Association Brain Food Weekly: 1.15.21

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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ASAE Gold Circle Awards. The Gold Circle Awards recognize excellence in marketing, membership and communications efforts across 15 different categories, and highlight the important role these campaigns have in moving associations forward. Apply now for a Gold Circle Award or volunteer as a GCA judge. Judges get an inside look at some of the most innovative and outstanding marketing, membership and communication projects and programs in the association profession. The deadline for ASAE members to apply for a judge spot is February 9, 2021.

Forget “normal.” WBT Systems says we aren’t going back to normal, and to think otherwise is magical thinking. They explain why it’s not a good idea to pine for the past and suggest a different mindset to cultivate, one that will help you take advantage of “a perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experiment with new ideas—ideas that could turn into programs that position you, your association and your members for future success.”

Content/education strategy. In response to the pandemic, many associations hosted new virtual events, took down their members-only content paywall, and reduced fees for virtual conferences and education—changes that affect their membership value proposition. The Content Roadmap to Recovery: Eight Ways to Recharge Your Revenue, by Chris Gloede of Ricochet with research assistance from McKinley Advisors, provides succinct advice to help move your content initiatives from response mode to recovery (and revenue) mode.

Association learning landscape. Leading Learning (aka Tagoras) released some results from data they collected from associations in late November and early December 2020. They share how the pandemic shaped learning businesses in 2020 and what kind of learning programs these organizations plan to offer in 2021. Plus, you get Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele’s insight on learning impact, blended learning and microlearning.

Inclusive leadership. In Nonprofit Quarterly, Loren Harris says, “More purposeful effort is needed to increase Black men’s access to networks, professional coaches/formal mentorship, and relationships to power and influence.” He suggests ten steps nonprofits can take to make space for black male leadership.

The future of chapters. Peggy Hoffman of Mariner Management asks, “Will chapters be relevant in 2021?” I won’t completely spoil the plot, but let’s just say, as a former (and biased) component relations professional, I like her conclusion and the reasoning behind it.

Craving for community. You’d think virtual events would be #1 on every “top posts of 2020” list. Well, not this one. MemberSuite discovered that their most visited blog post was about creating a sense of belonging and community. But, virtual conferences did dominate the rest of their list. 

Quick hits

  • How to be more productive working from home: 9 rules for the “now normal.” (Jonathan Thompson, Atlassian Work Life)

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 want this sauce on everything. This maple-lemon-tahini sauce is intended for roasted sweet potatoes, but I put it on leftover roasted broccoli and can imagine it on fish and all kinds of things. I love it!
  • The other highlight was split pea soup with crispy kielbasa from Ina Garten. I also added the meat from the smoked ham hock to the soup too, oink. Can’t go wrong with Ina’s recipes.
  • Want a simple fish prep? Here’s what I did with striped mullet last week. Mix equal parts Parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs. Add some fresh or dried herbs (I like parsley, dill or basil), lemon zest, garlic powder and melted butter and/or olive oil. Pat the crumb mixture over fish fillets and bake until the topping is golden and the fish is done.
  • Another one (this time, it was swordfish). Place fillets in a baking dish. Top with juice from half a lemon, salt, thyme, garlic powder, Aleppo pepper (or pepper flake of your choice) and little pats of butter.

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 1/15 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 1/18 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 1/18 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 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

Mon 1/18 at 3 p.m. – From Systems of Record to Systems of Action

Do you struggle to make member data central to your decision-making process as an organization? Hear how technology can help you use your member data to drive strategy at your organization. Our speakers will explore their data philosophies and help inspire you to improve how you use member data in 2021. More info/register.



  • Reggie Henry, Chief Information and Engagement Officer at ASAE
  • David DeLorenzo, COO at Association Analytics
  • Jeff Horne, CEO at Wicket

Tue 1/19 at 11 a.m. – How to De-Escalate People: 4 Secrets of an FBI Hostage Negotiator and Corporate Fixer

Learn the tricks of the trade to help calm people down personally and professionally. The four skills we will reveal will help you navigate and address issues quickly and effectively, without incident. More info/register.

Host: When + How

Presenters: FBI special agent Chip Massey and crisis expert Adele Cehrs

Tue 1/19 at 12 p.m. – CRP Crunch & Munch

This monthly networking is designed to highlight you, our members, and assist you with live idea generation and best practice sharing. We’ll look to our community Collaborate board to see what the key topics are and then address it live. While this isn’t CAE credit eligible, we guarantee you’ll walk away with new resources, tools, ideas and peers in the CRVM space. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Component Relations and Volunteer Management Professionals Community

Tue 1/19 at 12:30 p.m. – Nonprofit Mailers Face Unprecedented Challenges: What Does the End of the PRC’s Ten-Year Review Mean?

On November 30, 2020, the Postal Regulatory Commission published final rules concluding its so-called ten-year review that will allow the Postal Service to raise prices on mail by more than the rate of inflation, likely by a lot more. The impact of these rules on nonprofits may be disastrous. Hear an explanation of the PRC’s ten-year review, what the PRC’s final order means, how nonprofits can prepare for the storm, and what the industry is doing to fight back. More info/register.

Host: Venable LLP


  • Eric Berman, Partner, Nonprofit Organizations, Venable LLP
  • Stephen Kearney, Executive Director, Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers

Wed 1/20 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 1/20 at 11 a.m. – Insights for Everyone: Data Analytics for Leadership, Staff & Board

Learn how modern data analytics helps you better understand your members (and non-members) by pulling together the 80% of your member data that is NOT stored in your AMS/CRM system and analyzing/delivering it in new and productive ways. 1.5 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: U.S. Transactions Corp.


  • Rob Miller, MPA CAE, Senior Vice President of Revenue at Gravitate Solutions
  • Lacy Packard,  Director of Information Technology, American Association for Justice
  • Terry Dowdy, CAE, Director of Information Technology & Web Services, Tax Executives Institute

Wed 1/20 at 1 p.m. – #ExpoChat on Twitter

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

Thu 1/21 at 10 a.m. – Preparing for a Cookieless World

With new restrictions on third-party cookies on browsers, advertisers will need to rewrite the playbook on how to effectively advertise online with this in mind. Learn about the latest developments in the ad ecosystem, including Facebook’s new Conversions API, which allows users to access data from their own server to inform their Facebook Ad Campaigns. More info/register.

Host: Integromat


  • Emily Wilson, product growth manager at Facebook
  • Marty Weintraub from Aimclear, author of the book, Killer Facebook Ads
  • Jessica Herauf from Integromat

Thu 1/21 at 11 a.m. – Nonprofit GAAP – What you need to know about Related Parties and Consolidation

Walk through the accounting, presentation and disclosure requirements for related party transactions, transaction between entities under common control and affiliate entities. 1.5 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: U.S. Transactions Corp.

Presenter: Mark Robins, CPA, Partner, Assurance Services at Aronson LLC

Thu 1/21 at 11:30 a.m. – Fundamentals of Virtual Networking in 2021 (and Beyond)

According to the 2020 Community Brands Disruption to Opportunity Study, members place increasing value on other virtual ways to connect year-round. ​Discover how to provide valuable online networking for your members using an online community.​ More info/register.

Host: Community Brands

Presenter: Michelle Schweitz, Membership Expert, Community Brands

Thu 1/21 at 12 p.m. – Advancing (and Adapting) Innovation Amid Uncertainty – A CEO Dialogue

Strategic plans set, new ideas ready to pilot, business objectives mapped—and then the pandemic hit. Unsure of the impact of such an unprecedented event, you assessed, pivoted and forged ahead—but to what extent? What ideas were forced to the backburner, and when will they reemerge? What new objectives have emerged? How do you advance, and adapt, innovation efforts amid this era of uncertainty? Hear how recent ASAE innovation grant recipients advanced and adapted their plans to sustain their commitment to innovation, and how the pandemic impacted steps taken and decisions made. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE


  • Michelle Mason (moderator), FASAE, CAE, president and CEO, Association Forum, Founding Member, ASAE Innovation Grants Program
  • Kate Dockins, CAE, IOM, senior vice president/member experiences, executive director, foundation, Institute of Food Technologists
  • Lynette Sappe-Watkins, CFRE, executive director, PA Foundation
  • Michelle Siekerka, Esq, president & CEO, New Jersey Business & Industry Association

Thu 1/21 at 12 p.m. – Looking ForwardTM 2021: Reimagining the World in Which Association Leaders Will Need to be Successful

Hear about the results of Looking ForwardTM 2021, a global environmental scan of the association sector and the implications of the data on association strategy. More than 600 association leaders participated in the study conducted last month. Now in its 10th year, the study assessed the impact of 61 different factors within 6 domains on association members, and the primary challenges facing key association strategy domains. 3 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: Association Laboratory


  • Dean West, President of Association Laboratory
  • Vicki Louise, CEO of SLAS
  • Robert Voltmann, Executive Director of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association.

Thu 1/21 at 1 p.m. – Digital Training: 6 Dimensions of Transformation

The realities of 2020 forced organizations to digitally transform their training and certification businesses overnight. Some were more successful than others. How did the best move forward at high speed while improving quality and building a solid foundation for the post-COVID future? Learn how each of these interdependent elements plays an integral role in the successful transformation process: business realities and objectives, strategy issues and opportunities, content priorities, technology infrastructure, people and culture, and promotion roadmap. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Talented Learning


  • John Leh, CEO & Lead Analyst at Talented Learning
  • Ashish Rangnekar, CEO at BenchPrep

Thu 1/21 at 1 p.m. – Facilit8Me Community of Practice

Join us for our open community of practice dialogue! We ask participants to bring with them any facilitation challenges (past, present or future) they’d like to discuss as a group for supportive feedback, debrief and evaluation. No challenge is too big or small. We leverage the collective wisdom and experience of the group to brainstorm possible solutions, advice and recommendations in a safe and growth-minded environment. More info/register.

Host: Event Garde

Thu 1/21 at 2 p.m. – Content Curation 101: Creating Meaningful Member Relationships

Explore how to keep your members engaged with relevant, personalized content. Through the power of artificial intelligence, a different newsletter could be effortlessly created and sent to each individual based on their unique reading habits. Learn the tools, methods, and best practices for curating outside news sources in order to deliver personalized, automated news that your reader is interested in reading. Find out how expert-level curation will help you to always stay top of mind amongst your members. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE

Presenter: Erica Salm Rench,

Thu 1/21 at 2 p.m. – An Insider’s Look Series: MPI’s World  Education Congress

MPI reimagined their World Education Congress as a hybrid event that drew over 1700 attendees, with 600 attending in-person. Get an insider’s look at how MPI worked with their venue safely, created engaging content for two distinct audiences, marketed an event as safe for in-person attendees, and laid out safe spaces for a full onsite agenda. More info/register.

Host: Cvent


  • Drew Holmgreen, Vice President of Brand Engagement at MPI
  • Melinda Burdette, Director of Events at MPI
  • Thomas Egan, Director of Sales at the Gaylord Texan
  • Kelli Kopec, Product Marketing Manager at Cvent

Thu 1/21 at 4 p.m. – Taking Your Event Virtual: Lessons Learned from the 2020 RV Dealers Convention/Expo

When the RV Dealers Association pulled the plug on the association’s major annual event in August, the staff had to shift its planning from a week-long meeting in Las Vegas to a two-week virtual convention/expo. Hear about lessons learned re attendee engagement, “right-sizing” educational offerings to fit the audience, providing value to exhibitors and sponsors, budgeting, finding the right partners to hold and promote a virtual event, and virtual meeting metrics. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Reston-Loudoun Idea Swap


  • Phil Ingrassia, President of the RV Dealers Association (RVDA)
  • Karin VanDuyse, Karin has a account Chief, RV Learning Center, RVDA

Fri 1/22 at 10 a.m. – Predictions for COVID-19 Recovery (NYSAE Engagement Lounge)

Although the first quarter of 2021 may not look too different than the last quarter of 2020, association leaders are doing their best to complete their full calendar of programs and carry out their strategic objectives. What does that mean? Do we have approval to book live conferences? Are we planning to reopen our offices? Are we building back our bench? 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: New York Society of Association Executives


  • Holly Koenig, CEO, NYSAE
  • David Jackson, CMP, HMCC, managing partner with KKD Tourism Advisors

Fri 1/22 at 1 p.m. – Ask the Association Veteran Anything

Topics include: virtual events; converting an in-person event to online; engagement in a virtual event setting; business model changes; repurposing content; decline in membership, engagement, or attendance; 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

Tue 1/26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Marketing Automation & Technology Systems Demo Day

Tasked with finding the right marketing technology systems for your organization? Wondering what platforms are out there and what features you should be looking for? Join us for our free Marketing Automation & Technology Systems Demo Day event and experience seven in-depth demos from industry partners that are standing by ready to help. More info/register.

Host: ASAE

Tue 1/26 at 11 a.m. – Virtual Workshop for Association Professionals

Learn how to solve big problems and make important decisions with your team in a virtual environment. The workshop format is broken into three phases with one live session and two asynchronous periods. Phase 1: January 22–25, engage in an online dialogue on your own time. Phase 2: January 26, attend a collaborative virtual workshop to identify and evaluate choices. Phase 3: January 27-29, reflect through dialogue with your peers to determine consensus and reach a decision. More info/register.

Hosts: Association Chat, Howspace and Tecker International

  • KiKi L’Italien, CEO and Host, Association Chat, & Senior Consultant, Tecker International, LLC
  • Glenn Tecker, Chairman and Co-CEO, Tecker International, LLC
  • Paul D. Meyer, President and Co-CEO, Tecker International, LLC
  • Troy Pfeffer, Partnerships Director, Howspace North America

Tue 1/26 at 11:30 a.m. – The Future of Credentialing: 10 Trends to Track in 2021

Hear about the 2021 trends and why they matter. Get tips on how you can leverage these trends for the future success of your credentialing programs. More info/register.

Host: Knapp & Associates International

Tue 1/26 at 12 p.m. – CRP Idea Swap: What’s In for ’21?

Chapters will be relevant in 2021, however most of our strategies and plans from the past decade won’t. Join us for a timely chat on what’s in and what’s out in strategies and plans for association components – geographic and non-geographic. More info/register.

Host: Mariner Management

Presenters: Peggy Hoffman and Peter Houstle, Mariner Management

Tue 1/26 at 1 p.m. – Opportunities for Producing and Monetizing Video in the Era of COVID-19 (I.C.E. 8: Innovate. Communicate. Educate.)

Explore the trends and technologies associations can better monetize and/or innovate with to more effectively communicate with and educate their members, constituents, and the public. More info/register.

Host: Jay Daughtry, Chief Communications Officer/Owner, CQbd

Guest: Paul Gannon, Thoughtcast Media Video Marketing

Wed 1/27 at 12 p.m. – Rethink, Restart, Refresh Your Panels: Advice for 2021

The shift to virtual events has magnified the need to add spice and spunk to your conference’s panel discussions so that you leave the audience begging for more. Learn how to design an inspiring panel format for both virtual and in-person events, best techniques for curation and preparation of panelists, and strategies behind question design. More info/register.

Host: Velvet Chainsaw Consulting


  • Kristin Arnold, MBA, CSP, CPF-Master, president, Extraordinary Team
  • Sarah Michel, CSP, vice president, professional connexity, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting
  • Dave Lutz (facilitator), managing director, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting

Wed 1/27 at 12 p.m. – What Communication Competencies Will Association Leaders Need in 2021? (Association Xchange, formerly DC Idea Swap)

One thing we learned in 2020 is the critical need for association executives to have solid communication skills and competencies–no matter what their job title may be. Join us for the January DC Swap as, discuss what communications skills the C-suite seeks when building a leadership team, and the communications competencies you need for continued success in your association career. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Greater Washington / National Capital Community


  • Eileen Denne, CAE, director of corporate communications for the American Academy of Physicians’ Assistants
  • John Tramontana, CAE, CEO of the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association

Wed 1/27 at 12 p.m. – Calibrating Your Brand Positioning

Aligning your association’s brand with its mission can lead to transformative change both within and outside of your association. Learn how to determine if your brand needs a refresh or a complete redesign, what role brand touchpoints play in your overall brand strategy and how they might have changed during the pandemic, and how content strategy can support and tell the story of your brand. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Marketing Professionals Community

Presenter: Lilia LaGesse, senior creative strategist at GRAPHEK

Wed 1/27 at 1 p.m. – Finding and Building Member Value with Online Communities (I.C.E. 8: Innovate. Communicate. Educate.)

Explore the trends and technologies associations can better monetize and/or innovate with to more effectively communicate with and educate their members, constituents, and the public. More info/register.

Host: Jay Daughtry, Chief Communications Officer/Owner, CQbd

Guest: Luke Zimmer,

Wed 1/27 at 2 p.m. – Inoculate Your Organization Against Post Pandemic Culture Shock

A cultural revolution is about to sweep the workplace, ushered in by the most extensive work from home experiment ever imagined. If your organization’s culture doesn’t include words like Agile, Supportive, Collaborative, Innovative, Transparent, and Trusting, you may have a difficult time maintaining staff and attracting top talent in a virtual workplace. Explore why those terms are so important and what proactive steps you can take to prepare your organization for this unprecedented organizational culture shift. More info/register.

Host: Achurch Consulting

Wed 1/27 at 2 p.m. – How Do YOU Hybrid?

We’re asking pioneers and explorers to share their experiences as we venture into the next generation of hybrid meetings. You will gain ideas about engaging both your virtual and in-person audiences, and how to blend those audiences through various intentionally crafted design models. More info/register.

Host: Matchbox Virtual Media


  • Rachel Massman, Housing Colorado
  • Arianna Rehak, Matchbox Virtual Media
  • Leah Lazzari, CMP, Matchbox Virtual Media
  • Victoria Fanning, CMP, DES. MGMA

Wed 1/27 at 2 p.m. – Accommodating People with Disabilities at Virtual Meetings and Events

Learn how to anticipate challenges and achieve a smooth, gracious, and respectful virtual meeting and event experience for every participant. Find out why disability inclusion is so important. Hear about communication strategies to accommodate people with disabilities at virtual meetings and events and important resources designed to ease your way as a successful association executive and meeting professional. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE

Presenter: Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D.,

Thu 1/28 at 1 p.m. – 7 Reasons for Associations to Start or Revitalize Their Podcast (I.C.E. 8: Innovate. Communicate. Educate.)

Explore the trends and technologies associations can better monetize and/or innovate with to more effectively communicate with and educate their members, constituents, and the public. More info/register.

Host: Jay Daughtry, Chief Communications Officer/Owner, CQbd

Guest: Casey Callanan, MBA, Clear Contender Media

Fri 1/29 at 12:30 p.m. – Association DEI Social Hour: Accountability

The start of the new year brings new resolutions for individuals and organizations. As you set or update your organization’s DEI goals for the year, it’s important to think about accountability measures to ensure you’re not only setting and achieving the goals, but you’re finding ways to engage a team on the journey. Join us as we discuss your 2021 DEI goals and how to create an accountability plan to help keep you and your teams on track. More info/register.


  • Tim Hopkins, Senior Consultant at McKinley Advisors
  • Heba Mahmoud, Senior Manager, Diversity Initiatives, Consumer Technology Association

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 Gemma F. Redondo 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.

2 thoughts on “Association Brain Food Weekly: 1.15.21”

  1. Curious if you have any information about who is hosting the Association DEI Social Hour: Accountability on 1/29. No information is provided on the registration page either.


    1. I’m glad you reminded me about this, Sharon. I copied the link from a mention on one of my social platforms. Just searched LinkedIn, because I remember Tim Hopkins being mentioned, and found it. Lowell Aplebaum shared the link. I’m going to update the event with the new info I found.


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