a behind the scenes look at how we plan, produce and assess our livestream program of Convening Leaders each year. Hear about all the elements that go into our livestream and the onsite Mashup Studio—everything from when and how we start the planning process to selecting the right content to livestream to the chat moderation plan. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA

Presenter: Caitlin O’Malley, Education Associate, PCMA

Thu 2/20 at 8:30 a.m. – Loving Your Website Again (Coffee Talks – Reston VA)

Location: Reston VA. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Results Direct

Thu 2/20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Collaborate CAE Q&A Event

ASAE CAE Staff and a few current CAE ASAE members will answer any of your questions about getting, studying for, or prepping to get your CAE. More info.

Host: ASAE

Thu 2/20 at 12 p.m. – Navigating International Trade Trends and Their Impact on Your Global Nonprofit Operations

Learn about the latest developments in tariffs, sanctions, and other cross-border regulations and restrictions. Identify key risk factors as you embark on or expand your international operations and understand the current and evolving state of play. Hear about key tips and traps that can impact your global operations. Locations: online and Washington DC. More info/register.

Host: Venable LLP


  • Cindy Lewin, Partner, Nonprofit Organizations Group, Venable LLP
  • Lindsay Meyer, Partner, International Trade and Customs Group, Venable LLP

Thu 2/20 at 1 p.m. – Strategies to Engage and Retain Your Member Base

When associations struggle to communicate the value of, and benefits associated with membership, it can adversely impact the organization’s membership engagement and retention efforts. Learn about strategies to ensure your members know the value of membership including who you are and what you offer, in order to make sure members stick around. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Hosts: MemberSuite and Blue Sky eLearn


  • Shaun O’Reilly, VP of Marketing at MemberSuite
  • Amanda Davis, CMP, Blue Sky eLearn

Thu 2/20 at 2 p.m. – Value-Based Digital Strategy: How Research, Measurement, and Experimentation Unlocks Impact

Learn about the value-based design framework—a set of strategic tactics that ties the structure, systems, copy, and design elements of any digital effort to organizational economic outcomes. Find out how to introduce value-based design thinking to your organization, tie digital strategy to impact, define the importance of research, demonstrate research options, describe why your organization needs to measure its work, and illustrate why and how to use experimentation. More info/register.

Host: Fíonta

Thu 2/20 at 2 p.m. – Government Relations Best Practices for 2020

In our recent survey of 600+ public affairs and government relations professionals across the country, one thing came through loud and clear: the majority of you are very stressed and working within too many time constraints. We’ve asked leading practitioners to share their best practices and insights for the year ahead. Learn how to mitigate stress and the fear you’ll miss an important bill, cultivate richer partnerships with lawmakers, and prioritize the many issues you’re managing. More info/register.

Host: FiscalNote


  • Josh Habursky, VP of Federal Affairs, Premium Cigar Association
  • Karl Eckhart, VP of Intergovernmental Affairs, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
  • Ann Dermody, Director of Marketing, FiscalNote

Thu 2/20 at 2 p.m. – AV Negotiating: Don’t Sign that Contract!

Learn how to avoid the pitfalls of audiovisual negotiations, so you’re not cornered into decisions that might blow up your budget or handcuff your ability to make your event as great as it can be. Learn the right questions to ask to ensure you understand what you’re paying for. Gain insight in where you can—and can’t—save on your AV budget. Understand the ‘fine print’ clauses that cost or save you tens of thousands of dollars. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: MeetingsNet

Presenter: Scott Frankel, president of Animatic Media

Thu 2/20 at 3 p.m. – Small Staff Association Book Club: The Power of Moments

Join a discussion of the book, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. This book explores “why certain brief experiences can jolt us and elevate us and change us—and how we can learn to create such extraordinary moments in our life and work.” During book club, we’ll explore how we can apply the book’s lessons to our work. For example, how can you ensure the opening reception at your conference is memorable, not just ho-hum? More info/register.

Host: ASAE Small Staff Association Professionals Community

Tue 2/25 at 2 p.m. – The Next Frontier in Learning: Continuing Education by Text (Association Chat aka #assnchat)

A series of conversations with students in Yemen left Michael Ioffe with an idea—that text messages could be used to bridge the digital learning access gap. That idea became Arist, the first text message university, which was just named a finalist in Fast Company’s 2019 World-Changing Ideas competition. More info/register.

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

Guest: Michael Ioffe, co-founder of Arist

Tue 2/25 at 2 p.m. – Analytics for Associations 2020: The Year of the Breakthrough

Take part in an exhilarating web conversation detailing how modern data analytics helps you better understand your members (and non-members) by pulling together the 80% of your data that is NOT stored in your AMS and analyzing/delivering it in new and productive ways. More info/register.

Host: Nucleus

Thu 2/27 at 9 a.m. – Facilit8me Community of Practice

A vital component to continuing to grow as a facilitator is to always be assessing your areas of strengths and opportunities for development. Join a community in practice to review the importance of self-assessment, identify the eight major domains of facilitation competency, and explore ways in which this information can be used to inform your own professional development in 2020 and beyond. More info/register.

Host: Event Garde

Thu 2/27 at 11 a.m. – 7 Strategies for Increasing Email Deliverability

One in five messages sent do not reach the recipient’s inbox. Learn how to improve your email deliverability and ensure your important member communications are received. Hear about hard bounces vs. soft bounces, back-end changes to make your IP trustworthy, list gathering and maintenance strategies to keep you out of the spam folder, the importance of clean email code, Simple Email Service from Amazon, and how reactivation campaigns can help the health of your email lists. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Matrix Group

Presenters: Joanna Pineda, CEO, Leah Monica, Director of Marketing, and Maki Kato, CTO, Matrix Group

Thu 2/27 at 12 p.m. – How to Know What Your Sponsors/Partners Are Thinking and What They Want (Washington DC)

It seems that association/corporate partner communications resemble “Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus.” Interviews with association staff and board members and interviews with corporate partners reveal a disconnect. This Idea Exchange brown bag lunch discussion and strategy session will uncover “How to Know what Your Sponsors/Partners are Thinking and What they Want.” Location: Washington DC. More info/register.

Organizer: Partnership Professionals Network

Thu 2/27 at 12 p.m. – How Marketing Automation Leads to Marketing Transformation

This is the first webinar in a four-part series exploring marketing automation, how to avoid common missteps, and how to optimize its use to gain marketing intelligence and grow association revenue. In this session, you’ll learn the difference between marketing automation and email automation, how to determine whether your association is ready for true marketing automation, and how to prepare your association for capacity building and growth. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE

Presenter: HighRoad Solution

Thu 2/27 at 2 p.m. – EQP and Team Collaboration

Interested in how your emotional intelligence affects your team? Learn about emotional intelligence and how it impacts our relationships in the workplace. More info/register.

Host: Yoko Consulting

Presenter: Alison Whitmire, President of Learning in Action

Thu 2/27 at 2 p.m. – You’re a Publisher Now

Are you a small (but mighty) marketing team tasked with creating all the content for your nonprofit? How can you be more efficient in content creation and make content work much harder for you (without YOU having to work any harder)? Find out how to foster a culture of content within your organization, even if you’re strapped for time, money, and resources. Learn how to make a clear, compelling case for investing in more content creation, form your very own content squad, find and launch more content from across your association, and get the most of the content you create. More info/register.

Host: Mighty Citizen

Presenter: Andrew Buck, content strategist, Mighty Citizen

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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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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