Association Brain Food Weekly: 8.21.20

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…


Diversity benchmarking. Association Success is running a survey to benchmark diversity in the association industry. This ten-minute survey will help all of us get a better, bigger picture of just how equitable the association industry is for everyone in it.

Career pathways. Sometimes you know where your career is going and sometimes you don’t. Either way, career pathways, says WBT Systems in this #ASAE20 recap, help your members and market understand what they need to learn and which of your programs they should take to acquire those competencies.

Virtual events. One virtual conference pretty much looks like another—”talking heads on a screen, chat boxes on the side and maybe some Zoom breakout rooms.” MemberSuite suggests four ways to add a real life feeling to your virtual events.

Virtual event sponsorship. Bruce Rosenthal (Bruce Rosenthal Associates and Partnership Professionals Network) and Christopher Gloede (Ricochet Advice) recently published a useful report, The New Sponsorship Model for Virtual Events. They explain how to deliver value to virtual event sponsors—value that will generate more revenue for your association. The report also includes a sample virtual event prospectus to give you additional ideas.

Association membership app. Dating app Happn uses geolocation tools to recreate chance encounters, reports Fiona Zublin at Ozy. It shows you other people on the app whose paths you’ve crossed. Imagine if your association app could do something like this? With less concerns about security, members could see if other members were in the same neighborhood who wanted to meet up for a coffee.

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

  • I’m still traveling vicariously around the world with WindowSwap, the site I mentioned a month ago. Now I have another one for you: Drive & Listen. Select a city and go along for a dashcam drive with your choice of a local station on the radio.
  • Ten ways to provide value to your virtual event sponsors and exhibitors. (Association Adviser)
  • The pandemic is prompting both employers and employees to recognize the need for, and value of, coaching. (Jen Colletta, Human Resource Executive)
  • This is hilarious. Nicole Tersigni explains ‘mansplaining’ and ‘concern trolls’ with help from 17th-century art. (Alisha Haridasani Gupta, New York Times)

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

  • On Sunday, I made what I call “Portuguese fish skillet” with bluefish, striped mullet and linguica. The other skillet ingredients were onion, red bell pepper, garlic, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, white wine, shrimp broth, diced tomatoes, chickpeas and lemon juice. I had to pull out the ginormous 14” deep pan for this excellent meal.
  • On the side, pesto spaghetti squash. I prepared the squash in the Instant Pot and added a mix of slow-roasted tomatoes from the freezer and grape tomatoes from the garden to the recipe. Tasty.
  • A much simpler fish dish was baked striped bass with lemon juice, Aleppo pepper and butter—a menu regular here.
  • I used the leftover chouriço mix from last week’s stuffed poblanos in two ways. First, in quesadillas with caramelized onions and red bell peppers, and then in stuffed jalapeños topped with grated mozzarella cheese. We both agreed we could have eaten a plate each of those jalapeños for dinner.

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.” (Brené Brown)

Fri 8/21 at 10 a.m.* – Member ROI Simplified: Safeguarding Your Organization’s Future

The most important method for safeguarding your organization’s future is to research, embrace, and maximize your Member ROI. Learn how to measure your current ROI in actual dollar numbers, use the numbers for influencing the membership decision, grow your ROI, and prove beyond a doubt that membership in your organization is a good business decision. More info/register.

Host: Ed Rigsbee, CAE, president at Rigsbee Research

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

Fri 8/21 at 11:55 a.m. – Meet Other Association Pros @ Virtual Networking Lunch

Want to get new ideas for your association? Looking for a job? Have a great program to share? Just want to actually meet some new people in the association field? Join us for a fast, fun, and productive networking lunch (or breakfast or brunch, depending on your time zone). It’s networking that’s natural, not awkward. We’ll be using a number of online engagement techniques that you can adapt, copy and steal for your own events. More info/register.

Host: Better Meetings

Presenter: Lee Gimpel, founder of Better Meetings

Fri 8/21 at 12:30 p.m. – The Stakes Are Higher Than Ever: How to Avoid the Most Common Contracting Mistakes

Hear about the most common contracting mistakes they’ve seen while working with groups and hotels. You may be surprised by lots of little things that people do without knowing they’re wrong, even after being in the industry for years. More info/register.

Host: HopSkip


  • Barbara Dunn, Partner @Barnes & Thornburg LLP
  • Lisa Sommer Devlin, Principal @Devlin Law Firm, P.C.
  • Sean Whalin, Co-Founder & CEO @HopSkip

Fri 8/21 at 1 p.m. – Ask the Association Veteran Anything

Amanda Davis, CMP, was a 10-year association veteran before joining Blue Sky. She will answer your questions about virtual events; converting an in-person to online; engagement in a virtual event setting; ideas around business model changes; repurposing content; decline in membership, engagement or attendance; ideas on how to remain relevant; and staffing shifts to meet the changing needs of the organization. More info/register.

Host: Blue Sky eLearn

Presenter: Amanda Davis, CMP, Director of Learning & Development and Online Learning Manager, Blue Sky eLearn

Fri 8/21 at 1 p.m. – How to Go Virtual (While Still Creating an Engaging Experience)

Learn how to take events online in a way that will 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 8/24 from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Face-to-Face to Virtual…What Do I Do?: The Sequel

You asked for more demos so we’ve established a whole new day for virtual event demos with additional vendors. This day is designed to answer your questions…What platforms are out there? What features should I be looking for? Where are the pitfalls? More info/register.

Host: ASAE

Mon 8/24 at 11 a.m. – The ROI Member Recruitment Brochure: How to Create Brochures That Positively Influence Membership Decisions

Learn to determine who should be membership targets, which features of membership should be highlighted, how to develop an effective brochure layout, decision motives for joining, and how to train your members to use the brochure. More info/register.

Host: Ed Rigsbee, CAE, president at Rigsbee Research

Mon 8/24 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 8/25 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Cvent CONNECT Virtual

Join the largest gathering of meetings, events and hospitality professionals ever, from the comfort of your home. Hear from industry leaders as they discuss our path to overcome and move forward, and the latest best practices. Experience a best-in-class virtual event to inspire and start building your new event strategy. More info/register.

Host: Cvent

Tue 8/25 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

Tue 8/25 at 2 p.m. – 5 Tips to Engage Gen Z and Millennial eLearners in 2020 and Beyond

Learn how to level up your existing learning strategy to meaningfully engage your Millennial and Gen Z learners. Find out what motivates Millennials and Gen Z and how to tailor your learning strategy to keep them engaged, ways in which traditional learning programs fail younger learners and how you can prevent these common mistakes, and how to evaluate and transform your instructional content. More info/register.

Host: eLearning Learning and Aggregage

Presenter: Nick DiMaso, Learning Content Manager and Technologist at BenchPrep

Tue 8/25 at 7 p.m. – Facilit8me 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

Wed 8/26 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. – Cvent CONNECT Virtual

Join the largest gathering of meetings, events and hospitality professionals ever, from the comfort of your home. Hear from industry leaders as they discuss our path to overcome and move forward, and the latest best practices. Experience a best-in-class virtual event to inspire and start building your new event strategy. More info/register.

Host: Cvent

Wed 8/26 at 11 a.m. – The ROI of Words: How to Write Website Copy That Will Drive Member Renewal and Recruitment

You can no longer depend on interns or web designers to write your member value copy for influencing renewals and retention. They do pretty, you must do effective. Learn how to write the kind of benefit (or what’s in it for me) copy that will influence the decision to join or renew. More info/register.

Host: Ed Rigsbee, CAE, president at Rigsbee Research

Wed 8/26 at 12 p.m. – Mind-Melding with Healthcare Association Experts to Build High Quality Professional Development

It’s common to hear that member experts lack respect for staff’s attempts to apply innovative new formats and instructional-design best practices. The problem is perhaps especially acute in healthcare, where traditional CE modalities and professional hierarchies still often hold sway. Learn about the cultural and historical forces that tend to interfere with collaboration with SMEs. Find out how to foster collaboration between SMEs and education teams using five simple principles. More info/register.

Host: Web Courseworks

Wed 8/26 at 1 p.m. – Key Contract Clauses: A Meeting Planners’ Guide to Cost Containment & Risk Reduction

Get an understanding of our current marketplace and how it affects a planners’ strategy during negotiations. Review key contract clauses and learn how to defend them to benefit your organization’s bottom-line. Discuss variables that the hotels consider when reviewing your overall business value. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Meetings Today

Presenter: Robyn Mietkiewicz, CMP, CMM, strategic partner with INNOV8 Meetings + Events

Wed 8/26 at 1 p.m. – #ExpoChat on Twitter

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

Wed 8/26 at 1:30 p.m. – The Future of Technology for Nonprofits and Associations

Learn technology innovation applicable to nonprofits and associations and gain a perspective on what kinds of technological innovations of specific interest may be arriving and their relevance to associations and other nonprofits. Spark your imagination on how organizations’ operations might be dramatically altered by advances in technology. More info/register.

Host: Fíonta

Presenter: Dr. Lisa Rau, Fíonta co-founder

Wed 8/26 at 2 p.m. – Setting Your Speakers, Attendees & Sponsors up for Virtual Event Success

Learn how to create and use a strategic communications plan for your speakers, sponsors, and attendees. We’ll share best practices to make sure each of these groups are ready to engage and create an impactful experience. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Hubb


  • Erin Lee, Vice President Marketing & Customer Experience, Biotechnology Innovation Organization
  • Chrissy Parsons, Strategic Account Manager, Dynamic Events
  • Allie Magyar, Founder and CEO, Hubb

Thu 8/27 at 1 p.m. – Improve Member Retention by Building Your Membership Community Through Digital Engagement

With limited in-person engagements, it has become increasingly difficult to retain association members in a virtual world. Join a deeper dive into member retention strategies for building a strong and engaged member community. Get a deeper understanding of your members’ needs and identify new opportunities to keep them renewing year after year. More info/register.

Host: Web Scribble


  • Dawn DiLorenzo, Director of Marketing @Web Scribble
  • Lindsay Rutz, Marketing Assistant @Web Scribble

Thu 8/27 at 2 p.m. – Replacing the Timecard Mentality: Are You Sure You’re Cultivating Trust Among Your Staff?

Do you trust your staff? Does your staff trust you? Why is trust important and how can you be sure that you have it? If you’ve lost it, can you get it back? Is it more important to proactively cultivate and work to sustain trust on your teams during dynamic and turbulent times? Find out more about the actions you can take to nurture the outcomes that benefit a team. More info/register.

Host: Tecker International


  • KiKi L’Italien, founder, Amplified Growth, and senior consultant, Tecker International, LLC
  • Glenn Tecker, founder, Tecker International

Thu 8/27 at 2 p.m. – Data Is for Marketers

As you know, all marketing is based on understanding our audiences. Take just 30 minutes to see for yourself how the latest data analytics can elevate the efforts of association marketers. Learn how to dissect and target emerging member and non-member interest clusters; identify, score, and reach out to your most (and least) engaged members; report on member and interest trends with data snapshotting; link data analytics to your existing email and social marketing systems; and capture and use the 80% of member data NOT found in your AMS. More info/register.

Host: Gravitate Solutions

Fri 8/28 at 12 p.m. – Challenges Women in Leadership Face and How to Deal with Them

Hear about the unique challenges and opportunities for women in the events industry, as well as real-world examples and lessons from women in leadership. Topics will include the value of peer-to-peer networking, mentorship, developing and utilizing exemplary communication skills across genders, and proven strategies for career advancement at every level of the organization. 1 CMP credit. More info/register (fee for non-MPI members).

Host: MPI


  • Elizabeth Lombardo, PH.D., Speaker and Psychologist, Elizabeth Lombardo International, LLC
  • Maja Kazazic
  • Carly Patterson
  • Ashley Fox

Thu 9/3 at 1 p.m. – LMS Selection: Mastering the Process, Avoiding the Pitfalls

Great content is only part of the equation for successful online education—most organizations also need a way to effectively deliver the content, track participation, and manage credit and certificates. The right technology can mean the difference between a big success and a big headache, but the selection process can be daunting. Hear about a time-tested process for selecting a learning management system and the pitfalls to avoid. Get a clear understanding of how to lead your organization in choosing the right learning technology. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Tagoras/Leading Learning


  • Celisa Steele and Jeff Cobb, co-founders of Leading Learning and Tagoras
  • Marc Benton, learning solutions engineer at Community Brands

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 from Capital Reef NP by James Lee 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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