Association Brain Food Weekly: 7.17.20

Free educational resources and events for CAEs, association professionals and others in the association community

The weekly list of free educational events and resources for the association community…


Design thinking demystified. Are you just a tiny bit intimidated by the idea of design thinking? It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Design thinking is completely doable when you get it explained to you like WBT Systems does in their post, Design Thinking for Associations: Let’s Take It from Conceptual to Practical.

Pandemic engagement strategies. Member needs continue to change as we slowly move from pandemic response mode to pandemic recovery mode. MemberSuite identifies five strategies for engaging members during this next phase of the pandemic crisis: content, education, community, volunteering and causes.

The future for CRPs. At the Association Component Exchange last fall (sigh, doesn’t that feel like a different world?), Billhighway asked component relations professionals what they saw in their future. No one could have predicted what we’re living now, but their answers are still strangely relevant.

The future for event planners. What does an uncertain future hold for association event planners and association meetings? Good question. Meetings Today talked to event planners about revenue diversification, in-person vs. virtual attendee engagement, and managing your mindset.

An optimistic virtual future. The Moery Company says going virtual offers a unique opportunity for associations and their sponsorship programs. I agree, it’s time to completely rethink how you approach sponsorship.

Virtual event sponsorship example. The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology shared some of their sponsorship plans for an upcoming virtual conference on Collaborate (sorry, ASAE members only). Check out their Why Invest page for sponsors. They’re providing individual sponsor coaching via email and video chat, and plan to discuss what went well (and what didn’t) with sponsors after the event.

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

  • Challenges and opportunities with membership recruitment for trade associations. (Tony Rossell, Marketing General, Inc.)
  • 5 virtual conference pricing strategies. (MeetingsNet)
  • Need some good news about covid-19? Here are six reasons for optimism. (Joseph G. Allen, Washington Post)
  • This! Open a new window somewhere in the world. I can’t stop clicking. The window from Istanbul is cool with the music playing and gulls crying. (WindowSwap)

Good eats—skip down to the list of free webinars if you prefer take-out. If you’re a home cook, check out my weekly In The Kitchen posts on my Grabbing the Gusto blog for more.

  • Our highlight of the week was hot catfish, an inspired take on Nashville hot chicken, with cheesy grits.
  • Here’s my amazing grits recipe—and the best shrimp and grits recipe ever. I can’t take credit. It’s from the late Bill Neal, former chef at Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill.
  • The runner-up for the highlight spot had to be glazed yellowfin tuna with a ginger and oyster sauce. The original recipe called for cod and baby bok choy but yellowfin is so much better when cooked just right, and grown up bok choy was just fine.
  • Along with the rest of the herd, I made a sourdough starter recently. I followed the recipe at King Arthur but made mine with flour from Carolina Ground, a mill in Asheville NC. The wheat in my flour came from nearby Wake Forest so the wild yeast is all NC.
  • Sunday afternoon, I made two loaves of rustic sourdough bread—a recipe from King Arthur for newbie sourdough bakers since it includes as much commercial yeast as you think you need. I wasn’t sure if my starter was feisty enough but it did fine with a scant teaspoon of extra yeast. I loved the mild tang and soft crust of this bread. I will make it again. It’s the perfect loaf for breakfast toast with butter and homemade fig jam from my sister-in-law.
  • The week’s pig-out meal was a pasta dish. Yes, pasta again, blame corn. At the farmers market, some of the farms bring in a pickup truck with a bed full of corn. I started with this creamy corn pasta with coconutty greens recipe and added two different kinds of fish—black drum and grouper, plus shrimp broth, jalapeno, ginger, double the corn and kale, onions and scallions instead of shallots, and no thyme. Hot sauce is recommended.

Here are the educational events scheduled for next week. If you have a free webinar or event coming up, please send me the link before Wednesday evening the week before it’s scheduled. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not too product-centric.

Until next week, stay awkward, brave and kind.* 

*I picked this up from Brené Brown whose podcast I’ve been enjoying lately.

Fri 7/17 at 12 p.m.* – Budgeting for Uncertainty

We’re in unchartered territories and not only will our budgets look different moving forward, our budgeting processes likely will as well. You may be asked to start your budgeting process earlier and may be required to offer a more data driven approach to prove the value of your meetings to your organization’s business mission and balance sheet. Learn three key concepts to help you prepare for the upcoming budgeting process. 1 CMP credit. More info/register (fee for non-MPI members).

Host: MPI

Presenter: Kyle Jordan, Ed.M, MS, CAE, CMM, CMP, Managing Director, Learning and Conferences, Financial Planning Association

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

Fri 7/17 at 1 p.m. – How to Go Virtual (While Still Creating an Engaging Experience)

Learn how to take events online in a way that is going to deliver high value, create an engaging experience, and preserve the outcomes you were seeking to achieve with your in-person conference. Hear about some major considerations for online engagement. Find out how to design for virtual-first experiences, satisfy the desire to network, and keep your members engaged. We’ll also touch on the tech because we know it’s on your mind! More info/register.

Host: Matchbox Virtual Media


  • Ann H. Hoover, Vice President of Programs, Association Health Law Association
  • Allen Lloyd, CAE, Executive Director, Montana Society of CPAs
  • Arianna Rehak, CEO & Co-Founder, Matchbox Virtual Media
  • Heather Varndell, Digital Strategist & Assistant to CSO, Matchbox Virtual Media

Mon 7/20 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 7/21 at 11:30 a.m. – Best Practices in Hybrid and Virtual Events

After nearly half a year of challenges and tough decisions due to COVID-19, the industry has had to adapt to stay afloat. Veterans in their fields of expertise, the speakers will dive into the do’s and don’ts of transitioning to virtual, their own first-hand experience and how to prepare for the future of the industry. More info/register.

Host: Swapcard


  • Megan Powers, Founder, Powers of Marketing
  • Brian Fanzo, Founder, iSocialFanz
  • Preet Singh, Founder, DesignX Community

Tue 7/21 at 12 p.m. – PPN Idea Exchange: Improve Chances Companies Will Sponsor Your Organization

Many companies are drafting their marketing budgets and selecting association sponsorships for their upcoming fiscal year. Companies are scrutinizing their sponsorships and seeking opportunities for increased ROI. We’ll discuss how to improve your association’s chances of being selected for sponsorship by these companies …. especially during the pandemic. More info/register.

Organizer: Partnership Professionals Network

Tue 7/21 at 12 p.m. – A New Path Forward for Sustainable Events

What will the “new normal” look like for event sustainability when the COVID-19 pandemic has finally ended? Are the days of buffets and bulk condiments long gone? Hear about strategies and options for implementing sustainable practices into your events that save money and resources, while still considering our environmental impact. 1 CMP credit. More info/register (fee for non-MPI members).

Host: MPI


  • Amanda Simons, Principal, Honeycomb Strategies
  • Lindsay Arell, Principal, Honeycomb Strategies

Tue 7/21 at 12:30 p.m. – Membership Renewal Messaging During a Crisis

Dues revenue is the lifeblood of most associations and in a blink-of-an-eye the other major revenue centers (like meetings and events) vanished into thin air. Find out how the host communicated with members at the height of the pandemic to continue bringing in renewals and exceed their goals despite the circumstances. 0.5 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: The Next Steps LLC

Tue 7/21 at 1 p.m. – Preparing Your Association for the Long-Term Impact of COVID-19

Hear about the long-term impacts of COVID-19 for the association industry, revenue strategies that organizations should be using in order to survive, advice on how leaders should approach the evolving association environment, and tips and advice on how to execute a successful virtual event. More info/register.

Host: Gather Voices

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

Tue 7/21 at 1 p.m. – How to Implement Successful Networking in Your Online Events & Conferences

While much of the transition to online events has focused on content, we’ll concentrate on delivering the connection-building that’s often as valuable at conferences and events. Learn easy ways to get attendees to meet and network online by doing it yourself with a great group of fellow events/conference pros. More info/register.

Host: Better Meetings

Presenter: Lee Gimpel, founder of Better Meetings

Tue 7/21 at 2 p.m. – How ASAE Is Running a Huge Virtual Conference and How You Can, Too

Hear about ASAE Annual, their decision to take the Annual Meeting to virtual, to make it free for attendees, and how they are approaching exhibitors and sponsors to provide the greatest value. How are they working with speakers and how will content be provided? What tools and platforms are they using? What are the highs and lows they are encountering and what can attendees expect? More info/get reminder.

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

Guest: Amy Ledoux, Chief Learning & Meetings Officer at ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership

Tue 7/21 at 2 p.m. – Tools to Enhance Your Speaker’s Engagement

Speakers that previously only worked in face-to-face environments have now been thrown into the digital meetings world without warning. Techniques they may have employed on the stage, can be hard to replicate through a video presentation. Hear about various tactics that can be implemented immediately to encourage presentations to evolve as everyone gets more comfortable with the online venue. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA

Presenter: Marcus C. White, Managing Member at MCW Events, LLC

Tue 7/21 at 12 a.m. – Help Your Speakers Present with Impact

As an increasing number of events move to virtual or hybrid options, speakers who have mainly presented to a live audience are now asked to do so virtually. The thing is, even if one is used to speaking on stage in front of a large audience, speaking online is a very different skill set. Learn how to avoid common mistakes when it comes to presenting virtually. Discover tips and methods to help your speaker make that transition and present with impact online. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA

Presenter: Gabrielle Dolan

Wed 7/22 at 12 p.m. – Oxygen, Please! Self-Care Strategies to Slay Workplace Burnout

By incorporating simple, self-care strategies into our lives, we can slay workplace burnout and rejuvenate our sense of purpose. The simple truth is this: caring for yourself will allow you to show up as your best self at work and at home. Get empowered to reignite your self-care practices, allowing you to show up as your authentic self and contribute to positive workplace culture. 1 CMP credit. More info/register (fee for non-MPI members).

Host: MPI

Presenter: Kelli Jaecks, MA, RDH, President, Kelli Jaecks | Verbal Impact

Wed 7/22 at 1 p.m. – Wow Your Virtual Sponsors & Exhibitors so They’ll Partner for Life

Learn how you can create experiences and connections for your virtual event exhibitors and sponsors that are so rich and valuable, they’ll become sponsors for life. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Hosts: 100Reviews & Matrix Group


  • Joanna Pineda, CEO, Matrix Group
  • Teri Carden, Co-Founder, 100Reviews
  • Bruce Rosenthal, Corporate Partnership & Sponsorship Consultant and Founder of the Partnership Professionals Network
  • Scott Oser, President of Scott Oser Associates, Inc.

Wed 7/22 at 1 p.m. – Kickstarting Your AMS: The Implementation Journey

You selected your AMS – now what? Build on the success of the AMS selection project to kick start the implementation. Join a discussion to learn the fundamentals of setting up a successful project as well as a series of tips from selection experts from DelCor and webinar participants. More info/register.

Host: Aplusify

Presenter: Gretchen Steenstra, strategic consultant, DelCor Technology Solutions

Wed 7/22 at 1 p.m. – #ExpoChat on Twitter

ExpoChat is a Twitter-based conversation on topics related to the trade show industry. More info.

Wed 7/22 at 2 p.m. – How to Increase Participation in Exhibitor Success Program

Industry research shows that offering exhibitor education can increase Net Promoter Scores by 23 points, among other benefits. However, if you really want to help your exhibitors (and your trade show, overall), you have to do more than just “check a box” – you have to entice exhibitors to participate and apply what they learn… which, unfortunately, may not be as easy as it sounds. More info/register.

Host: Trade Show Summer School

Presenter: Robyn Davis, founder, Exhibitors WINH LLC

Wed 7/22 at 3:30 p.m. – How to Avoid Fundraising’s Quiet Killer: Donor Attrition

Learn how to step off of the donor acquisition treadmill and rev up donor retention. Understand how a 10% increase in donor retention will more than double the lifetime value of a donor and minimize our reliance on producing constant appeals for new donors. More info/register.

Host: Aggregage/Association Universe

Presenter: Jay Wilkinson, CEO and Founder of Firespring

Thu 7/23 at 10 a.m. – Facilit8me Community of Practice: Evoking Creativity in Groups

Facilitators are often asked to assist groups with solving their most challenging and unique problems. Finding the path forward often requires groups to think differently and creatively. Learn tactics for breaking groups out of a rut, examples of brainstorming exercises, how to create an engaging environment, and examples of methods that can be utilized to tap in creative solutions. More info/register.

Host: Event Garde

Thu 7/23 at 11 a.m. – What to Consider as You Plan to Re-Open Your Association Office

Learn specific details on what you should be considering as you plan to re-open your association office. In addition, many associations are wondering how the real estate market will be affected long term and whether they can reduce their office footprint and operating costs. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Finance and Business Operations Professionals Community


  • Donna Delo, P.E. LEED AP, Bluemoon Engineering
  • Elizabeth Long, AIA, LEED AP, Partner, OTJ Architects
  • Holly Martin, LEED AP, Partner, OTJ Architects
  • Jordan McLean, LEED AP, Project Executive, HITT Contracting
  • Christie Minch, LEED AP, Managing Principal, Workplace Strategy + Project Management, Cresa
  • Mindy Saffer, LEED AP, Managing Principal, Transaction Management and co-leader of Cresa’s Nonprofit Practice Group

Thu 7/23 at 12 p.m. – Town Hall Discussion: The “What’s Next” Guide to Virtual Events

Hear about the key considerations for virtual and hybrid events including platform selection, content curation, and attendee engagement. Come with your questions as the second half of the session will be opened up to the audience for an “Ask Me Anything” session. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Professional Development Professionals Community

Presenter: Beth Surmont, CMP, CAE, Director of Experience Design at 360 Live Media

Thu 7/23 at 2 p.m. – Unconscious Bias: Get Rid of the BS

Learn about Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion through the lens of humanity using terms like BS or Bias Synapse as a way to explain our brain’s involvement in the processing and validation of bias. Whether implicit or conscious, bias is the number one threat to humanity and any company’s success; although it can often be an uncomfortable topic, this engaging approach helps attendees to easily understand the concept, without feeling bored or judged. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA

Presenter: Risha Grant, Diversity & Inclusion Expert

Thu 7/23 at 3 p.m. – The Story in Unstructured Data

Research from Gartner suggests that 80% of all enterprise data can be considered as unstructured. This session will focus on how associations can leverage this historically “dark data” to identify trends that exist when they analyze large volumes of unstructured data from members. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Association Analytics

Fri 7/24 at 1 p.m. – How to Go Virtual (While Still Creating an Engaging Experience)

Learn how to take events online in a way that is going to deliver high value, create an engaging experience, and preserve the outcomes you were seeking to achieve with your in-person conference. Hear about some major considerations for online engagement. Find out how to design for virtual-first experiences, satisfy the desire to network, and keep your members engaged. We’ll also touch on the tech because we know it’s on your mind! More info/register.

Host: Matchbox Virtual Media


  • Ann H. Hoover, Vice President of Programs, Association Health Law Association
  • Allen Lloyd, CAE, Executive Director, Montana Society of CPAs
  • Arianna Rehak, CEO & Co-Founder, Matchbox Virtual Media
  • Heather Varndell, Digital Strategist & Assistant to CSO, Matchbox Virtual Media

Tue 7/28 at 11 a.m. – Rooting Out Racism: How to Get Started at Your Association

Learn how to identify the racist policies, bylaws and practices at your association that passively and actively allow inequities to continue. This conversation will be a starting point for those unsure of where to begin, as well as a welcome space for those who have already started this process to share their experiences. More info/register (donation requested).

Host: Association Success

Presenter: Maxine Crump, CEO of Dialogue on Race Louisiana

Tue 7/28 at 12:30 p.m. – Meetings of Membership Minds

These impromptu, casual discussions about membership concepts, issues, and challenges are conducted live online and opened to other membership professionals to comment and offer other insights. More info/register.

Host: The Business of Membership

Presenters: Dan Ratner and Scott Oser

Wed 7/29 at 2 p.m. – Bridging the Gap from Strategy to Execution

Learn the reasons why the strategy execution gap persists and what associations can do to mitigate the gap through the following topics: communication of strategy, creation of a team-based performance culture, alignment across and down through the team, important role of leaders and middle managers, and incorporation of agility into strategy execution. More info/register.

Host: .orgCommunity

Presenter: Randall Rollinson, President of LBL Strategies, a Registered Education Provider of the Association for Strategic Planning

Thu 7/30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – The Future of the Event Industry

Get an action plan to go back to business safely in 2021. Learn the best way to use technology for virtual and hybrid events with tracks for event owners and planners. Discuss key issues with your peers. Use our matchmaking features to connect with other attendees. More info/register.

Host: EventMB

Wed and Thu 8/4 and 8/5 from 2 to 5 p.m. – Non Dues-a-Palooza Virtual Bazaar

A virtual experience engineered for visual learners, meaningful online conversations, and product introductions that makes sense for associations looking for new and innovative ideas to generate non-dues revenue. The experience includes ten case studies on how associations are kicking butt generating revenue in 2020, six non dues revenue product demos, two interactive happy hours, and one amazing community of association professionals ready to innovate and tackle new ideas to generate new revenue. More info/register.

Host: 100Reviews

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 Wednesday evening.

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Creative Commons photo by Joshua J. Cotten 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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