Association Brain Food Weekly: 9.24.21

wild persimmons on the ground – 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…

wild persimmons on the ground – inspiration for a weekly list of free educational events and resources for the association community

Cohort-based online courses. WBT Systems lays it on the line: “Associations with cohort-based online courses will dominate their market and provide the most effective, transformational educational experience to professionals in their industry.” They explain why completion rates are nearly 100% for these courses and what makes them so engaging for learners.

Board unanimity. Lowell Aplebaum, FASAE, CAE, explains why boards should be happy with majority votes and not try to achieve unanimity. But it goes against human nature to encourage conflict in the room; we’re more likely to go along to get along, which can have dire consequences as his backcountry skiing example proves.

Chapter event/website tech. Chapter leaders are busy volunteers trying to juggle their personal, professional and chapter responsibilities. Yet they’re also expected to select event and website technology. They usually pick something cheap that doesn’t integrate with anything else, so data is siloed and not easily available to the national association, meaning more work, argh. Billhighway has a better answer: chapter-in-a-box technology that keeps all HQ and chapter data in one place and doesn’t force volunteers to become chapter technologists.

Software requirements. They’re not sexy but the success of any technology project depends on the thoroughness of the requirements process, says Fionta. They explain why requirements deserve more time and attention, who and what’s involved, and what kind of magic you can expect after going through the process.

Latino inclusion. As National Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off, Juan Amador, CAE, Danielle Duran Baron, CAE, and Diana Dabdub suggest ways your organization can include and advance Latinos. Their list starts with advancing DEI within your association and industry, and building a culture of belonging, but also includes strategies that don’t take as long to implement.

Virtual event sponsor benefits. Over at ASAE, consultants Chris Gloede and Bruce Rosenthal team up to describe five “unusual” benefits for virtual event sponsors. I wouldn’t call these benefits “unusual” but they are, unfortunately, not that common. If associations don’t start talking with prospective sponsors about these benefits, companies will take their marketing dollars elsewhere.

Survey: what do sponsors want? The Partnership Professionals Network (PPN) is teaming up with Dynamic Benchmarking on a new survey designed to help associations understand the needs and preferences of sponsors. The findings from this survey will be invaluable in helping you attract more sponsors and more sponsorship revenue. If you’re interested in distributing this survey to your sponsors and receiving early access to the results this fall, please contact PPN Co-Convener Bruce Rosenthal. Imagine what you can learn and the conversations you can start.

Virtual pre-event drop-ins. Last week, before her Non-Dues-a-Palooza conference this week, Teri Carden hosted a two-hour Zoom meeting. Attendee Joanna Pineda of Matrix Group describes how Teri “sent out an email to all attendees, asking them to drop in at any time during the two hours to say hello, meet fellow attendees, and share what’s on our minds before we come to Nashville.” Steal this idea! Attendees want as many opportunities to meet their peers as you can give them.

Upgrade talent and tech. Rishad Tobaccowala says organizations must upgrade their talent and technology to succeed in the years ahead. He suggests that board meetings start with a Tech Terrain—a threat and opportunity matrix, and an explanation of how you are “preparing and making progress in ensuring competitiveness”—and a Talent Capital X-Ray—”attrition and retention measures but also employee joy, educational investments, culture health checks, and much more.” Although aimed at companies, much of his insight applies to associations too.

Quick hits

  • Why associations should pay attention to the anticipated rise of decentralized autonomous organizations aka DAOs. I see more negatives than positives in this governance model, but it’s worth boning up on. (Emily Herrington, Sidecar)
  • New phishing attack on Microsoft 365 users leverages open redirects to avoid detection. (Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4)
  • Ask the experts: Other than open rates, what should you focus on when measuring email success? (Alyssa Dulin, ConvertKit)
  • A hilarious Twitter thread about trying to be fashionable in Ireland. (@janky_jane)
  • This portable STOP mindfulness practice can support you as difficult moments arise during your day. The four steps take as little as a few seconds to a few minutes to complete. (Rhonda Magee, Mindful)

Good eats

Skip down to the list of free webinars if you prefer takeout.

  • We’ve been enjoying wild persimmons this past week—you can see one in the photo above. After they fall from the tree, we take them inside to ripen for a few days. If you eat them straight from the ground—ours are too high in the tree to reach—the tannins give you a long-lasting cottonmouth. When ripe, they remind me of dates, sweet and satisfying, but with seeds, which we’ll plant in an attempt to grow saplings.
  • I was in the mood for a decadent pasta dish so I made tortellini, sausage and spinach/kale creamy marinara skillet. My recipe was inspired by this one, but mine is, of course, much better, which is why it takes more than 20 minutes to prepare. I doubled the recipe and used two pounds of ground sausage (sweet Italian and chorizo). I also added red and green bell pepper, mushrooms, basil and oregano; used my homemade marinara sauce with only one can of diced tomatoes; omitted the chicken broth; used a 20 ounce bag of fresh cheese tortellini, 8 ounce bag of spinach and one bunch of kale.
  • Earlier in the week, we had maple soy glazed king mackerel. Since I only had a pound of mackerel, I cut the glaze ingredients in half. I baked the fillets instead of broiling them, pulling them out every five minutes to add more glaze. On the side, summer squash pesto made with zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli stems, orange and red bell, onion, corn, slow-roasted tomatoes and basil pesto.
  • The next night, I baked red drum fillets with lemon juice, shallots, lots of paprika and butter. So easy and so good. Leftover squash pesto on the side. Looking back, I should have made rice, couscous or quinoa to soak up that yummy lemon butter sauce.

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

Here are the educational events scheduled for next week. If you have a free webinar or event coming up, please send me the link by Wednesday afternoon the week before it’s scheduled. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not too product centric.

Fri 9/24 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 9/24 at 1 p.m. – Real-time Connections and Engagement at Webinars

Learn why webinars are not dead but need an upgrade, how to make your webinars engaging and increase retention rate, and the role networking and real-time conversations can play to drive sales and engagement at webinars. More info/register.

Host: Airmeet

Presenter: Nicholas Rhodes, founder and creative director, OutSnapped 

Fri 9/24 at 4 p.m. – Creating an Elevator Pitch: Why & How

As an association professional our careers can often be difficult to explain to those outside the association world. Having a well-crafted elevator pitch is an effective tool for introducing yourself as you build your network and find that next opportunity to grow your career. Learn how to define a winning elevator pitch and build our own. More info/register (must join before registering).

Host: Fridays@4

Presenter: Alysa D. Lambert, Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Professor of Human Resource Management in the School of Business at Indiana University Southeast

Mon 9/27 at 1 p.m. – What Associations can learn from Government Relationships (Chatting with Agnes & Cecilia)

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

Guest: Kevin Cuff


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

Tue 9/28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – LMS Demo Day

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

Host: ASAE

Tue 9/28 at 11 a.m. – Association/Nonprofit Events: 5 Ways to Use Video to Maximize Sponsor & Attendee Engagement

Learn how leading organizations are using authentic video content from real people to deliver more valuable opportunities to their event sponsors and create truly engaging experiences for attendees. Hear about five proven user-generated video tactics that can be implemented quickly and affordably for your next virtual, in-person, or hybrid event. 1.5 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: U.S. Transactions Corp.


  • Michael Hoffman, co-founder and CEO of Gather Voices
  • Fallon Cryer, co-founder and Partner at beedance

Tue 9/28 at 11 a.m. – Case Study: How the British Ecological Society are Approaching Income Diversification

With publishing revenues challenged and revenue from in-person meetings disappearing completely, how can societies adapt to the new environment they find themselves in? More info/register.

Host: Society Street

Presenter: Paul Bower, British Ecological Society

Tue 9/28 from 12 to 3 p.m. – techsytalk LIVE Global

As early adopters of event technology we are uniquely positioned to help transition planners from in-person gatherings to virtual events. techsytalk LIVE Global promises to be a resource to facilitate the evolution of the events and meeting industry in an increasingly tech-centric world. More info/register.

Host: Liz King Events

Tue 9/28 at 12 p.m. – 2021 Association Trends Study: Building the Next Normal

Join Community Brands for a deep dive into the comprehensive findings of our 2021 Association Trends Study—a study of 1,000+ members and 850+ association professionals. We’ll reveal insights into what shifts have emerged in member value, shine a light on focus areas for association professionals moving forward to the next normal, and take questions from the audience. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Community Brands


  • Tristan Jordan, General Manager, YM Careers
  • Tirrah Switzer, Director of Product Marketing, Community Brands

Tue 9/28 at 12 p.m. – Removing Attendance Blockers: Getting the Most Out of Your Community

Getting robust, enthusiastic attendance can be hindered by logistics, budgets, distractions, and health concerns. Often overlooked are more subtle attendance blockers such as an awareness gap, a language gap, or a passion gap. We will look at recent successes in managing all of these barriers. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: MPI


  • Jennifer Sills, Founder & President, CSNK2A1 Foundation
  • Kirk Hendrickson, Chief Operating Officer, Wordly

Tue 9/28 at 12 p.m. – Planner & Event Tech Intervention

Tech and live event pros seem to come from two different worlds. One is comfortable pivoting, disrupting and scaling while the other is in touch with humanity, hospitality and creativity. Both are now joined at the hip moving forward into the future as event clients require more data proofs, ROI and results. How can planners and technology providers understand each other better in order to work more harmoniously to reach higher goals? It starts here with a frank and transparent conversation with tangible takeaways everyone can implement immediately. More info/register.

Host: Trade Show News Network


  • Nicole Peck, Vice President of Marketing of IDG Events
  • Nick Borelli, Director of Marketing Growth, AllSeated and exVo
  • Dahlia El Gazaar (moderator)

Tue 9/28 at 12 p.m. – Next-Level Fundraising: Creative Industry Developments, Compliance Issues, and Legal Risks Affecting Charitable Solicitation

Nonprofits, donors and fundraising professionals are coming up with new and exciting ways to dress up classic fundraising activities. These new twists, however, present unique compliance challenges and raise novel legal risks stemming largely from states’ charitable solicitation laws and consumer protection laws. Hear practical tips for mitigating your organization’s exposure and learn the best practices for compliant online charitable fundraising activities. More info/register.

Host: Venable LLP


  • Ashleigh Allione, Associate, Venable LLP
  • Cristina Vessels, Associate, Venable LLP

Tue 9/28 at 2 p.m. – One Step Ahead, Predicting the Future of Event Technology

Hear about all the hottest trends taking the meetings and events industry by storm, including long-term predictions for the transformation of event tech, in three key areas: getting to the event, venues of the future, and at the event tech. More info/register.

Host: Smart Meetings

Presenter: Brian Ludwig, Senior Vice President, Sales, Cvent

Tue 9/28 at 3 p.m. – PCI Compliance Workshop 101 for Associations

Get a basic overview of PCI Compliance and what it is designed to achieve, hear nine practical tips you can implement immediately in your organization to ensure a more secure payment environment, and review the Self-Assessment-Questionnaire and what you should know about it. 1.5 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: U.S. Transactions Corp.


  • David Schlum, Co-Founder and Software Architect at Added Innovation LLC
  • Julie Duncan, Association Practice Leader, UST
  • Wade Tetsuka, CPA, President, UST

Wed 9/29 at 11 a.m. – Navigating Key Legal Issues of Hybrid & In-Person Events Post-COVID

If your association is cautiously approaching 2021 as the year for rebuilding your conferences and events, you’ll need to have strong planning and strategy in place not to mention a high level of flexibility in the lingering pandemic “normal.” Get you up to speed on how to plan for future events while becoming aware of key legal considerations to keep your organization protected. 1.5 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: U.S. Transactions Corp.

Presenter: Rich Bar, Principal, Chair of the Association Practice Group at GKG Law

Wed 9/29 from 12 to 3:20 p.m. – techsytalk LIVE Global

As early adopters of event technology we are uniquely positioned to help transition planners from in-person gatherings to virtual events. techsytalk LIVE Global promises to be a resource to facilitate the evolution of the events and meeting industry in an increasingly tech-centric world. More info/register.

Host: Liz King Events

Wed 9/29 at 12 p.m. – Should You Move Ahead with Fall In-person Events?

Organizations are making tough decisions about how to—or even whether to—move forward with their upcoming conferences and expos. While some have made the decision to cancel their f2f events, others are forging ahead. Learn what worked and what didn’t from two event pros who held major in-person conferences in late August and early September, from Covid compliance to the on-site vibe. They will share the challenges they overcame or didn’t anticipate, and how their experiences will shape future live events. More info/register.

Host: Velvet Chainsaw Consulting


  • Emile K. Davis, CEM, Director, Exhibits & Sponsorships, Society for Human Resource Management
  • Elizabeth Ambacher, CEM, VP, Meetings & Expositions, National Apartment Association

Wed 9/29 at 1 p.m. – Using Peer Benchmarks to Address Concerns About Your Association’s Investment Reserves

Association staff can struggle to provide objective information in response to volunteers’ concerns about how much to hold in reserve, investment performance and fees, asset allocations, and other policies. Hear findings from the the 2021 Study on Nonprofit Investing for Associations (SONI – Associations), a peer benchmarking survey designed to help associations bring clarity, transparency, and accountability to investing. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE

Wed 9/29 at 1 p.m. – Risk Management Must-Knows

Though we have no control over the current or next crisis, we can manage our state of preparedness and thus our resilience for what comes next. To develop this resilience, the entire meeting and event industry supply chain must work in tandem to engineer enduring risk mitigation strategies. Learn about metrics to test the resiliency of your organization to mitigate the next inevitable crisis, leadership skills that will produce enduring risk management strategies for your teams, and how to integrate duty of care best practices to prepare for threat of any future crisis. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Meetings Today

Presenter: Brenda Rivers, founder of Andavo Meetings and Incentives and president of SAFE LLC™

Wed 9/29 at 1 p.m. – #ExpoChat on Twitter

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

Wed 9/29 at 2 p.m. – The Future of Work: Using AI to Reduce Meeting Fatigue

Explore the concept of adopting a Meaningful Meeting Mindset and learn how AI can move across multiple communication and data storage platforms to access the information you need on-demand, saving you the time and energy to concentrate on other tasks.​​ 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Achurch Consulting

Presenters: Johnny Clayton and Adam Hostetter from FUSE Search

Wed 9/29 at 2 p.m. – 20 Email Test Ideas in 40 Minutes for Both BtoB and BtoC Marketers

Hear about the latest email tips, tactics, and pitfalls to avoid. Learn about subject line tricks, cadence, ‘never do’s’ that are now ‘must do’s’, landing page secrets, demand gen tactics, and timing. More info/register.

Host: Worldata

Presenter: Jay Schwedelson, Founder of and President & CEO of Worldata

Wed 9/29 at 2 p.m. – PCMA Future Event Masterminds: State of the Industry & Effective Budgeting

Join us for a new PCMA series connecting you with like-minded individuals who are determined to be the best in business. Learn from industry experts as well as your peers in this month’s iteration: 20 minutes of networking in breakout groups, 40-minute presentation The State of Virtual & Hybrid Events in 2021 with Mia Masson, 40 minute presentation Past, Present, and Future Event Budgeting with Keaton Watson, and 20 minutes of networking in breakout groups. 1.5 CMP credits. More info/register.

Host: PCMA


  • Mia Masson, Swapcard
  • Keaton Watson, Endless Events

Wed 9/29 at 3 p.m. – Using your Data to find New Revenue Opportunities

Learn about the top 5 areas to analyze right now to find new revenue opportunities, how to understand your sales mix and sales mix variance, how to develop your own data monetization strategy, and a formula and framework to build and execute a successful data monetization strategy. 1.5 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: U.S. Transactions Corp.


  • Julie Sciullo, CEO, Association Analytics
  • David DeLorenzo, COO, Association Analytics

Wed 9/29 at 3 p.m. – Unpacking the Biden Vaccine Mandates: Legal, Strategic and Tactical Impacts for Events

On September 9, President Biden announced new vaccine rules for federal workers, large employers and health care staff in an attempt to contain the surge of COVID-19 fueled by the Delta variant. As part of the mandate, he called on event venues to require vaccine proof or a negative test result for entry. Hear about the impact of this mandate, including the legalities of, and practicalities to, requiring proof of vaccination from event staff, speakers or attendees and how planners are reacting. More info/register.

Host: Event Leadership Institute


  • Steven A. Adelman, Head, Adelman Law Group, PLLC and Vice President, Event Safety Alliance
  • Greg DeShields, CHE, CDE, Executive Director, PHL Diversity and Tourism Diversity Matters
  • Carol McGury, Executive Vice President – Event and Education Services, SmithBucklin
  • Howard Givner (moderator), Founder and CEO, Event Leadership Institute

Wed 9/29 at 4 p.m. – Mindful Networking with Caterina Luppi, PhD

Quick (45-minute), small group meetings with someone we think you should get to know, in this case, Caterina Luppi, PhD, Chief Information Officer of District of Columbia Bar. No formal presentations. This is a chance to intentionally expand your network, exchange ideas, and get some advice. More info/register.

Host: Association Women Technology Champions

Thu 9/30 at 12 p.m. – How Do Leaders Keep Remote Teams Engaged?

Decreased morale, burnout, and loss of culture top the list of challenges when it comes to remote work, but can organizations design intentional channels and practices for rebuilding these things in a remote world? Join a discussion with organizational leaders who are working on strategies to keep remote teams engaged and productive. Participate in one-to-one conversations via twine with your fellow attendees and ideate, discuss, and collaborate to create innovative solutions. No panel of industry experts, no lecture, no hour-long keynotes, just attendees talking to each other to create community generated ideas. More info/register.

Host: Twine

Thu 9/30 at 2 p.m. – Small Steps to Big Change: Online Chat with John Rubsamen, Americans for the Arts (AFTA)

Learn how AFTA is providing engagement in the digital and hybrid arena. Hear how they redesigned in-person events by identifying opportunities to retain and grow audiences through the advantages of virtual programming as an accessible enhancement to in-person events. More info/register.

Host: Juno


  • John Rubsamen, president, PCMA Capital Chapter, Americans for the Arts
  • Josh Hotsenpiller, CEO, Juno

Thu 9/30 at 4 p.m. – What You Don’t Know about #stopasianhate Will Cost You Trillions

Learn what kind of expressions of Asian hate that exists, how you might be unconsciously expressing Asian hate, how Asian hate affects the bottom line of meetings, why you and your business must take action for #stopasianhate, what is happening now for Asians in the meetings industry, and how to start to be an Asian Ally. More info/register.

Host: Meetings Today

Fri 10/1 at 4 p.m. – What’s Next? Bouncing Forward

We’re always in-transition. The “life quake”—COVID-19—disrupted our missions and routines, ushering in uncertainties about our future. We still reflect on our careers, relationships and purpose. We entertain the “Re-” words—reinvent, rethink, reposition, etc. Finding our Authentic Self, rewriting our stories and creating a “new, purpose-driven future” prove both exhilarating and terrifying. This interactive session will demystify the buzzword ‘personal transformation’ and start to reset the goalposts of your success and redefine what gives your “future work” meaning. More info/register (must join before registering).

Host: Fridays@4

Presenter: Charley Timmins, The Human Archeologist

Wed 10/6 at 12 p.m. – Key Insights From The 13th Annual Membership Marketing Benchmark Report

For over a decade, Marketing General Incorporated (MGI) has published the only comprehensive research on the nature and performance of membership programs, as reported annually by nearly 1,000 associations. Hear findings from the survey and learn the most useful membership strategies for 2021. ! CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Association Insights In Old Town

Presenter: Tony Rossell, senior vice president at MGI

Wed 10/6 at 1 p.m. – Advocacy and Beyond: Amplifying the Impact of DEI Initiatives

Hear from a panel of association leaders who are at the forefront of advancing DEI efforts with both policymakers and their own members. From working to reduce health disparities to increasing the diversity of the veterinary profession, academic medicine, and beyond, these leaders will share case studies, best practices, and hard-won lessons learned that you can apply within your association to amplify the impact of your DEI efforts. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Government Relations and Advocacy Professionals Advisory Council


  • Juan Amador, CAE, Director of Constituent Engagement, Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Lisa Greenhill, Senior Director for Institutional Research and Diversity, American Association of Veterinary Medical College
  • Pam Yuen, Director of Government Relations, YWCA USA
  • Danielle Baron (Moderator), Staff Vice President, School Nutrition Association

Thu 10/7 at 1 p.m. – Five Key Content Models That Engage Sponsors and Members

There has never been a greater need for associations to enhance non-dues revenue and improve the way they engage members digitally with rich multimedia content. Associations need to subsidize the creation of great content through effective digital sponsorship, advertising and lead generation programs. Join this webinar and see Association TV’s top 5 sponsorships in action. More info/register.

Host: .orgCommunity

Presenters: Dan Stevens and Doug Coombs of Workerbee.TV

Thu 10/7 at 2 p.m. – Super Spooky Cyber Security Issues and Insurance Implications

The cyber insurance market has changed drastically in just the last five months, and you need to know how to position your organization for market increases and corrections. This webinar will cover the must-knows of IT cyber insurance woes and how best to mitigate them. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: 501 Works

Presenter: Derek Symer, Principal, Senior Vice President, Director Non-Profit Practice for AHT Insurance

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 by Wednesday afternoon.

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

Creative Commons photo of wild persimmons by Timothy Dykes 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: