Association Brain Food Weekly: 3.26.21

Rays of the morning sun coming through the trees – inspiration for a weekly list of free educational events and resources for the association community

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

Rays of the morning sun coming through the trees – inspiration for a weekly list of free educational events and resources for the association community

Association innovation. Mary Byers, CAE, CSP, in partnership with Loyalty Research Center, recently released a fascinating environmental scan on association innovation: Association Innovation Scan: The Association Professional’s Guide to Winning with Innovation. The research revealed that associations with a more innovative mindset and culture were more successful at navigating the early challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. No surprise there.

However, only 36% of respondents said they align their staff and board in terms of innovation as a priority. That stinks. The world is changing every day; you must innovate to remain relevant. The report identifies the internal barriers or constraints to innovation, describes inflection points in creating a more innovative culture, and includes profiles of weak, moderate, and strong innovation cultures—plus much more.

Intuitive innovation. Braden Kelley believes intuition has an essential role to play in innovation. Wait, what? Shouldn’t associations always be driven by data? Nope, not exclusively. He says intuition is “incredibly important to human-centered design [because it] taps into our shared understanding as humans of how things should operate.” I wholeheartedly agree.

Volunteer SMEs. WBT Systems sums up the volunteer SME conundrum by saying, “Your association can’t live without them, so how do you live more easily with them?” They suggest strategies for resolving some of the challenges you probably have with your SMEs.

Chapter events. Speaking of contentious volunteer situations, what about chapter leaders who plan to host in-person events in the upcoming weeks or months? Billhighway went to an expert (Aaron Wolowiec, CAE, CMP) to get advice on how CRPs can support chapters with virtual and in-person event decisions and design.

AMS pains. MemberSuite surveyed association professionals on their most frustrating AMS pain points. Ack, I’ve been there. Just reading this gives me the heebie-jeebies. If you’re suffering from one of these issues, the post provides advice for alleviating the pain—or avoiding it in the first place.

Burnout. Olga Khazan at The Atlantic gets right to the point. She says burnout “is technically a work problem. And only your employer can solve it.” Think about it: unreasonable workloads, crappy technology (hello, AMS pains), lack of control and/or recognition, unlevel playing field, and toxic colleagues. Ugh. I feel like a weight is coming down on me just typing that. If you’re dealing with this, please look after yourself, fill your well, and find ways to see the light in your life instead of all that darkness. You deserve to thrive, not just survive.

Quick hits

  • “When smart, committed people disagree about the answer to a question, you’ve found a question worth pursuing and a discussion worth having.” Some good food for thought there. (Seth Godin)

Good eats

Skip down to the list of free webinars if you prefer takeout. If you’re a home cook, check out the weekly In The Kitchen posts on my Grabbing the Gusto blog.

  • The highlight of the week: lasagna. Lasagna never lets you down. I’ve been tweaking this recipe over the years: ground beef and Italian sausage, basil pesto ricotta mix, marinara, and mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan cheese. Email me if you’d like the recipe in a Word doc.
  • On the side, roasted broccoli (add slices of garlic about 5 minutes before it’s done) tossed with lemon zest and Parmesan cheese when it comes out of the oven.
  • I don’t have much else to share since lately I’ve been making a three-night meal on Sundays. However, I received a big, beautiful piece of swordfish in my seafood share last week. I simply baked and served it with generous squirts of lemon juice. On the side, leftover roasted butternut squash and green beans tossed in gojuchang and thrown back in the oven to crisp up.

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 3/26 at 12 p.m.* – EventTech Chat

A weekly conversation about meeting and event technology, including software, hardware, and audiovisual for in-person and online events. More info/register.

Host: Brandt Krueger, founder Event Technology Consulting

*All times are Eastern Daylight Time unless otherwise noted.

Fri 3/26 at 1 p.m. – Recent Live Event Success Roundtable

Hear how the panel pulled off GSAE’s recent safe and successful annual meeting in Savannah while following the ever-changing safety protocols and government restrictions in this Covid era. The webinar will cover physical distancing layouts, enforcing mask/sanitization policies, keeping attendees engaged and enjoying the event, lessons learned, and how communication between all parties has never been more important. More info/register.

Host: Hopskip


  • Wendy W. Kavanagh, CAE, President of GSAE
  • Michelle Gortemoller, DOSM of Hyatt Regency Savannah
  • Jennifer Thompson, Senior National Sales Manager of Visit Savannah

Fri 3/26 at 1 p.m. – Will Learning Ever Look the Same? Re-Visioning In-Person, eLearning, and Virtual Events in a Post COVID World

With the promise of a vaccine and a “return to normalcy” will come the second great disruption in in-person events, virtual events, and eLearning. Learn about ideas and tools that will allow your organization to be at the forefront of this change, and how to surprise your learning audience with seamless and thoughtful opportunities to increase audience engagement and boost organizational revenue. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Blue Sky eLearn

Presenter: Dan Streeter, Vice President of Learning Strategy and Development at Blue Sky eLearn

Fri 3/26 at 3:45 p.m. – Getting Noticed at Work

Learn how to present yourself so that you are noticed for the right reasons. We will discuss the importance of a professional presence, an image of self-confidence, credibility building behaviors, and things you can do that will show your worth and enhance the likelihood of success in building your career. More info/register (must first join Fridays@4, it’s free).

Host: Fridays@4

Presenter: Lisa Johnson, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Owner, HR Know-How LLC

Mon 3/29 at 1 p.m. – Sound Natural Reading a Script (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.

Guest: Serena Gay


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

Tue 3/30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – LMS Demo Day

The just-in-time virtual LMS demo day will feature presentations from a limited number of industry partners that offer LMS platforms. More info/register.

Host: ASAE

Tue 3/30 at 10 a.m. – Virtual, Hybrid and In-Person Events – How to Manage all Your Event Data

Get an in-depth look at all the important things event organizers need to look at when it comes to getting value from their event data: why data is critical for your 2021 event strategy, top data collection tools and why they matter, 4 key steps in building a successful data management strategy, and how to address your top event data challenges. More info/register.

Host: Eventsforce

Tue 3/30 at 12 p.m. – Association Management Companies (AMCs) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Part 1

Hear the journey of three AMCs as they implement Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and (Accessibility) initiatives in their companies and for their association clients. Learn how each organization defines DEI (A), where and how they chose to start the conversation, their approach to DEI(A) with their association clients, and effective practices both internal and external. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE AMC Professionals Advisory Council


  • Derrick M. Johnson II, CMP, DES, Chief Diversity Officer & Director of Event Strategy, Talley Management Group Inc
  • Dionne S. Wilson, CAE, Executive Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Association Management Center
  • Eric Mason, Director of Human Resources, Association Headquarters Inc
  • Beth Quick-Andrews, CAE (facilitator), President, Q&A—An Association Management Company, Inc.

Tue 3/30 at 12 p.m. – Ultimate Member Engagement: The Power of Data-Driven Decision Making

AMS data is useless unless it tells a story and enhances your ability to drive desired results. Learn how to analyze and visualize your existing data, mine the right data to improve your member’s experience, execute winning member-facing strategies, and determine a successful ROI on your collection and analysis of member data. More info/register.

Host: Impexium

Tue 3/30 at 12 p.m. – How to Solve the Challenges of Networking in Virtual and Hybrid Events

Dive into the value of creating deep networking opportunities and how to bring the fidelity of in-person to virtual and hybrid events. Creating a better networking experience is possible and it may be simpler than you think. Learn about the power of deep networking and how to bring it to event participants who are yearning for high-quality networking opportunities. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Event MB

Presenter: Lawrence Coburn, CEO and Co-founder, Twine

Tue 3/30 at 1 p.m. – Increasing Connectivity & Networking in Virtual Spaces Using Avatars

A challenge of virtual meetings is replicating the hallway moments and small-group interactions that often naturally spring from in-person events. Learn how to better connect meeting and conference attendees in virtual spaces using avatar-based platforms. More info/register.

Host: Better Meetings

Facilitator: Lee Gimpel, founder, Better Meeting

Tue 3/30 at 1 p.m. – Raising the Bar on Virtual Events

Going virtual is still the best option for many events. Hear what worked (and didn’t) in 2020 and what’s different in 2021, tips to keep your audience engaged and entertained, ticketing and registration strategies to maximize sign-ups, and key reminders for virtual speaker and emcees. More info/register.

Host: Socio

Tue 3/30 at 2 p.m. – Event Science: The Adventure Continues

Join the quest to follow legendary meeting professional James Caspian as he travels the world inventing the future of events based on science. Described as the first adventure TV show for planners, it is a fun journey that uncovers emerging strategies for producing powerful events. More info/register.

Host: Smart Meetings


  • Heather Mason, CEO of Caspian Agency
  • Carl Winston, Director of the Payne School of Hospitality at San Diego State

Wed 3/31 at 12 p.m. – DEI: An Association Call to Action

March marks continued call for justice regarding Breonna Taylor and the start of the George Floyd trial. This third segment of Association Xchange’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) series features a conversation about the dynamics of black fatigue, and managing racial trauma while addressing privilege and unconscious bias, plus dismantling the structures of systemic power and privilege. Learn about actions that ensure DEI is infused into your association’s culture and values. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Association Xchange (formerly DC Swap)


  • Mariama Boney, LMSW, CAE, president of Achieve More, LLC
  • Donte Shannon, CAE, FASE, CEO of the Association for Equipment Management Professionals and Text to Table Co-Host
  • Robb Lee, CAE (moderator), Chief Marketing & Product Strategy Officer, and responsible for DEI, ASAE

Wed 3/31 at 12 p.m. – Panel Discussion: Simple Strategy

Creating successful virtual experiences begins with a long-term strategy. This panel will discuss various parts of a meeting strategy from creation to implementation to evaluation, aligning industry best practices with proven methods of success. More info/register.

Host: Talley Management


  • Derrick Johnson (Moderator), CMP, DES – Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Event Strategy
  • Cheryl Gallagher, CMP – Director of Meetings for the American Headache Society (AHS), a TMG client partner
  • Maripat Traino – Meeting and Exhibit Manager
  • Erin O’Leary – Meeting and Event Coordinator

Wed 3/31 at 1 p.m. – How to Drive Member Engagement with Education

Providing membership with on-demand access to innovative learning experiences can be a differentiator. Turn members into advocates by providing continuous, self-directed learning opportunities no matter where they are and what device they are using. Learn how to build a closer connection between members and associations, while supporting each member’s individual career advancement. More info/register.

Host: Sidecar

Presenter: Dr. Holly Whitaker, Learning Strategy Consultant, Desire2Learn (D2L)

Wed 3/31 at 1 p.m. – Return-to-Office Legal Concerns for Employers in a Post-Pandemic World

The end of the pandemic means the lights are – literally, and finally! – coming back on at the office. More info/register.

Host: Seltzer Law Firm

Presenter: Diane A. Seltzer Torre, Esq.

Wed 3/31 at 1 p.m. – A Hybrid Meetings Primer: The Rise of the Smart Venue

Learn how to create a touchless environment for registration, presentation management, webcasting and all onsite functions, how robust internet access and flexible network infrastructure is no longer an option…it is oxygen, and how the integration of technology platforms will be the next innovation, with all stakeholders working on one platform. More info/register.

Host: Meetings Today

Presenter: Mary Ann Pierce, MAP Digital

Wed 3/31 at 1 p.m. – #ExpoChat on Twitter

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

Wed 3/31 at 1:15 p.m. – Why Your Next Hybrid Event Isn’t In A Ballroom

Join us live for an in-depth discussion designed to challenge and deepen your understanding of hybrid events, and think outside-the-box using a unique definition of hybrid events. Hear about different hybrid models and the venues they will require, expected progression of hybrid events, managing expectations and experiences, and relevant, detailed visuals. More info/register.

Host: Endless Events


  • Will Curran, Chief Event Einstein of Endless Events
  • Kyle Kocinski, Implementation Manager at Endless Events

Wed 3/31 at 3 p.m. – The Data Analytics Journey: Why to Get Started, How to Get Started and Where to Go From There

You know you need to be doing more with your data but might not be sure how to get started or what to consider for your association. Learn how analytics can benefit you and ways to address your concerns over data quality, how to move beyond looking solely at traditional transactional data, and how you can predict member outcomes and behavior. More info/register.

Hosts: Protech and Association Analytics


  • Gretchen Steenstra, Strategic Technology Consultant of DelCor
  • Julie Sciullo, CEO of Association Analytics

Wed 3/31 at 4 p.m. – 360 Live Media’s EIX: SXSW Online Debrief

In the first in our monthly EIX series, we’ll unpack SXSW Online–sharing the best things we saw, what we learned, and if they were able to capture the magic of the in-person experience. More info/register.

Host: 360 Live Media

Thu 4/1 a 11:30 a.m. – Analytics for Everyone: How to Become a Data-Driven Organization

To enhance your member experience, improve your overall operations, and anticipate future needs, you need insight into your association. Learn how to create a data culture and become a data-driven organization, identify your most important data assets and develop a data governance strategy, and provide data and analytics to your boards, committees, chapters and members. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Community Brands

Thu 4/1 at 12 p.m. – WEC Grapevine: How We Did It – Marketing & Communications in a Pandemic World

Discover the strategies MPI implemented to not only market the hybrid WEC Grapevine in-person and digital experience effectively, but how we designed and executed a robust communication approach to ensure that lack of awareness wasn’t a barrier to attendance. Learn what worked and what didn’t and how these hard lessons provide a blueprint for marketing and communication not just in a pandemic world, but in the new world of live events. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: MPI (fee for MPI non-members)

Presenter: Drew Holmgreen, Vice President, Brand Engagement, MPI

Thu 4/1 at 1 p.m. – Stronger Together: Integrating Teams to Get Your Association’s House in Order

An association’s strength is based on the value it provides its members, and a significant opportunity to add value lies in having a strong Government Affairs program. Learn about the importance of internal, external and key stakeholder collaboration to set your association and Government Affairs program up for success. More info/register.

Host: The Moery Company


  • Trey Richardson, managing partner at Sagac Public Affairs
  • JP Moery, president at The Moery Company
  • Elizabeth Johnson, vice president at The Moery Company

Thu 4/1 at 2 p.m. – How-To: A Step-by-Step Guide to Hosting a Successful Hybrid Event

With residual safety concerns, reduced travel budgets, and restrictions still in effect, organizations are finding creative ways of satisfying both organizational and attendee needs hybrid events. Learn about the basic elements of a hybrid event and practical tips that will help you design a successful hybrid event. 1 CMP card. More info/register.

Host: MeetingsNet


  • Alyssa Peltier, Senior Manager, Industry Marketing, Cvent
  • Rob Carey, Senior Content Producer, MeetingsNet

Fri 4/2 at 3:45 p.m. – Five Fun and Easy Ways to Improve Online Networking

A lot of online organizations and events promise online networking — but then don’t deliver. In this all experiential, hands-on session, we’ll actually explain and demonstrate a few natural, practical techniques to connect people online. You’ll actually get to meet 4-8 of your colleagues while learning easy and effective tips to improve your own events. More info/register (must first join Fridays@4, it’s free).

Host: Fridays@4

Presenter: Lee Gimpel, Founder, Better Meetings

Tue 4/6 at 1 p.m. – Non-Dues Revenue, Partnerships & Sponsorships: What’s Working & What’s Not

COVID has cut into associations’ non-dues revenue streams in a major way. Join us to discuss increasing your revenue through partnerships, sponsorships, and programs that really work. Hear what works, where to focus your resources, marketing, management, and tracking. Learn from two pros how to build successful, revenue-producing programs that can fund the good works of your association. More info/register.

Host: Altai Systems


  • Bruce Rosenthal, founder, Bruce Rosenthal Associates
  • James Bergmann, Director Of Business Development at Altai Systems

Wed 4/7 at 12 p.m. – COVID19 and Gender: The Disproportionate Impact on Women

Learn more about how COVID has disproportionately affected women. Data will be presented on its impact, with a focus on women in associations, particularly the impact on women in C-Suite and leadership positions and the long-term effects on associations as women continue to exit the workforce. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Association Insights in Old Town


  • Genevieve Borello (Moderator), CAE, Senior Manager, Member Engagement, ACTFL
  • Alexis Redmond, JD, MA, CAE, Director, Career Management Resources, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Amanda Bow, Director of Marketing & Communications, Association of School Business Officials International
  • Gayathri Kher, Co-Founder & President, fusionSpan
  • Tori Miller Liu, Director of Information Systems, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Wed 4/7 at 2 p.m. – How to Deliver Collaboration and Connection at Conferences

If we’re being honest, most meetings and conferences we hold aren’t actually meetings. They’re often nothing more than passive watch parties. Even when we were in-person, there was a surprising lack of dialog and conversation at conferences. Join an interactive session exploring how to bring back the “meet” in meetings and “confer” in conferences. Be prepared to join mini breakouts throughout the session to brainstorm and collaborate with your peers on how to design more engaging meetings. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Matrix Group


  • Lee Gimpel, Founder, Better Meetings
  • Joanna Pineda, CEO & Chief Troublemaker, Matrix Group

Thu 4/8 at 12 p.m. – Work Is Not a Place – Executive Management Dialogue

Remote work is not only a necessary outgrowth of the current crisis, it is, for some, proving to be a more productive environment than in-office work. As we look to the future, many factors must be considered as associations contemplate what their workforce will look like, including hybrid work environments, time-zone differences, legalities of a multi-state workforce, and recruitment strategies. Join this conversation to hear insights on the trend toward a geographically dispersed workforce. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE


  • Sara Curtis, CAE, Director of Human Resources, American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • Tiffany Releford, co-chair of the firm’s Community Associations practice group
  • Chantal Sturk-Nadeau
  • Laura Viehmyer, Principal Consultant, PRM Consulting, Inc.

Fri 4/9 at 2 p.m. – It’s Time to Do Something with Your Data: The Value of a Data-Driven Culture and How to Make It Happen in Your Organization

Everyone is talking about the importance of using data, but fewer people are confident about how to create a data-driven culture. Hear stories from associations that have been transformed by an evidence-based approach to their work, how to identify valuable data, ideas for engaging staff and the board, examples of game-changing investments that helped organizations get past barriers, and how to foster a strategic data culture that supports long-term planning and mitigates fear around hard decisions. More info/register.

Host: ASAE


  • Susan Chung
  • Robert J. London, CAE, National Executive Director, Alpha Phi Omega
  • Katherine H. Matthews, CAE
  • Thomas M. Southard, CAE
  • Mike Steckel

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.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Creative Commons photo by Johannes Plenio 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.

%d bloggers like this: