Association Brain Food Weekly: 3.6.20

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

At the Association Component Exchange (CEX) in 2018, I participated in a chapter member journey mapping exercise—that’s a lot of nouns, I know. This exercise unleashed so many insights among my tablemates that I could see how powerful journey mapping could be in real life. WBT Systems explains why and how to map the learner journey at your association.

At CEX 2019, many CRPs (that’s component relations professionals, in case you didn’t know) shared their chapter success stories. Billhighway brings us two tales of chapter turnarounds—from exhausted despair to satisfying growth at the Project Management Institute and from begrudging compliance to proactive involvement at the Association for Corporate Growth.

Time is our most valuable asset so it’s no surprise members are reluctant to spare time for volunteering. MemberSuite digs into the reasons for this mindset and provides ideas on how you can get members involved in a truly micro-commitment way.

Tanya Basu at MIT Technology Review writes about private micro-networks, like Cocoon, which some believe are the future of connecting. “…[S]uch micro-networks and the control they offer might redefine how we think about and use social media in the next decade, whether it is Cocoon or another app that follows in its wake.”

You’ve probably read somewhere that restraints (aka limited resources aka no budget) are catalysts for creativity. This theory isn’t just sugarcoating a crappy situation. At Harvard Business Review, Laura Huang writes about an experiment she ran with college students that proved constraints don’t have to be constraining.

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

  • Ultimate webinar stats for 2020. (Joni Taisey, WorkCast)
  • How to create a better distribution plan to get your content seen. You can have the best content money can buy, but… (Jodi Harris, Content Marketing Institute)
  • There’s nothing like staring into an eagle’s eyes, which you can do thanks to the Big Bear bald eagle cam. The cam sits beside an eagle’s nest (with eggs!) in the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California. Don’t click this when you have work to do.

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

  • My favorite meal last week was striped bass with spiced chickpeas. Bon Appetit calls this recipe “foolproof,” and I suppose it is. I couldn’t get enough of these flavors. You could leave out the fish and just make the chickpeas—they’re so good.
  • The other fish in last week’s seafood share was mackerel. I like matching mackerel with bold flavors like this maple-barbeque glazed fish recipe. Quick and easy.
  • I finally remembered the big ham bone from Thanksgiving lurking in my freezer and gave it a fitting destination: split pea soup with ham. I didn’t have to add any additional ham like the recipe instructed because my bone had plenty extra on it. I used water instead of chicken broth because I knew the meaty bone would provide enough flavor—and it did. I love watching marrow slowly disappear from a bone into the broth to work its magic.
  • When I’m in a need-a-quick-veggie jam, I grab some broccoli, slice them into individual florets, slice big chunks of red onion and toss it all on a sheet pan (or two—might as well make a big batch) with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and bake at 400. When the florets are just approaching tender, add garlic slices and red pepper flakes, toss again, and bake until the florets are partly caramelized (nearly burnt) and the stems are at the tenderness you desire.
  • For Sunday breakfast, I made this German apple pancake from Serious Eats. It reminded me of a clafouti—dessert for breakfast, I guess. Satisfyingly tasty. Per the recipe, you need a non-stick, oven-safe pan. My Tramontina non-stick did just fine in the oven, in case you have one of those. Increase the cinnamon, you won’t regret it.

Here are the educational events scheduled for next week–lots of COVID-19 (coronavirus) webinars. 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.

Fri 3/6 at 12 p.m.* – How I Create Social Media Content for Association Chat


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

*All times are Eastern Daylight Savings Time unless otherwise noted.

Mon 3/9 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

Tue 3/10 at 11 a.m. – The Ethical Nonprofit

This online course equips association executives and other nonprofit leaders with best practices for making ethical decisions. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: The 501c League


  • Cheryl Ronk, CAE, president of So Right LLC
  • Cecilia Sepp, CAE, chief executive officer and founder of The 501c League

Note: This course fulfills the new ethics requirement for CAE applications and renewals, which is why I’m attending.. I’m breaking my “free” rule and publicizing it despite the $45 registration fee ($25 for 501c League members).

Tue 3/10 at 12:30 p.m. – Meetup for Sections/Interest Group Professionals

As interest group management can be very different from chapter/affiliate management, we wanted to bring together association executives to chat about how our associations structure management of these unique components, including if there are separate fees to be a member, allocating budget funds to these groups, how volunteers are appointed, what these sections/interest groups develop in terms of association resources/products, etc. Location: Washington DC. If you are interested in attending, RSVP to Mark Fernando.

Tue 3/10 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 to see if a chat is scheduled and to get the latest details.

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

Tue 3/10 at 2 p.m. – People, Place, and Thing: The Future of Work for Associations

Thanks to technology, the way work is accomplished in associations has changed – more of it, coming faster, and expected to contain greater accuracy. The work environment will only continue to change as we move into a new decade. Associations can be closer to their members and other stakeholders, and address their needs quickly. But to achieve that end result, employees must have the skills necessary for success in this on-demand world. More info/register.

Host: Pathable

Presenter: Jennifer C. Loftus, MBA, SPHR, PHRca, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, CCP, CBP, GRP, is a Founding Partner of and National Director for Astron Solutions

Dang, that’s a lot of credentials!

Tue 3/10 at 2 p.m. – Data and Perception: How American Cancer Society (ACS) Uses Surveys to Increase Engagement

Recently, ACS embarked on a journey to better connect and build a community around study participants with the aim of increasing engagement and better delivering information to them. Learn how nonprofits can create a research-focused community, communicate effectively with participants about upcoming surveys, and develop best practices around messaging and program development. Find out how ACS uses surveys as a mechanism to collect data, understand the audience, and make data-driven decisions. More info/register.

Host: TechSoup


  • Vivek Bhaskaran, founding member and Executive Chairman of QuestionPro
  • Alpa V. Patel, principal investigator of ACS Cancer Prevention Study-3

Tue 3/10 at 2 p.m. – Tricks for Easier Contracts and Negotiations

Learn what needs to be in a contract and what clauses are not really necessary, the meaning of legal terms, such as force majeure, and new issues to consider in 2020. More info/register.

Host: Smart Meetings

Presenter: Lisa Sommer Devlin, J.D., attorney at Devlin Law Firm P.C.

Tue 3/10 at 2 p.m. – CL20 Rebroadcast: This is Your Event. This is Your Event on 5G.

Get the inside scoop on how meetings and events can prepare for 5G, the next giant leap in mobile technology. With connectivity speeds nearly 100 times faster than current broadband services, 5G will reshape how we use mobile devices at events. Explore what faster file upload/download speeds, virtual and virtual reality meetings, rich media experiences and other technology innovation can mean for your organization and business events. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA


  • Will Curran, Founder and Chief Event Einstein, Endless Events
  • Brandt Krueger, Owner, Event Technology Consulting

Tue 3/10 at 4:30 p.m. – Get the Facts on COVID-19

With so much media coverage of COVID-19, and the global developments changing by the minute, it’s hard to determine what steps are necessary – and when to act. PCMA and the American Society for Microbiology are delivering this joint webinar featuring a panel of medical experts to separate fact from fiction helping you decide if and how this impacts your event audiences and stakeholders. More info/register.

Host: PCMA

Presenter: Dr. Robin Patel, Director of the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory, and Co-Director of the Clinical Bacteriology Laboratory, Mayo Clinic

Wed 3/11 at 12 p.m. or 12:30 p.m. – COVID-19: What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know (online and Washington DC)

This presentation will address the legal issues that can arise with COVID-19 and look at questions surrounding workers, contracts, insurance, events, travel, and workplace situations and how to handle them. CAE credit. Locations: online and Washington DC. RSVP.

Host: Venable LLP


  • George Constantine, Partner, Nonprofit Organizations Group, Venable LLP
  • Michael Davis, Partner, Environmental and Natural Resources Group, Venable LLP
  • Anne Gerson, Counsel, Nonprofit Organizations Group, Venable LLP
  • Ronald Jacobs, Partner, Nonprofit Organizations Group, Venable LLP
  • Jennifer Prozinski, Partner, Labor and Employment Group, Venable LLP

Wed 3/11 at 1 p.m. – Is Your Event Feedback Providing Actionable Insights?

When gathering attendee feedback, it can be challenging to figure out how to take feedback and make it have an impact. Learn how to align feedback with event goals to provide actionable insights, and different types of feedback and questions to ask based on event type and goals so that you get the data you need to take action. More info/register.

Host: Meetings Today

Presenter: Brian Ludwig, Senior Vice President, Event Cloud Sales, Cvent

Wed 3/11 at 1:30 p.m. – How to Conduct Comprehensive Audience Research and Organize, Analyze and Apply Your Findings

Comprehensive audience research is required to truly assess your members’ wants, needs and reasons to become and stay a member. Learn how to gather audience research and utilize it to highlight member benefits, increase retention and grow your association. More info/register.

Host: .orgCommunity

Presenters: Ruizhi Liu, Lead User Experience Designer, and Jake Toohey, Senior Digital Consultant, Adage Technologies

Wed 3/11 at 2 p.m. – A Guide to Remote Work During COVID-19

Get a comprehensive overview of the more effective strategies, tools, and techniques to help workers stay productive remotely. Learn how to set up a high-quality remote work program or significantly improve an existing one. More info/register.

Host: Constellation Research

Presenter: Dion Hinchcliffe, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Wed 3/11 at 2 p.m. – Webinar Benchmarks for 2020

Webinars have become the most powerful tool for creating the kinds of engaging digital experiences that audiences love. Learn best practices across the entire webinar life cycle, based on benchmarks from over 20,000 events over the past year, including: best days and times to promote and run webinars, most popular interactive tools, registrant to attendee conversion stats, and on-demand viewing metrics. More info/register.

Host: ON24

Presenter: Mark Bornstein, VP of Content Marketing, ON24

Thu 3/12 at 11 a.m. – Digital Transformation for Nonprofits and Associations

In 2020, digital disruption offers a number of benefits, but the risk associated with transformation is real and addressing that risk should be a top priority on your Enterprise Risk Management plan. Learn how nonprofits and associations can strategically mitigate risks while reaping the increasingly significant advantages of digital technology. Find out how leaders of organizations can enhance project management through best practices and lessons learned. More info/register.

Host: GRF CPAs & Advisors


  • Melissa Musser, CPA, CITP, CISA, Principal, Risk & Advisory Services, GRF CPAs & Advisors
  • Ricardo Trujillo, CPA, CITP, CISA, Partner, Audit, GRF CPAs & Advisors
  • Tricia Katebini, CPA, MBA, Senior Manager, Audit, GRF CPAs & Advisors
  • Yevgeniy Sukhenko, CPA, Supervisor, Outsourced Accounting & Advisory Services, GRF CPAs & Advisors

Thu 3/12 at 1 p.m. – Hosting Events Amidst a Coronavirus

Get best practice tips on how to mitigate transmission, reduce risk and exposure, and keep your live event. Learn best practices and apply public health principles from the WHO, CDD, and Johns Hopkins Public Health. More info/register.

Host: Constellation Research

Presenter: R “Ray” Wang, founder of Constellation Research

Thu 3/12 at 2 p.m. – Is Your Event Covered in a Crisis Situation?

Event organizers should examine their organization’s contracts concerning events in light of cancellations caused by unforeseen circumstances, like COVID-19. Learn what to look for and answer your burning questions about evaluating what’s included in your contracts and whether your standard language will protect the interests of your organization. CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA

Presenter: Barbara Dunn, partner with the Associations and Foundations Practice Group at Barnes & Thornburg

Thu 3/12 at 2 p.m. – Planting the Seeds of AMS Success

Choosing and implementing a new AMS is a huge undertaking, like growing a new lawn from the soil up. When you take the time to seed and feed your new AMS, you can cultivate a brighter future for your association. Hear about real world AMS experiences that can help you identify and avoid traps when choosing and implementing a new AMS. More info/register.

Host: Noah AMS

Tue 3/17 at 2 p.m. – Contract Crisis Preparedness for Suppliers

Basic knowledge of your contract language is not enough. You must have the right steps in place to act quickly when a customer wants to make a change due to unforeseen circumstances. Learn how to protect your business and customer interests with potential solutions when challenges arise before and during events. More info/register.

Host: PCMA

Presenter: Lisa Sommer Devlin, attorney

Wed 3/18 at 1 p.m. – A Fresh Look at Learning Analytics: How to Squeeze More Insights from Your Data

How can learning analytics help your organization use more of your data, more wisely? Learn how to distinguish between LMS reporting and analytics, five must-have metrics for every executive dashboard, how to select your most valuable business data sources, creative ways to combine data for deeper insights, how to manage data overload, and tips for getting started with learning analytics—even with limited data. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Talented Learning


  • John Leh, CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning
  • Tamer Ali, Co-Founder and Director at Authentic Learning Labs

Wed 3/18 at 2 p.m. – Microsoft Teams: The New Paradigm in Association Collaboration

Your association is probably already using Microsoft Office, but are you effectively using one of its most collaborative tools? As Skype for Business is being phased out, Microsoft is not only pushing its functionality into Teams but adding more ways for you to better engage with your team. Hear how ASAE is using Teams to improve their operational engagement across their entire organization. Learn ways you can leverage your investment in Microsoft and foster better collaboration throughout all your teams. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Altai Systems

Presenter: Reggie Henry, Chief Information & Engagement Officer, ASAE

Thu 3/19 at 8:30 a.m. – March Madness: Your Website’s Road to the Championship (Coffee Talk, Alexandria VA)

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

Host: Results Direct

Thu 3/19 at 12 p.m. – Chapter Chat: How a CRP Helped Turn Around a 15-Year Membership Decline

With a membership drop of 2% year over year for 15 consecutive years and drowning chapters, NCGA was at a crossroads. They’d been doing the same thing over and over again with their clubs (chapters) and expecting different results. Find out what tools and tactics NCGA used to prevent major chapter mayhem. Under Rick’s helm, NCGA has corrected course, now seeing 6% membership growth year over year since 2016. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Billhighway


  • Rick Rangel, director of growth, Northern California Golf Association (NCGA)
  • Peggy Hoffman, president and co-founder, Mariner Management

Thu 3/19 at 2 p.m. – Lessons Learned from Toronto’s 2003 SARS Outbreak

In 2003, Toronto experienced two deadly SARS outbreaks resulting in a travel warning from the World Health Organization that heavily slowed tourism and disrupted the event and convention business. PCMA’s Sherrif Karamat and Bruce MacMillan, both at Tourism Toronto at the time, will share their response to event cancellations, their communication approach with stakeholders and their crisis recovery plan. CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA


  • Sherrif Karamat, CAE, President and Chief Executive Officer of PCMA
  • Bruce MacMillan, Chief Marketing Officer, PCMA’

Thu 3/19 at 3 p.m. – Small Staff Association Book Club: The Power of Moments

Maybe the third time is the charm. Rescheduled again.

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

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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