Association Brain Food Weekly: 1.29.21

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

Membership survey. Monday (2/1) is the last day to participate in Marketing General Incorporated’s (MGI) 2021 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Survey. Your voice—along with those of nearly 1,000 association leaders around the world—will help us all gain insights about what is working to recruit, engage and retain members during the pandemic.

Online learner engagement. Wow. You must check out this treasure trove of ideas from Lee Gimpel of Better Meetings—51 best practices for engaging webinar and online educational event attendees.

Managing remote teams. Now that your organization has nearly a year of remote work under its belt, it’s time to ask: do your managers know what they’re doing? WBT Systems suggests associations offer training in these seven skills for managing remote teams.

Fractional CIOs. The C-suite is no longer a full-time job at many organizations, including associations. Achurch Consulting explains what’s behind the growing demand for fractional executives, specifically fractional CIOs and how associations benefit from this approach to staffing.

Boomers killed college. Oohwee, I love this scathing look at higher ed’s deficiencies. At Inside Higher Ed, Ryan Craig says higher education’s zealous conversion to the boomer cult of self-realization has contributed to the concurrent crises of completion, affordability and employability. He suggests colleges offer pathways, not to self-realization, “but rather socioeconomic mobility. Pathways that lead directly to good first jobs rather than the current dense tangle of courses and programs faculty want to teach (or have always taught).”

Quick hits

  • Membership pro tip: offer bite-size engagement to new members. (Tip Tucker Kendall, International Society of Arboriculture via Associations Now)

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 just had the best leftovers for lunch thanks to our highlight of the week: eggplant parmesan. This Washington Post recipe broils the eggplant slices instead of frying them, and cuts back on the cheese too. It’s a keeper recipe for this Italian-American standard.
  • Another night, I baked fillets of black sea bass with a basil pesto, parmesan and panko bread crumb topping, one of my go-to recipes.
  • The Coffee Chat consensus this week: we love cinnamon in our coffee. Sprinkle it in, swirl a cinnamon stick around the mug, or add it to the filter along with the coffee. I sometimes get my fix from my gingerbread coffee syrup, but I’m out.

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 1/29 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 1/29 at 12 p.m. – Digital Body Language: The New Rules of Trust and Collaboration

How do we connect meaningfully with our audiences and partners right now? How do we make sure work still gets done in our own teams and keep morale high? How do we build inclusive and inspirational events virtually and through hybrid models? Learn how to master the art of Connectional Intelligence and Digital Body Language. 1 CMP credit. More info/register (fee for MPI non-members).

Host: MPI

Presenter: Erica Dhawan, MPA, Author and Keynote Speaker on 21st Century Collaboration, Cotential

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

Fri 1/29 at 1 p.m. – Paycheck Protection Program 2.0: Lessons Learned So Far and Considerations for Associations

Hear about the rules and requirements of the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in plain English, as well as everything you need to know about applying for a PPP loan, whether for the first or second time. Find out about changes to the federal Employee Retention Tax Credit and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Hear lessons learned so far from practitioners and ASAE’s public policy team, and get your critical questions answered. 1.25 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: ASAE


  • Jeffrey S. Tenenbaum, Esq., Managing Partner of the Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC
  • Mary Kate Cunningham, CAE, Senior Vice President of Public Policy, ASAE
  • Jeff Evans, Associate Director of Public Policy, ASAE
  • Susan Robertson, President & CEO, ASAE

Mon 2/1 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 2/1 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

Tue 2/2 at 11 a.m. – Kick Off Session for the 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: February 2-9, engage in an asynchronous virtual dialogue. Phase 2: February 10, attend a collaborative virtual workshop to identify and evaluate choices. Phase 3: February 11-13, reflect through asynchronous 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 2/2 at 12 p.m. – Using Publicly Available Data (Data Analytics Network)

We normally think of data analytics coming from our own internal data. But we can also use third party data—information put out by governments, public organizations and companies and made available to the public—to enhance our knowledge of our market, and our constituency. Hear how your association peers have been able to draw third party data for their own analytics. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Hosts: Data Analytics Network and Association Analytics

Tue 2/2 at 1 p.m. – Learn How AI Based Personalization Has Become a Crucial Driver of Revenue and Growth (I.C.E. 8: Innovate. Communicate. Educate.)

Explore the trends and technologies your association can better monetize and/or innovate with so you can more effectively educate and communicate with your members, constituents, and the public. More info/register.

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

Guests: Adam Hostetter and Johnny Clayton of FUSE Search

Tue 2/2 at 1 p.m. – The Delicate Balance: Intersection of Strategy and Governance – Roles and Responsibilities of the Association Board

To keep an association’s senior management and board working together in balance requires some level of investment in defining roles and responsibilities of the board and the senior management, and then training and supporting each leader to ensure appropriate behavior going forward. More info/register.

Host: .orgCommunity

Presenter: Randall Rollinson, President, LBL Strategies

Tue 2/2 at 1 p.m. – Advocacy in a Transitional 2021

In 2020, Soapbox Consulting conducted 5,074 virtual meetings with Members of Congress and 6,704 advocates. Best practices emerged around technology, training, scheduling, and messaging. Yet things are changing again as people begin to get immunized and congressional offices, each managed separately, are making decisions about how they will interact with their constituents in 2021. Join a discussion of the emerging advocacy considerations that have begun to surface in 2021. 1.5 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: U.S. Transactions Corp.


  • Christopher Kush, MPP, CEO of Soapbox Consulting
  • Erica Farage, Vice President of Political Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy, International Franchise Association

Wed 2/3 at 11 a.m. – Member Engagement: 15 Ways to Take Your Newsletter to the Next Level

Learn 15 ways to take your email newsletter to the next level. Identify ways to leverage new technologies to make your email newsletter more sophisticated. Get useful ideas for taking your newsletter to the next level and how you can maximize your newsletter real estate. Learn how to leverage the fundamentals of email engagement for your newsletter. 1.5 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: U.S. Transactions Corp.


  • Erica Salm Rench, Director of Client and Market Success,
  • Angelica Rodriguez, Director of Membership, AcademyHealth

Wed 2/3 at 11 a.m. – Elevating Equity: A Conversation with Dr. Stefanie K. Johnson

Learn how to foster a culture where people feel engaged, empowered, accepted, and valued. Participants will have an opportunity to connect with and learn from one another in the small group discussions that follow. More info/register.

Host: Queen City Certified

Presenter: Stefanie K. Johnson, associate professor at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business

Wed 2/3 at 11 a.m. – Website Accessibility Workshop

Over 90% of websites could use some work toward becoming more accessible and more inclusive in design and user experience. Hear about four common accessibility issues, including low contrast text, missing alt text, keyboard inaccessibility and forms. Identify potential problems on your website and learn best practices for improved accessibility. More info/register.

Host: Adage Technologies

Presenters: Jess Brown, Lead Front End Developer and Ruizhi Liu, Lead User Experience Designer at Adage Technologies

Wed 2/3 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 2/3 at 12 p.m. – Transitioning Your Board into a Strategic Thinking Entity

Explore 21 tangible concepts you can implement as you transition your board into a high-performing strategic thinking entity. Learn how everything from board selection to culture to board meeting design plays a role and log off with ideas you can easily adopt. More info/register.

Host: Association Insights in Old Town

Presenter: Robert Nelson, CAE, principal at Nelson Strategic Consulting

Wed 2/3 at 1 p.m. – Member Engagement Begins With a Question (I.C.E. 8: Innovate. Communicate. Educate.)

Explore the trends and technologies your association can better monetize and/or innovate with so you can more effectively educate and communicate with your members, constituents, and the public. More info/register.

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

Guest: Dave Will of PropFuel

Wed 2/3 at 1 p.m. – Resolve to Succeed: How to Set Your Credentialing Program for Success in 2021

Hear proven strategies customers have used to reset the bar and succeed with credentialing, including how they leverage digital credentials to increase brand awareness, build demand for credentials, provide a quick and easy way for third-parties to verify an earner’s credentials, reduce program management and administrative costs, and provide tangible value for earners to advance their careers. More info/register.

Host: Credly

Wed 2/3 at 1 p.m. – The 2021 Event Marketing Reboot (#ExpoChat on Twitter)

A lot has changed for events in the past year and the new normal isn’t coming as quickly we would like. So, while we’ve changed the way we operate events, have we overlooked changes we should make to marketing them? Is it time to reboot our marketing and make it more agile given the continued uncertainty for the industry this year? What should change to make our marketing efforts–and dollars–more effective? ExpoChat is a Twitter-based conversation on topics related to the trade show industry. More info.

Thu 2/4 at 11:30 a.m. – How to Get Started Planning Your Hybrid Conference

While it’s not yet clear what “hybrid” will mean for scientific conference planners in 2021, the future looks promising. If you’re considering a hybrid format for your upcoming conference, be sure to tune in for tips from our panel of event planning pros. More info/register.

Host: Ex Ordo

Thu 2/4 at 2 p.m. – Digital Marketing Strategies for Ultimate Content Promotion

To effectively capture your members’ attention, you need to do two things very well. First, you have to create highly engaging digital content that your audience can’t wait to engage with. Second, you have to promote your content effectively and efficiently. Learn digital marketing strategies for effectively engaging your audience with high-quality content published in all the right places. More info/register.

Host: Sidecar (formerly Association Success)


  • Erica Salm Rench, Director of Customer Success,
  • Michael Hoffman, CEO of Gather Voices

Thu 2/4 at 2 p.m. – The Great Restart Panel Discussion

Hear insights for rebooting the meeting experience post-COVID. Find out how destination, hotel, event tech and planner leaders are preparing for whatever comes next. More info/register.

Host: Smart Meetings


  • Jason Dunn, Group Vice President of Diversity Sales and Inclusion, Cincinnati USA
  • Kelly Knowlen, Executive Director, Hilton
  • Kristen Horstman, Senior Director of Strategic Events, Salesforce
  • Will Curran, Chief Event Einstein, Endless Events

Fri 2/5 at 12 p.m. – The Importance of Data to Demonstrate the Value of Meetings

Hear about several strategies for gauging a customer’s (i.e. member, participant, etc.) satisfaction, including the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which offers a unique look into brand loyalty. Learn about the importance of evaluation data and how you can demonstrate and leverage the true value of your events. After all, numbers do not lie and it’s more important now than ever to showcase the impact of meetings. 1 CMP credit. More info/register (fee for MPI non-members).

Host: MPI

Presenter: Kyle Jordan, Ed.M., MS, CAE, CMM, CMP, Vice President of Membership and Meetings, National Confectioners Association

Tue 2/9 at 2 p.m. – What We’ve Learned About What Works (and What Doesn’t) for Virtual and Hybrid Events

Hear what we’ve learned about virtual and hybrid events this past year. More info/reminder.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, CEO and host, Association Chat, and senior consultant, Tecker International, LLC

Guest: Tahira Endean, head of events, Society for Incentive Travel Excellence

Thu 2/11 at 12 p.m. – Taking Full Advantage of the PPP and Employee Retention Tax Credit

At the end of 2020, a new law was enacted to expand the availability of Paycheck Protection Program SBA loans to 501(c)(6) organizations. That law also provided for enhanced options for many employers to take advantage of the employee retention tax credit. These opportunities may help cash-strapped organizations get through a difficult time. Hear about lessons learned since the initial rollout of PPP last spring, the interplay of the retention tax credit and PPP loans, the certification of necessity, and maximizing the opportunity for forgiveness of PPP loans. More info/register.

Host: Venable LLP


  • Meredith Boylan, Partner, Financial Services Group, Venable LLP
  • George Constantine, Partner, Nonprofit Organizations, Venable LLP
  • Christopher Moran, Associate, Nonprofit Organizations, Venable LLP

Thu 2/11 at 1 p.m. – Virtual Conference Platform Selection: Simplifying a Strategic Decision

Virtual conference platform providers run the gamut from do-it-yourself options to full-service models. Find out how a provider’s origin—as a webinar technology vs. a streaming video provider, for example—suggests strengths and weaknesses. Learn how to assess factors that impact your technology needs, including the driving reason for your conference (convening members, marketing to potential customers) and key requirements, such as the number of sessions and concurrents. Become better equipped to lead your organization in choosing a virtual conference platform aligned with your strategic needs. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Leading Learning

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

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 Maria Orlova via Pexels

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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