Association Brain Food Weekly: 12.11.20

Free educational resources and events for the association management community

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

Free educational resources and events for the association management community

2021 attendee intent survey. To better understand the interest in attending in-person or hybrid conferences in 2021, Ricochet Advisory and HPN Global are collecting data from past conference attendees on the factors and scenarios that influence their likelihood to attend future conferences, e.g. vaccination availability, hotel hygiene practices, air travel, quarantined return rules, etc.

This survey data will provide quantitative insights to help guide associations planning 2021 conferences. Please email Chris Gloede if your association has questions about the study or is interested in participating. Participating associations will receive the full survey dataset and analysis as well as a data slice of the same analysis for their association.

Project management basics. I bet many of you once found yourself in a project manager role without the benefit of project management experience or training. Been there! The scary thing is: you don’t know what you don’t know. Achurch Consulting removes some of the mystery by sharing project management basics for AMS implementation projects.

Binge-worthy education. I swear we’re the only people in America who don’t subscribe to Netflix so I haven’t watched Queen’s Gambit but I keep seeing references to it all over the place. WBT Systems breaks down some of the secrets to Queen’s Gambit’s success and explains how these principles apply to educational programs.

Virtual networking meetups. MemberSuite shares nine ideas for member networking meetups that go well beyond the chat box at virtual conferences. Coincidentally, I saw people talking about this member need in the chat boxes at ASAE TEC. 

Chapter ROI. It’s easy to see how much your association spends on chapters, but not as easy to see the return on that investment. Billhighway explains how you can get access to chapter member engagement data and how that data can justify the resources dedicated to chapters and even support your argument for additional resources.

Association websites. If you see Ray Van Hilst of Yoko Consulting listed on a conference schedule, you know you’re in for a good session. His blog posts deliver the goods too. In this one, he shares some association website trends he’s seen over the past year and practices you should put into play for 2021.

Support your local food bank. Since spring, my local food bank has distributed double the amount of food they usually do because of the unrelenting demand caused by the pandemic’s economic impact. Please consider finding and supporting your local food bank. Many of them have matching campaigns during the holiday season so the impact of your donation might be doubled or tripled.

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

  • 3 ways virtual presenters can elicit greater audience response and connection. (Sarah Gershman, Harvard Business Review)
  • How to professionally decline an unnecessary Zoom meeting (Lindsay Tigar, Fast Company)
  • Just in time for the second or third wave of stir-crazy, hillnutty and shackwacky… explore the entire world with 4K virtual walking tours. (Ted Mills, Open Culture)

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.

  • I found a new sauce for fish. Although I think it’s meant for tacos, it was delicious on baked black drum fillets: creamy jalapeño sauce. I used my Vietnamese coriander instead of cilantro because it’s right outside my door. I grew it so I’d have a year-round ready supply of cilantro because there’s nothing worse than pulling cilantro out from the produce drawer only to find a blackened slimy bouquet.
  • Earlier in the week, we had this fall-apart, caramelized cabbage as a side. A completely different way of preparing cabbage—we loved it. Watch the heat on this one, it can sneak up on you if you have a heavy hand. Guilty.

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 12/11 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.

Fri 12/11 at 1 p.m. – Associations of the Future Series

Join a fireside chat about the future of associations. Amanda and Meredith provide a preview in this trailer. The series includes two 20-ish minute on-demand videos (here’s the first, the second will be live today at the link below) followed by a live session where they continue the conversation, answer any questions you may have, and where you can weigh in on the opportunities and possibilities for associations. More info/register.

Hosts: Amanda Kaiser of Kaiser Insights and Meredith Low of Meredith Low Consulting

Fri 12/11 at 1 p.m. – Association Professionals Annual Holiday Party

Just because 2020 has us stuck at home, it doesn’t mean we can’t still meet up as a community! You’ll meet old friends and make new ones in this fun, interactive online event. (Plus, you may get some ideas for your own parties, galas, and fundraisers.) Definitely not another boring Zoom meeting. It’s a party plus networking … and a shot of learning and reflection to justify it all for your boss. BYOB, obviously. More info/register (ASAE Collaborate log-in required).

Host: Lee Gimpel, Better Meetings

Mon 12/14 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 12/14 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 around 1 p.m. every Monday.  


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

Mon 12/14 at 2 p.m. – Delivering a Successful Hybrid Event

Hear what the new breed of hybrid events will look like going forward. Learn how to develop and deliver relevant content for all audiences, increase attendance and engagement with the right mix of technology solutions, expand revenue opportunities and offset costs with blended learning and sponsorships, and select which key performance indicators to measure against as benchmarks for success. 1 CAE credit. More info/register (fee for ASAE non-members).

Host: ASAE


  • Jesse Sniper, Senior Direct of Product, Event Technology Group, Community Brands
  • Jessica Metzler, Director of Client Success, Learning Solutions, Community Brands

Mon 12/14 at 10 p.m. – How to Develop Metrics, Track and Analyse Data at Digital Events

Digital events now give stakeholders the opportunity to capture and analyse data points, translating it into meaningful results and insights. How do you develop the right data metrics for sponsors and partners of your digital event? Also, what are the questions to ask of the event platforms to ensure you receive the data at the completion of your digital event thereby creating more value for your event stakeholders. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA

Presenter: Jennifer Kingen Kush, DES, Founder and Strategist, Kingen Kush Solutions, LLC

Tue 12/15 at 12 p.m. – Component Relations and Volunteer Management Section Council Crunch and Munch Monthly Chat

We’ll feature different questions from our community and assist each other with best practice sharing and idea generation. More info/register (ASAE Collaborate log-in required).

Host: ASAE Component Relations and Volunteer Management Section Council

Tue 12/15 at 12 p.m. – Aligning Norms, Core Values and Codes of Conduct: A CEO Dialogue

Recent attention to guidelines for board behavior is driven by two circumstances—new challenges for governance in the virtual environment, and heightened sensitivity to issues of diversity and inclusion. These realities have created an opportunity to revisit established norms, ethics and practices and necessitate a new look toward best practices of leadership behavior. Hear insights from CEOs and industry experts on how they are navigating these realities and (re)committing their board leadership to organizational core values and codes of conduct. 1 CAE credit. More info/register (fee for ASAE non-members).

Host: ASAE


  • Hannes Combest, CAE (moderator), chief executive officer, National Auctioneers Association
  • Sharon Cox, MA, RDN, LDN, FAND, senior consultant, Tecker International LLC
  • Neal Couture, CAE, executive director, The American Society for Nondestructive Testing
  • Debbie Trueblood, MS, CAE, executive director, Illinois Park and Recreation Association

Tue 12/15 at 12 p.m. – How the Software Revolution is Eating Professional Learning

In the same way that Amazon “ate” bookstores and turned them into Kindle books, eLearning software is on the brink of “eating” professional learning, radically changing the way we deliver and consume education and learning programs today. Hear about the tailwinds creating this opportunity, how learning organizations can seize the opportunity to drive 10X impact, and the characteristics for a winning formula in this space in 2021. More info/register.

Host: BenchPrep

Presenter: BenchPrep’s CEO Ashish Rangnekar

Tue 12/15 at 2 p.m. – When Good Isn’t Good Enough: Upgrading Your Virtual Events for 2021

Learn to use a human-centered approach to virtual event design, set your speakers and audience up for success, and increase production value to maintain audience attention. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: MeetingsNet

Presenter: Convene

Tue 12/15 at 2 p.m. – Leadership Buy-in: Modeling Commitment to Affect Change

Hear about the International Board of Director’s commitment to reinforcing the inclusivity of MPI events through education and action in 2021. Join an impactful conversation with our industry leaders and learn how you can work to bring Diversity and Inclusion initiatives to your workplace, organizations, chapters, and more. 1 CMP credit. More info/register (fee for MPI non-members).

Host: MPI


  • Tanida Mullen, CMP, Association Sales Manager, Killeen Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Zoe Moore, CDP, Doerpreneur + Inclusion & Diversity Consultant, LB Alliance
  • Steve O’Malley, Division President, Maritz Travel Company
  • Stephen Revetria, Giants Enterprises

Tue 12/15 at 2 p.m. – Rock Your Virtual Presentations!

How do you “read the room” virtually? How can you look professional on a tiny webcam for client presentations, board meetings, or performance reviews? Learn the 5 core elements to enhance your virtual presence and acquire the specific techniques that make it easier to “read the room” for any virtual discussion. More info/register.

Host: Remote Leader Project

Tue 12/15 at 3 p.m. – Virtual & Hybrid Event Production: What You Need to Know to Be Successful in 2021

What requirements are necessary for virtual and hybrid events? Who is responsible for what aspects of production? What considerations should you take in choosing the software platform for your events? Join an in-depth discussion on how to plan your event production in 2021 and beyond. Explore best practices, tips, and even a few case studies on how to prepare for successful virtual and hybrid events. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA


  • Mike Doane (moderator), CadmiumCD
  • Joe Fauler, Projection
  • Josh Miller, CadmiumCD
  • Maggie Pearson, Conference Managers

Wed 12/16 at 11 a.m. – What’s the Real Scoop on Virtual and Hybrid Events?

In this day in age it seems like every technology company out there is claiming expertise in virtual event software solutions. Our inboxes are infiltrated daily with promotions and false promises and navigating this sea of providers and solutions can be confusing and overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to begin, but the team at Confluence Global has been out in the trenches and has the scoop. 1.5 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: U.S. Transactions Corp.


  • Craig Dellorso, CEO and Co-Founder, Confluence Global
  • Greg Pinsince, Director, Business Development, Confluence Global

Wed 12/16 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 12/16 at 11:30 a.m. – How to Host a New Member Orientation in 30 Minutes

Hosting an online orientation is a great way to engage new members with your organization and other new members. Learn about best practices for webinar format and presenter tips, the basics you should share about your association, top areas of your membership website to share, and how to encourage new members to connect. More info/register.

Host: Your Membership

Presenter: Michelle Schweitz, Membership Expert, Community Brands

Wed 12/16 at 12 p.m. – Looking Toward the Future: What 2021 Will Hold for Associations

From strategic plans to budgets to events, nearly every aspect of an association was affected by events in 2020. As the year comes to an end, the question hanging over the heads of everyone is, “What will 2021 hold?” Hear about changes expected to occur in 2021 and beyond in areas such as strategic planning, financials, membership, and meetings and events. More info/register.

Host: Talley Management


  • Joe Sapp, MBA, CAE (moderator), TMG Chief Operating Officer
  • Gregg H. Talley, FASAE, CAE, TMG President and CEO
  • Diann Furfaro, CPA, TMG Chief Financial Officer
  • Ethan Gray, CAE, TMG Director of Association Management Services
  • Derrick Johnson, DES, CMP, TMG Director of Event Strategy and Development and Chief Diversity Officer

Wed 12/16 at 12 p.m. – Rock Your Virtual Presentations!

How do you “read the room” virtually? How can you look professional on a tiny webcam for client presentations, board meetings, or performance reviews? Learn the 5 core elements to enhance your virtual presence and acquire the specific techniques that make it easier to “read the room” for any virtual discussion. More info/register.

Host: Remote Leader Project

Wed 12/16 at 1 p.m. – The 2020 Year in Review: How Higher Ed, Associations, and Training Providers Pivoted in Light of Immense Change

Learn how professional associations, higher education institutions, and training providers have had to change how they teach new skills to their learners, how they have changed their digital credentials to reflect the changing hiring landscape, and what they think 2021 will bring. More info/register.

Host: Credly

Presenters: Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Black Swan Group and the Nonprofit Leadership Association

Wed 12/16 at 1 p.m. – Exciting New Meetings Technology: How the Latest Tech Tools Can Create Efficiencies and WOW Attendees

From new methods for running virtual and hybrid meetings to extended reality and beyond, discover what new technologies are actually relevant to your meetings, how they may impact your budget and how you can best use them to improve both your attendees’ experience and the ROI of your event as the meetings and events industry recovers. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Meetings Today

Presenter: Corbin Ball of Corbin Ball & Co.

Wed 12/16 at 1 p.m. – #ExpoChat on Twitter

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

Wed 12/16 at 2 p.m. – Six Ways to Have Your Online Event Not Stink

Hear practical strategies aimed at making your online event better than just “not stinking”—but darn good. Learn key considerations on event production quality, insights of being flexible and planning for the unexpected, and the importance of crafting a unique experience to get attendees to engage. More info/register.

Host: Virtual Inc.

Presenters: Andy Freed, CEO, and Margot Rodger, VP of Events & Meetings, Virtual, Inc.

Thu 12/17 at 11 a.m. – Events 2.0: Delivering and Monetizing a Hybrid Event

Hear about compelling ways to combine the power of physical meetings with the huge audience reach of a virtual event. Explore new ideas for successful hybrid events, including the format, content, technology, networking and monetization. More info/register.

Host: Virtual Events Institute

Thu 12/17 at 1 p.m. – The Member and the Message

It’s time to get comfortable with your organization’s talking points. Learn how to communicate consistent, relevant, and simple messaging to your members. Hear how association leaders deliver memorable messages about the value of their organizations, a set of questions and framework to follow instead of starting with a blank sheet of paper, and a thought process and an approach to develop and deliver a presentation that sells your organization. More info/register.

Host: GrowthZone

Presenter: Melynn Sight

Thu 12/17 at 1 p.m. – Be A Proactive Planner in 2021

Learn about the current state of the events industry, how to be a proactive event planner, and educational opportunities to progress in your career. More info/register.

Host: Pathable

Presenter: Lori Pugh Marcum, Head of Meeting Innovation, Meeting Professionals International

Fri 12/18 at 12 p.m. – WEC Grapevine: How We Did It – Pandemic Meetings Considerations & Lessons Learned

In November 2020, MPI delivered a hybrid event in-person at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas, and live online to an audience representing 17 countries. Join a deep-dive conversation about the strategy and execution of the event from early critical choices to duty of care to the realities of hybrid. 1 CMP credit. More info/register (fee for MPI non-members).

Host: MPI


  • Melinda Burdette, CMP, Director of Events, MPI
  • Drew Holmgreen, Vice President, Brand Engagement, MPI
  • Jessie States, CMP, CMM, MPI Academy Director, MPI
  • Annette Gregg, CMM, MBA, Senior Vice President, Experience, MPI

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 Filip Bunkens 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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