Association Brain Food Weekly: 11.27.20

Phew, we’re still alive and kicking. Let’s check out these free educational resources and events for the association management community.

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

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Online learning. If your board (or C-suite) hasn’t accepted the fact that your association must offer online education to your members and market, then you’ll want to read this post from WBT Systems. They suggest strategies for making the case for investing in online learning programs.

CEO pandemic insights. Lakisha Woods, CAE, shares her insights from the association C-suite, including advice on attracting and retaining volunteer leaders—a perspective I hadn’t considered before.

Listening. Working on a suicide helpline changed how Natalia Dashan talks to everyone. She had to develop a new habit: stop assuming, start listening. Seems obvious, but most of us don’t do it. While reading her article at Psyche, I realized this new habit would greatly improve conversations with members, customers and prospects.

Risking innovation. On the Leading Learning podcast (a must-subscribe), Celisa Steele talked with association executive director Shawn Boynes, CAE, about dealing with disruption during the pandemic, taking risks and virtual learning. He also spoke about the discussions about race and leadership on the Texts to Table podcast (another must-subscribe) that Shawn co-hosts with three other Black association leaders.

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

  • Did you know the CARES Act made it possible to deduct $300 on your 2020 tax form for charitable donations, even if you don’t itemize deductions? (Chad Chubb, Kiplinger)
  • You might have seen this video of a man wrestling his puppy from an alligator’s jaws—without dropping his cigar! If not, check it out and turn the sound up to hear his grunting efforts. I love this guy. (Washington Post)
  • We hike in southern Utah at least once a year, so this story about a strange monolith showing up in the midst of the red rock wilderness caught my eye. Prank or message from outer space? Cue spooky music. (Adventure Journal)

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.

  • This moqueca de peixe (Brazilian fish stew) recipe is from Jessica Harris, a respected culinary historian and cookbook author. Oh my, we loved this stew. No worries if you don’t have dende oil, I didn’t, just omit it.
  • Jim was away on his annual hunting trip for several days last week so I had my annual pasta indulgence festival—and probably gained about five pounds. I made my usual gorgonzola pasta since he’s not a blue cheese fan. This year, it featured shiitake mushrooms and arugula. I also made a smoked and canned salmon pasta with onion, garlic, peas, lemon zest, dry vermouth, cream, parmesan, asiago, tarragon and black pepper. That was my favorite.

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.

Fri 11/27 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 Standard Time unless otherwise noted.

Mon 11/30 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 11/30 at 1 p.m. – The First 100 Days: How the New Administration Will Influence Your Business

Join a post-election roundup looking into the first 100 days of the presidency. These interactive, virtual discussions will provide an assessment of how a new Biden administration is likely to affect federal policy and the landscape of various industries. With our expansive Legislative Group, consisting of former officeholders and regulatory officials, coupled with experienced industry practitioners, Venable is ideally situated to provide unique analysis and perspective on what lies ahead. More info/register.

Host: Venable LLP

Mon 11/30 at 1 p.m. – Chatting with Agnes & Cecilia

This series of 15- to 20-minute videos cover hot topics and issues related to 501c organization management. New episodes are posted by 1 p.m. every Monday. Check out Cecilia’s new Nonprofit Executive Spotlight series too.


  • Cecilia Sepp, CAE, CNAP, principal and founder, Rogue Tulips LLC
  • Agnes Amos-Coleman, MBA, CMP, education, conference, event, certification consultant, Amos-Coleman

Tue 12/1 at 12 p.m. – Governance System Redesign: Designing the Change Process (ASAE DC Ideas Swap)

Learn how to evaluate your current governance system and introduce the concept of governance redesign. Hear about getting buy-in from board members and a governance system design framework. Walk away with the knowledge needed to redesign your governance system so that its functionality is improved and the board is better positioned to add value. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Greater Washington / National Capital Community

Presenter: Robert Nelson, CAE, Principal, Nelson Strategic Consulting

Tue 12/1 at 12 p.m. – Future Forward: Innovation and Resilience

3 sessions: What SuperSolvers Know, Industry Recovery Panel, and Hurdle Adversity: Amputate Fear and Embrace Your New Normal. 3 CMP credits. More info/register (fee for MPI non-members).

Host: MPI


  • John Register
  • Courtney Clark, Author
  • Lori Pugh Marcum, CMP, CMM, HMCC, CED, Head of Meeting Innovation, Meeting Professionals International
  • Devin Lewis, CEM, CMP, Director of Regional Sales, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority Washington DC Office
  • John Flynn, Vice President of Administration, MGM Resorts International
  • Stephanie Glanzer, CMP, Chief Sales Officer and Senior Vice President, MGM Resorts International
  • Liz Mikkelsen, CMP, Supervisor – Event Purchasing & Industry Relations, ITA Group

Wed 12/2 through Fri 12/4 – digitalNow Conference (registration fee)

A three-day event focused on helping association leaders reinvent the relevance of their organizations in the context of a digital world. On Day 1, leaders will assess the core value proposition of their association. How is the world changing for their members? How is the ecosystem changing? What does this mean for the organization? On Day 2, we’ll examine the key strategies necessary for taking advantage of the trends and delivering on the value propositions articulated on Day 1. On Day 3, we explore the structure required to implement the strategies outlined on Day 2. What are the technologies, people, and processes required to be successful? CAE credits. More info/register – breaking my rule because there’s a registration fee, but this conference is always worth it, plus you get quite a deal since it’s virtual this year.

Host: Fusion Productions

Wed 12/2 at 11 a.m. – VIVid Virtual Presentations

Learn three categories of engagement techniques that you can use to accomplish your virtual presentation’s goals by engaging attendees and helping them stay focused on your presentation. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Component Relations and Volunteer Management Professionals Community

Presenter: John Bellotti, Chapter Program Manager, National Association of Tax Professionals

Wed 12/2 at 11 a.m. – Membership Momentum: Leading Your Association into 2021

This year, associations battled headwinds brought on by a seemingly endless pandemic: reduced budgets, uncertainty, and a lack of in-person interactions. But this year also accelerated new ways for associations to bridge connections virtually. Hear how membership models have changed, tips to increase your membership base, and how you can future-proof your association with unique virtual opportunities. More info/register.

Host: Meeting Expectations


  • Kelly Ash, Senior Association Manager, Meeting Expectations
  • Karl Kirsch, CAE, Vice President, Meeting Expectations
  • Michelle Lee, CPC, Executive Director, OSAP

Wed 12/2 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 12/2 at 12 p.m. – We Came, We Saw, We Survived 2020 (Or Did We…?) 

Join a peer-peer idea exchange—no cost, no presentations, no consultants, no vendors. Just great discussion, sharing, and networking among association professionals from across Virginia. More info/register.

Host: Virginia Society of Association Executives

Wed 12/2 at 1 p.m. – #ExpoChat on Twitter

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

Wed 12/2 at 2 p.m. – The Advocacy Year-End Review and Futurecast

It’s been an unconventional year, to put it mildly, but for digital advocacy, it was a time to stand in the spotlight. With a pandemic, a presidential election, and Congressional and state elections, a lot happened at the grassroots and grasstops advocacy level. Take a look back at what worked, what didn’t, the most effective digital strategies and tactics for our new normal, and what advocacy professionals need to prepare for in the coming months. More info/register.

Host: FiscalNote

Wed 12/2 at 2 p.m. – What’s in Store for Meetings and Events in 2021?

After one of the most challenging years the meetings industry has ever faced, what can planners expect as we head into the new year? Industry experts will share forecasts for industry segments, detail the next steps toward recovery, and help planners adjust to meet the needs of a changing landscape. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Northstar Meetings Group


  • Emmy Hise, Senior Consultant, Consulting and Analytics, STR
  • Michael Shapiro (moderator), technology editor/senior editor, Northstar Meetings Group

Wed 12/2 at 2 p.m. – Create Compelling Presentations for Your Virtual Event

Learn key design principles for effective presentation design, and see how to do it all using only PowerPoint. With plenty of real-life before and after examples, quick tips and tricks, and resources for reference you’ll become a storytelling master. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Hubb

Presenter: Richard Goring, Director, BrightCarbon

Thu 12/3 at 8:45 a.m. – Virtual Shake-Up 2.0: Prepare Your Event strategy for 2021

Learn the new competencies you need to succeed, what a successful and sustainable virtual event strategy looks like (and how to implement it), everything you want to know about hybrid (and then some), and how to gather the right data that informs strategy and drives business. More info/register.

Host: Brella

Thu 12/3 at 11 a.m. – Inclusive Language: The Path to Respectful Content, Connections, & Companies

Learn how inclusive language is more than avoiding offensive words—it’s about aligning intention with impact. Find out why inclusive language is important, and the challenges global companies face when trying to create inclusive content, how to use inclusive language in content as a starting point to larger diversity and inclusion initiatives, and how the right technology plays an important role in global companies learning to communicate inclusively. More info/register.

Host: Acrolinx


  • Vivian Acquah, Workplace Wellness Advocator
  • Theresa Hein, Content Strategy & Localization Lead, Babbel
  • Kiana Minkie, Marketing Content Specialist, Acrolinx

Thu 12/3 at 11:30 a.m. – Drive Business Results: Set New Strategic Priorities and Optimize Your Talent

Learn effective ways to build community, increase engagement, and optimize your talent all while working to achieve exploring, producing, stabilizing and cultivating objectives. More info/register.

Host: SOAR Community Network

Thu 12/3 at 12 p.m. – How to Develop and Market Your Virtual Event

Hear about the core aspects of developing and marketing a great virtual event, including the platform needed to livestream speakers; the technology integrations with your AMS/CRM; planning, development, and other considerations (lighting, audio, background); and five core marketing tactics and strategies to employ. More info/register.

Hosts: Social27 and Marketing Nice Guys


  • Tim Ito, Partner, Marketing Nice Guys
  • Manpreet Wadan, Partner, Social27

Thu 12/3 at 12:30 p.m. – Measure What Matters: DEI Impact

Hear about the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) metrics other organizations are tracking, share your own successes and challenges, and gain a better collective sense on how to measure what matters when it comes to DEI impact. More info/register.

Host: McKinley Advisors


  • Heba Mahmoud, senior manager, diversity initiatives, Consumer Technology Association
  • Tim Hopkins, senior advisor, McKinley Advisers

Thu 12/3 at 2 p.m. – The Path to Association Podcast Success

Hear why the panel of podcasters decided to start one for their organization, how they develop the content and content schedule, what it takes to produce the episodes – the magic that happens behind the mic, how they launched the podcast and tips for promotion, feedback they’ve gotten from members, and what they know now that they wish they knew before they started. More info/register.

Host: Matrix Group


  • Joanna Pineda, CEO, Matrix Group
  • Dave Coriale, President, DelCor Technology Solutions
  • Patricia Cole, Vice President of Communications, Catholic Charities USA
  • Brian Reardon, Vice President of Communications and Marketing, The Catholic Health Association of the United States
  • David Werning, Director of Content Development, Catholic Charities USA

Thu 12/3 at 2 p.m. – Member Renewal Campaigns that Work: How to Plan, Launch, and Measure an Effective Renewal Program Quickly

At this time when people are not getting together in person, your member renewal campaign must be personalized, emotionally compelling, and make the member feel the pull of the member community. Video is the way to do that. Hear about a tactical plan to engage your members that will be your secret weapon in achieving higher membership renewal rates and having an impact in as little as 7 days. More info/register.

Host: Gather Voices

Thu 12/3 at 2 p.m. – The Secrets to Structuring Your Total Event Program for 2021

Learn how to realign your total event framework so that virtual, hybrid, and in-person events all have their spot to shine, set up your organization with the right mindset and skillset for successful events in 2021, and structure a flexible, agile tech stack that allows you to execute and capture value no matter the event type. More info/register.

Host: Smart Meetings

Presenters: Mike Dietrich and Alyssa Peltier, Cvent

Fri 12/4 at 10 a.m. – Generating Revenue in a COVID World

Join us for this strategy session to learn more about diversifying funding streams through philanthropic approaches, increasing revenue generation beyond earned income models, and improving income projection from untapped and under-used sources. Hear about sponsorship benefits you can offer, ways to increase your sponsorship ROI, and the three levels of sponsorship (hint: it is not Gold, Silver, and Bronze). More info/register.

Host: New York Society of Association Executives


  • Lewis Flax, Flax Associates
  • Cynthia Reddrick, Fruition Consulting for Nonprofits

Fri 12/4 at 12 p.m. – Association Planner Summit

Two sessions: Respond, Don’t React: How This Simple Change Can Make All the Difference, and How to Create an Integrated, Multi-Channel Event Marketing Plan. More info/register (fee for MPI non-members).

Host: MPI


  • Molly Marsh, Director of Education and Engagement Design, AMR Management Services
  • Samuel Scott, The Promotion Fix Columnist, The Drum

Fri 12/4 at 2 p.m.  – Foresight Fridays with Jeff De Cagna

We will discuss pre-selected foresight topics and questions. Participants will enjoy compelling future-focused learning 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Jeff De Cagna, executive advisor for Foresight First LLC

Mon 12/7 at 4 p.m. – AWTC End-of-Year Virtual House Party

For the 4th year in a row, Association Women Technology Champions (AWTC) is planning to celebrate the ASAE TEC Conference with a happy hour to kick it off. We are using a virtual event platform that allows us to host lots of Zoom meetings. Each one is a room in our virtual house party and you can walk between them and decide how to spend your time. So join us in the garden for live music, the living room for games, the basement for scuttlebutt, the dining room for crafts, and more. More info/register.

Host: Association Women Technology Champions

Wed 12/9 at 2 p.m. – Riding the Wave of Virtual Transformation

Get a look at the past, present, and future states of eLearning and insights on different tactics deployed by organizations to meet the new needs of their reality. Learn how to align eLearning initiatives to overall digital engagement and SEO goals, align technology with content through instructional design and course curriculum, and deliver the “wow” factor during these disruptive times. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Hosts: MemberSuite and Blue Sky eLearn

Thu 12/10 at 12 p.m. – Chapter Performance Reimagined: Taking Your Association’s Growth to the Next Level

In times like these, when many associations can’t host large in-person conferences, chapters and affiliates can deliver member value locally in ways that National cannot. By empowering your components, associations can increase member engagement and retention, growing both revenue and membership. In this webinar, we’ll touch on ways you can significantly mobilize your components to better serve members and create a win/win for your members, your chapters, and your association. More info/register.

Host: Billhighway

Thu 12/10 at 1 p.m. – The 2021 Learning Business Landscape

Look back at key developments that impacted the learning business in 2020—ranging from the obvious (COVID) to the less obvious (the growth of learntech investment)—plus survey data from practitioners working in the business of lifelong learning. Hear how organizations are investing in online learning and specific areas of focus like personalization, microlearning, social learning, data analytics. Find out what your peers consider important and start thinking about how these trends will and should impact your own organization’s portfolio of educational offerings. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Tagoras

Presenters: Tagoras and Leading Learning co-founders Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele

Thu 12/10 at 1 p.m. – Turning DEI Commitments into Action

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion has emerged as a major priority in the association sector this year—and many leaders are looking for “roadmaps” or proven practices to guide their work. Hear how two associations realized measurable change by integrating DEI plans into their strategy and governance. Our panel will outline their plans—from envisioning to impact measurement—and share best practices and lessons learned from the volunteer leader, CEO and staff perspective. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: McKinley Advisors


  • Chris Busky, CAE, CEO, Infectious Diseases Society of America and the IDSA Foundation
  • Salandra Thomas, Vice President, Talent and Organizational Development, Infectious Diseases Society of America
  • Karen Horting, MBA, CAE, Executive Director & CEO, Society of Women Engineers
  • Heather Doty, Incoming President, Society of Women Engineers and Project Engineer, Ball Aerospace
  • Jon Hockman, CPF, FASAE, Principal, McKinley Advisors

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 Perkons via Pixabay

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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