Association Brain Food Weekly: 3.27.20

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

The Virtual Conferences Survey from Tagoras comes at an opportune time since virtual events are on everyone’s mind. It doesn’t matter if your association is a virtual conference pro, thinking about jumping in, or not likely to do anything with virtual conferences, they still would love for you to participate. Think of it as your good deed for the day.

You’ve probably seen stories about distillers in your area who are now producing hand sanitizer—I know they are in my part of North Carolina. Amanda Kaiser sees them as an example of “tossing out the ‘what we are’ focus in favor of the ‘what people need’ focus.” It’s an opportunity, she says, to rethink how you serve members.

WBT Systems provides ideas for helping members deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including recession-focused information, resources, and benefits as well as guidance on pricing and marketing.

Chapters must stay open for business, although it won’t be business as usual. Billhighway explains how to help chapter leaders with virtual governance and volunteering.

Arianna Rehak at Matchbox Virtual Media has lots of experience running virtual events—you may know her work with Association Success’ Surge summit but that was just the beginning. She shares proven tactics for engaging audiences during virtual conferences.

The discomfort we’re all feeling is grief, says David Kessler at the Harvard Business Review. It makes sense when you read about the stages we go through. He shares advice for dealing with these emotions too.

Because so many kids rely on school breakfast and lunch as their nutrition for the day, food banks are filling in the gap—and need your support. You can find your local food bank on the Feeding America website.

If you’re in my part of North Carolina, your donation to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina goes even further this month. Thanks to a matching pledge, every $1 you donate in March provides 10 meals. Money goes further than cans.

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

  • 26 ways to make online meetings, workshops, and programs a success. (Deborah Grayson Riegel, Inc.)
  • 5 real-world techniques and tips from longtime remote workers in the association community (Shepherd Smith, Gravitate Solutions)
  • Trashy books clubs, cocktails and live music: 11 things to do without leaving home. (Emily Holden, The Guardian)

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

  • The highlight of the week was Louisiana oyster and linguiça bake, an Emeril Lagasse recipe. The recipe doesn’t call for linguiça—a garlic paprika Portuguese sausage—but that’s what I always use, and I know Emeril would approve since he’s half Portuguese. I also added leftover salad spinach to the mix.
  • I usually buy my linguiça in bulk from Amaral’s in New Bedford or Gaspar’s in North Dartmouth, MA—just down the road from Emeril’s hometown, Fall River. In fact, Gaspar’s has an 8# deal going on, so I just ordered linguiça and chouriço (a spicier version).
  • Instead of shucking 50 oysters, I shucked 6 for myself and then steamed the rest for about 4 minutes. I still had to shuck them but it’s a lot easier when the shells have opened a bit. They stayed fairly plump too.
  • Since the meat shelves are bare at the supermarket, it’s a good thing I have plenty of local fish in the freezer. On Sunday, I wanted to make enough fish for two nights, so I baked fillets of golden tilefish and dogfish. I topped them with salt and a bit of butter before they went in. I served them with a delicious smoky red chimichurri. Chimichurri is usually green—a mix of herbs, shallot, garlic, hot pepper, vinegar and olive oil. This red one also included smoked paprika, chipotle powder and cumin—so good.
  • The farmers market had baby Brussels sprouts. I was torn between roasting and sautéing them, but I had an idea about roasting them with halved red seedless grapes, red onion, garlic and thyme, so that’s what I did.

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.

Stay safe, stay well, take care.

Fri 3/27 at 12 p.m.* – HBA Live! Wellness Check

It’s gonna be another long week, friends. And the best way to preserve our mental health is to stay connected, to eat well and to keep moving. Join Healthy by Association for another installment of HBA Live. We hope you’ll join us for 30 minutes to debrief the week, to check in on our collective wellness and to set intentions for the weekend ahead. More info.

Facilitators: Aaron Wolowiec, CEO, Event Garde and Angela Pelc, owner, Sidecar Slider Bar

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

Fri 3/27 from 12 to 2 p.m. (join when you can) – Feelings Edition of the Eventprofs Happy Hour
Meet, connect, and share with other event professionals. This will be a place to talk about how you are feeling and be heard by others, to share your circumstances, to meet new people and reconnect with old friends. More info.

Organizer: Adrian Segar, founder, Conferences That Work

Fri 3/27 at 12 p.m. – How to Maximize Agility, Velocity and Collaboration with Remote Teams (Live Discussion Event)

Join a live discussion from the executive, technology and organizational perspectives on how your organization can best shift to support a 100% remote working ecosystem. Hear how to tactically ensure your teams are set up successfully, keep your corporate culture and promote collaborate remotely, and maintain and increase your productivity velocity. More info/register.

Host: xScion

Presenters: Mason Chaudhry, Chief Transformation Officer, Keith Braddock, Principal, Enterprise Automation, and Bhavani Krishnan, Agile Expert, xScion

Fri 3/27 at 12 p.m. – COVID-19-Focused Engagement Lounge

This week we’ll be sharing info and ideas on mastering virtual engagement—keeping you, your staff and your clients engaged during remote work. More info/register (for AMCI members only).

Host: AMC Institute

Fri 3/27 at 12 p.m. – TED Connects: Community and Hope

A free, live, daily conversation series featuring experts whose ideas can help us reflect and work through this uncertain time with a sense of responsibility, compassion and wisdom. Today’s topic: How to create meaningful connections while apart. More info.

Hosts: head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers

Guest: Priya Parker, Author, The Art of Gathering

Fri 3/27 at 2 p.m. – Maintaining Culture and Community Leadership in a Time of Crisis

Mission-driven organizations have always known that even the best laid plans can come apart at a moment’s notice. Yet when a crisis hits, either at your organization or across the globe, how can nonprofits maintain composure and find a way to move forward? Join a discussion that will look to address how to process information in times of high stress, formulate immediate actions to maintain the culture that makes your organization strong, and chart a path forward to inspire others. More info/register.

Host: Neon One


  • Maddie Grant, Human Workplaces
  • Marc A. Pitman, Concord Leadership Group

Mon 3/30 at 12 p.m. – Coronavirus Dialogue Series: Building a Lean & Agile Business

Coronavirus is threatening the livelihood of businesses of all sizes in the meetings and events industry. Conferences and trade shows are getting canceled or postponed at historic rates with no sign of when the industry will bounce back. While small businesses are most vulnerable during times like these, the current global conditions remind businesses of all sizes of the importance of staying lean and agile. Now is the time to prepare your organization to sustain this crisis as well as other inevitable, and unpredictable, events that will impact our industry in the future. Learn about tools and resources available to you to build a sustainable business model. More info/register ($35 for MPI non-members).

Host: MPI

Presenter: Tracy Judge, MS, CMP, HMCC, CEO, Soundings Connect

Mon 3/30 at 1 p.m. – Working Remotely + Collaboratively

Learn the priorities to an effective workday, how to establish boundaries for family and home (or how to at least find some semblance of balance), and some tools and technologies that are quick to learn and easy to use when collaborating remotely. More info/register.

Host: Event Garde

Presenter: Kate Pojeta, CMP, Director of Meetings and Technology, Event Garde

Mon 3/30 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

Mon 3/30 at 2 p.m. – Tips and Tools for Creating an Awesome Virtual Event Experience

In an uncertain time, one thing is certain: People are looking to connect and learn virtually. To get started with virtual event design, you’ll need to look at the event from the perspectives of both the host and attendees. When you do so, you’ll be able to identify elements that will ensure an engaging, fruitful, and financially sustainable virtual event. Find out how meaningful conversations and genuine connections happen virtually, where sponsors fit into the picture, and what hosts can do to ensure their live event runs flawlessly. More info/register.

Host: ASAE


  • Beth Surmont, Director of Experience Design, 360 Live Media
  • Arianna Rehak, CEO and Co-founder, Matchbox Virtual Media

Tue 3/31 at 12 p.m. – How Eventprofs Can Preserve Mental Health in a Time of Crisis

The coronavirus crisis has taken the event industry by storm. How can event professionals keep business going while preserving our mental health? Join us for an open conversation as we share tips and tactics on how to keep your mental health in times of crisis. More info/register.

Host: EventMB


  • Leila Heller, Director of Meetings and Incentives at VisitBritain
  • Juliet Tripp, Senior Events Manager at Chemical Watch
  • Helen Moon, Marketing and Communications Manager at Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust and Founder and Managing Director of EventWell, Event Wellbeing Day and Event Wellbeing Week
  • Julius Solaris, Founder and Editor in Chief,

Tue 3/31 at 1 p.m. – COVID-19 Disruptor: The New Normal for Event and Meeting Planners

Has the Coronavirus panic thrown your entire schedule or business off track? Are you wondering what the best message to send out to your attendees, vendors, speakers, sponsors and everyone else involved is? Do you feel lost in the middle of it all and unsure about what to do next? We’ll answer any questions you have about how to communicate about your event…the best way to react and respond to new developments…how to restore and retain a great relationship with attendees and others…and much more. More info/register.

Host: When & How


  • Former FBI Hostage Negotiator Chip Massey
  • Crisis Communications Expert Adele Cehrs
  • Adult Learning Expert Jeff Hurt

Tue 3/31 at 2 p.m. – Crisis Management for Your Meetings and Events

Learn how to face crises head on, create a game plan for when crises happen, and make sound decisions during difficult and emotionally-driven times. Hear about the five phases of crisis management, where we are now in the crisis management cycle for COVID-19, how to prepare for the next crisis, what to do about events we can’t see coming, and a framework for making decisions about your meetings and events in a time of crisis. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Matrix Group


  • Matrix Group CEO Joanna Pineda
  • Bob Mellinger, Founder & President of Attainium Corp and Crisis Management expert

Tue 3/31 at 3 p.m. – Personas & User Journey Mapping: Getting to Know Your Website’s Users & Journey Through Your Site

Developing a successful, user-centric website starts with knowing who is actually coming to your website, why they visit it, and then optimizing their journey through the site. But too often biases and technology get in the way of making sure the user is kept top of mind and that the path through your website results in a successful visit. Join us for a deep dive to see the role User Personas play in your website strategy, learn how to create Personas that drive success, and how to integrate them into your web planning and workflow. With Personas in hand, we’ll put them to work with User Journey mapping to make sure that your visitors can find what they want in your site and solve both the objectives of the visitor and your organization. More info/register.

Organizer: ASAE Marketing Professionals Advisory Council

Presenter: Ray van Hilst, Director of Client Results, Yoko Consulting

Wed 4/1 at 12 p.m. – Coronavirus Dialogue Series: How To Convert Your In-Person Event Into A Virtual Event

With in-person events canceling all around us, it is time for the events industry to evolve. What better way than to take the experience we have producing in-person events and create virtual events with the same strategy and execution of in-person events. Learn what you need to be thinking of when producing a virtual event from the strategy to the content to the technology. 1 CMP credit. More info/register. ($35 for MPI non-members).

Host: MPI


  • Dustin Westling of One West Events
  • Will Curran of Endless Events

Wed 4/1 at 12 p.m. – Is Your Event Canceled?

Learn what virtual options exist to recuperate revenues and engagement with all stakeholders. CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Association TV

Wed 4/1 at 12 p.m. – Silver and Gold: Balancing New Market Outreach While Serving Your Core Members

When your association’s environment changes—and growth now depends on expanding to new audiences—how do you adapt while keeping your current members happy? Bring your own stories—successes and bombs both welcome—as there will be an open discussion of what works & what doesn’t. More info/register.

Organizer: Association Insights in Old Town—presented online this month


  • Kristine Metter, CAE, of Crystal Lake Partners
  • Barry Pilson, CAE, of the National Business Officers Association

Wed 4/1 at 1 p.m. – The Dos and Don’ts of Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis

During these unprecedented times, many brands are struggling to effectively market their organizations amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Get a high-level overview of how brands are currently responding to the COVID-19 crisis: the good, the bad and the ugly. Learn what to do, what not to do and how a company’s response can ultimately affect their brand for better or for worse. More info/register.

Host: Event Garde


  • Aaron Wolowiec, CEO of Event Garde
  • Rob McCarty, CEO of The Image Shoppe

Wed 4/1 at 1 p.m. – Advocacy for Associations: Timeless Principles, Modern Approaches

At many associations, member advocacy is based on an old, outdated model. Associations that don’t change with the times will be left behind. Learn how grassroots advocacy can strengthen your organization. Find out how to communicate with members to activate them for advocacy, teach your members to effectively engage lawmakers, and use social media and new technology to super-charge your advocacy efforts. More info/register.

Host: Gather Voices


  • Bethany Snyder, founder of Snyder Strategies
  • Michael Hoffman, co-founder and CEO of Gather Voices

Wed 4/1 at 1:30 p.m. – Is Your Event Continuing as Planned, or Postponed for the Future?

Learn how you can hybridize with virtual options and retain or generate the maximum revenues and audience engagement. CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Association TV

Wed 4/1 at 2:00 p.m. – Imagining, Creating, and Executing the Technology Strategy

Regardless of the size of your organization, you have a limited technology budget. How do you see beyond those constraints to what the organization truly needs from technology? How do you make a compelling argument for more investment and then deliver on that investment? What are the criteria for evaluating technologies that will not just upgrade your services, but modernize your organization? Hear about making a successful argument for new tech, how IT creates value for the business, and a framework for determining where and how to invest. More info/register.

Host: Association Women Technology Champions (AWTC)

Presenter: Rebecca Bowen, Director of Information Technology at the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation

Wed 4/1 at 4 p.m. – ASAE Key Consultants Committee Weekly Virtual Forum

During the month of April, ASAE’s Key Consultants Committee will convene a weekly virtual forum for all association consultants. These online gatherings will provide a space to share what’s happening with you, exchange ideas and practices, and seek support from your colleagues. Request Zoom invite.

Thu 4/2 at 12 p.m. – Virtual Fireside Chat with Nonprofit Association CEOs: How to Navigate COVID-19 Crises

Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has stretched the world in new and unforeseen ways, brought out the best in some, highlighted weaknesses in processes that have worked well for years, and brought on unprecedented financial hardship. Join two partners in Venable’s Nonprofit Practice Group, who have been helping clients navigate this crisis, as they chat with two leading association CEOs about how they’ve led their organizations through the initial wave of change. More info/register.

Host: Venable LLP


  • Susan Cantrell, CEO, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy
  • Robert Chalker, CEO, NACE International
  • George Constantine, Partner and Co-Chair, Nonprofit Organizations Group, Venable LLP
  • Jacobs, Partner, Nonprofit Organizations Group, Venable LLP

Thu 4/2 at 12 p.m. – PCMA Digital Experience Institute Office Hours

We will be discussing the digital event resources that are available and sharing ideas for taking more events digital in the wake of the COVID-19. Participants will be able to submit their questions on the quick decisions being made in order to still host events, as opposed to a full cancellation and all things digital events. More info/register.

Host: PCMA Digital Experience Institute

Thu 4/2 at 1 p.m. – 3 Strategies to Future-Proof Your Association

Hear about technological breakthroughs in mobile, data analytics and membership management that help associations transform their business and serve members more intelligently and profitably. More info/register.

Host: Impexium

Thu 4/2 at 1 p.m. – Thriving in Tough Economic Times with Content Marketing

Get advice to help your business thrive digitally amidst growing uncertainties. More info/register.

Host: Venngage

Presenter: Venngage’s Chief Growth Officer, Nadya Khoja

Thu 4/2 at 2 p.m. – Embracing Wellness from a Distance

Join a discussion on “embracing” wellness while having to practice social distancing from others. The human interaction that we need and crave is no less a need and we need to figure out a new normal for achieving it during these uncertain times. How can we embrace wellness while physical isolation is impacting ourselves, our staff, our members, our clients, and our families? More info/register.

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

Guest: Aaron Wolowiec, CEO and learning strategist, Event Garde, and founder, Healthy By Association

Thu 4/2 at 2 p.m. – Data Cleaning in Excel for Beginners

Learn a few tricks to help you prepare your data for analysis. This lesson is for those of us who enter data regularly, can navigate Excel and write some formulas, but unfortunately find ourselves manually making time-consuming changes in Excel. More info/register.

Host: Inciter

Presenter: Kristen Halsey, data analyst, Inciter

NEW: Thu 4/2 at 3:30 p.m. – Exploring Your Alternatives Using Decision Trees

Whether you are considering suspending dues or holding your meeting online, it is important to consider alternatives. Decision trees give you a framework to illustrate alternatives and determine the right direction. Learn how to anticipate multiple possible scenarios for how things might unfold over time using a decision tree. With things in flux, detailed, precise predictions are likely to be wrong. Using a decision tree will help prepare you for what’s next by assessing potential outcomes and consequences of certain actions. 0.5 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: .orgCommunity

Presenter: Sharon Rice, Managing Director of Strategy for .orgSource

Thu 4/2 at 7 p.m. – Free Community of Practice: Grapes & Graphics

The premise is two-fold: Grab your favorite grape (in wine form, of course) or cocktail of choice and spend an hour with us as we talk facilitation graphics. In addition to sharing some of our tips/tricks, we’ll invite you to grab a notepad/marker and draw along with us to some fun prompts. There will be good company, lots of laughs, some hands-on practice with graphics and, of course, sharing your work. More info/register.

Host: Event Garde

Facilitators: Aaron Wolowiec, CEO, and Lindsay Gross, Director, Facilitation Services, Event Garde

NEW: Fri 4/3 at 12 p.m. – Not Governance as Usual: Virtual Approaches to Manage Your Governance Strategy

A time of global pandemic and self-isolation is forcing association leaders to think on their feet: How do we continue to lead? How do we sustain the organization through this crisis? Through these rapid shifts, what is needed more than ever is stability in strategic governance—even in a virtual environment. This webcast will focus on key considerations, including: general guidelines for governance engagement; approaches to facilitating strategic conversations and outcomes remotely; insights into ASAE’s planning, development, and delivery of its board and strategic planning meetings; and responsible transparency and meaningful leadership communication with members. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE


  • Lowell Aplebaum, CAE, CPF, CEO and Strategy Catalyst, Vista Cova LLC
  • Reggie Henry, CAE, Chief Information and Engagement Officer, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership
  • Susan Robertson, CAE, President and CEO, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership

Fri 4/3 at 12 p.m. – HBA Live! Wellness Check

It’s gonna be another long week, friends. And the best way to preserve our mental health is to stay connected, to eat well and to keep moving. Join Healthy by Association for another installment of HBA Live. We hope you’ll join us for 30 minutes to debrief the week, to check in on our collective wellness and to set intentions for the weekend ahead. More info.

Facilitators: Aaron Wolowiec, CEO, Event Garde and Angela Pelc, owner, Sidecar Slider Bar

Fri 4/3 at 1 p.m. – Ask Us Anything Expert Panel: Marketing, Revenue, Meetings & Technology

Hear about some of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the association space right now in light of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Key topics will include empathetic marketing (cultivating creativity and connection in a crisis, adapting your sales strategies during COVID-19, managing events (both physical and virtual), and leveraging technology. More info/register.

Host: Event Garde


  • Aaron Wolowiec, CEO, Event Garde
  • Sara Krueger, Director of Communications & Engagement, Event Garde
  • Kara Nacarato, Director of Development & Special Initiatives, Event Garde
  • Kate Pojeta, Director of Meetings & Technology, Event Garde

Wow, Aaron again. He’s sure keeping busy this week!

Tue 4/7 – RemoteCon

RemoteCon is a remote conference on remote work. Dozens of speakers will talk about a variety of issues relating to remote work: tools and tech, organization and culture, and the law. More info/register.

Organizer: Marcel Salathé and a group of volunteers at EPFL

Thu 4/9 at 12 p.m. – Driving Member Engagement by Showing #VolunteerLove

National Volunteer Week is April 19-25th, an opportunity to spotlight association volunteers. Given that 20-25% of staff labor in associations comes from volunteer members, we should have year-round recognition and celebrate every day, and create the right supportive environment since volunteering is one of the stickiest forms of member engagement. Let’s draw from research and our own community for a dynamic discussion on how to show volunteer love. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Billhighway

Presenter: Peggy Hoffman, president and executive director at 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 noon.

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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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