Association Brain Food Weekly: 12.10.21

pier over the ocean at sunset with a lit up Christmas tree-like display at the end - 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…

pier over the ocean at sunset with a lit up Christmas tree-like display at the end - inspiration for a weekly list of free educational events and resources for the association community

Accessibility expertise. Ashley Neal at Sidecar wonders if associations should create a new position: accessibility specialist. I’m happy to see this issue getting more attention in our community, and much of the credit goes to Samantha Evans, CAE, who has become an accessibility resource for so many on ASAE Collaborate and elsewhere. However, perhaps accessibility expertise should become a required competency for association professionals—and a major part of a new or existing CAE domain.

Online education. Inspired by McKinsey & Company’s research, WBT Systems shares five lessons from online education pioneers that will help associations improve their online courses. The fifth lesson might seem out of place but it could be what differentiates your courses from the competition. 

Student membership. On the ASAE site (possible paywall), Timothy Fest, CAE, at the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, explains how offering free membership to college students has paid off for the association. Students are converting to regular membership after they graduate. “Members who are in the early stages of their careers are the second-largest group of SIAM members.”

Digital transformation. Propel explains the difference between digital and digitized. They suggest an excellent (and entertaining) white paper to read on this topic and steps you can take to start your association’s journey from digitized to digital.

Changing minds. Put this technique from Jonah Berger at Knowledge@Wharton into your change management toolkit: “Stop trying to persuade, and instead, encourage people to persuade themselves.” He describes four simple tactics that have an enormous impact.

Coaching or directing? After 100 million employee interviews, Gallup learned that the 70% variance between the highest engaged teams and persistently disengaged teams can be attributed to the manager. What do the best managers do differently? You won’t be surprised if you already do it since it’s a heck of a lot more rewarding than the usual mode of management and more essential than ever in hybrid or remote workplaces.

Meeting madness. The first step to cutting back on needless meetings is evaluating the ones you have. At Strategy+Business, Elizabeth Doty says great teams build a habit of continuously improving their meetings by taking a moment to reflect on the meeting before it’s over. Find out what went well, what didn’t, what you can improve next time, and whether there will be a next time.

Quick hits

  • Despite its negatives, there are still serendipitous benefits in engaging on social media. (Steven Johnson)
  • I love getting up before sunrise, but I have such a tough time dragging myself to bed sometimes. I’ve discovered there’s a name for this: revenge bedtime procrastination. (Anne-Laure Le Cunff, Ness Labs)
  • Three Japanese philosophies that’ll help you spend money consciously this holiday season—hopefully, it’s not too late. (Rahul Chowdhury)
  • Literally any podcast host asking their guest a question. Hilarious. (Kim Quindlen)

Good eats

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

  • A good Sunday starts with challah French toast. Half the slices went into the freezer to delight me some future weekend.
  • Sunday dinner was the highlight as usual: fettuccine and meatballs in a marinara with garlic bread on the side. Our veg: roasted Brussels sprouts, broccoli, red onion, bacon, and garlic tossed with red pepper flakes and parmesan.
  • When pressed for time, I rely on a simple preparation for baked fish fillets, in this case, flounder. Squirt lemon juice all over, sprinkle with kosher salt and Aleppo pepper flakes, then top with little pads of butter. This time, I also added shichimi togarashi, a Japanese 7-spice blend. On the side, roasted broccoli, cauliflower and garlic sprinkled with parmesan.
  • Another one of my old faithfuls is a recipe I use when striped mullet is in the house: dredge the fillets in flour, dip in a mix of buttermilk and hot sauce, dredge in a mix of cornmeal and garlic powder, then pan fry on both sides. On the side, a nuked sweet potato—don’t forget to poke it all over with a fork before it goes in. Depending on the size, six to eight minutes should do it.

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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. Next week’s Brain Food is the last of the year.

Fri 12/10 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 events are at Eastern Standard Time and online unless otherwise noted.

Fri 12/10 at 2 p.m. – CMP Education Study Bundle | Ask Me Anything!

Join Vice President of the MPI Academy, Jessie States, CMP, CMM for a jam-packed ask me anything session on all things CMP. More info/register—possible fee for MPI non-members.

Host: MPI

Fri 12/10 at 4 p.m. – How to Have a Career Development Discussion with Your Boss

You are responsible for your own career development, not your employer nor your supervisor; therefore, you need to drive the process. A career development discussion is not just about improving your performance for the next year or setting goals for your current position. It’s about planning for the future, beyond your current position. Learn how to prepare for the career development meeting and initiate the discussion with your boss, and  what to ask close out the discussion with a plan. More info/register—must join before registering.

Host: Fridays@4

Presenter: Shelly Trent, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CAE, JCTC, JCDC

Mon 12/13 at 11 a.m. – Recruitment & Retention: How to Overcome the Great Resignation

Hiring and retaining talent in the last six months has not come easy across any industry sector. Within the meetings and events space, we have found this to be particularly challenging and are constantly looking for solutions to one of the largest resignation periods seen in over a decade. Get a deep dive into what skills to look for in the talent search process to yield the best results and produce an effective recruitment effort. 0.5 CMP credit. More info/register—possible fee for MPI non-members.

Host: MPI


  • Dawn Penfold, President of Meetingjobs, a Cadre company
  • Nancy Snowden, M.A., Manager of Educational Experiences, MPI

Mon 12/13 at 1 p.m. – A Look Back at Conferences in 2021 (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: Paul Miller


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

Tue 12/14 at 11 a.m. – Sustainable Web Design for Associations: How Eco-Friendly Choices Help with SEO, User Journeys & Membership Growth

Learn what digital sustainability is, how sustainable web design improves the user experience, how the pursuit of sustainable web projects produces more functional websites, and how sustainable web design drives traffic to your website.​​​ More info/register.

Host: Grype

Presenter: Tom Greenwood, Author, Web Designer and Sustainable Web Design Specialist

Tue 12/14 at 11 a.m. – Data Collection Dos and Don(u)ts

Poor data collection can keep your organization from gaining valuable marketing insights, building better customer relationships, and even increasing revenue. Hear about best practices for collecting, connecting, and securing data. Learn about web form design tips to streamline the customer experience, security best practices to keep all data safe, and how automation and smart forms can transform data collection workflows for good. More info/register.

Hosts: FormAssembly and Fíonta

Tue 12/14 at 1 p.m. – SSO for Event Registration Platforms: Easy and Secure

Your event registration portal is the first impression of your virtual conference and association, making it necessary to have a smooth login process. Consumers are used to quickly signing on with their social media and email accounts. It’s only natural for members to expect the same experience. This is where Single Sign-On (SSO) comes in handy and makes its way into your registration portal. Learn about the different ways to incorporate SSO, what to expect after you activate an SSO process, and implementation methods. More info/register.

Host: EVA

Presenter: Neeraj Garg, COO, Aplusify

Tue 12/14 at 1 p.m. – Monthly Cadence: Your Key to a Seamless Fiscal Year End

It may surprise you to know that the key to a seamless accounting year-end close is monthly cadence. But what are all the pieces required to organize your accounting? Hear about our methodology for closing the fiscal year for nonprofits. We will cover items in our Year-End Close Checklist and share our best practices for ensuring a smooth tax filing for your nonprofit or association. 1.5 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: U.S. Transactions Corp.

Presenters: Gerardo Martinez, Accounting Consultant, and Traci Vagnucci, Controller, The McKelvey Group

Tue 12/14 at 2 p.m. – State of the Meetings Industry 2.0 – What Planners Need to Know

As the industry shifts back to in-person events (some faster than others), it remains a confusing time for planners faced with different rules, smaller budgets, and new audience expectations. This peer-to-peer conversation will share insights, best practices, lessons learned, and favorite resources that planners can use to prepare for next year and beyond. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Meetings and Expositions Professionals Advisory Council


  • Amanda Clark, CMP, DES, Director, Meeting Operations and Engagement. ASAE
  • Cathy Breden, EVP & Chief Operating Officer, IAEE
  • Tonya Almond, VP, Knowledge and Experience Design, PCMA
  • Mariela McIlwraith, VP Sustainability and Industry Advancement, EIC
  • Jessie States, Vice President, MPI Academy, MPI
  • Greg Morris, Vice President, Meetings & Events, Destinations International
  • Charlie Jones (moderator), Chair of the ASAE Meetings & Expositions Professionals Advisory Council

Wed 12/15 at 11 a.m. – 2022 Event Trends Summit

It’s more important than ever for event professionals to stay ahead of the game. By analyzing and interpreting fresh data we can determine the most important trends for 2022. Learn how the experts believe 2022 will shape up and how you can set yourself up for success. 3 CMP credits. More info/register.

Host: EventMB

Wed 12/15 at 11 a.m. – Live Q&A: How Virtual and Hybrid Events Will Change in 2022

Hybrid events are here to stay and the multiverse is upon us. How will your virtual and hybrid events change in 2022? What should you be prepared for? Few experts have more insights on digital media and enterprise communications than our speaker. Join him for this live Q&A as he outlines his vision and recommendations for brands in 2022. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA

Presenter: Ben Chodor, President of Notified

Wed 12/15 at 12 p.m. – Virtual Idea Swap: Coaching Chapter Leaders for Success

Year after year, volunteers step up, take on chapter leadership roles, then step aside for the next set of leaders. But what if no one wants to step up? What about when things don’t go as planned? Learn about essential coaching skills for attracting new volunteers and keeping the ones we have motivated on the path to success. Come share your lessons learned, ideas tried, and solutions found. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Hosts: Billhighway and Mariner Management

Wed 12/15 at 1 p.m. – Stop Creeping Out Your Members: How to Connect in a New Age of Privacy Expectations (and Worthless Open Rates)

Instead of following your members, tracking what they do and then guessing what they want, what if you just asked them in real time and acted on it? That’s what American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) did to better engage their members, and it laid the groundwork for a whole new engagement strategy. Within just a few months, the AAP put together multiple campaigns that increased recruitment numbers, gathered valuable information, and inspired a list of future campaigns to further strengthen their member interactions and communications. Learn how member attitudes, needs and wants are changing and why your email open rate metric can be tossed in the trash for more meaningful measures of engagement. 1.5 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: U.S. Transactions Corp.


  • Katy Lerman, Senior Manager, Membership Marketing & Engagement at the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Brianne Wheeler, Director of Marketing at PropFuel

Wed 12/15 at 1 p.m. – Essential Social Media Strategies

Learn what social media platforms you should focus on, how to build your all-star brand on LinkedIn, how to use LinkedIn as a business insight resource, what type of articles you should be writing and commenting on, and how to become a thought leader for your A-list audience. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Meetings Today

Presenter: social media and branding consultant Shannon Orme, owner of Pivot Consulting Group

Wed 12/15 at 2 p.m. – Association Rockstars Roundtable

We will talk about ’21 reflections, ’22 projections, and have some fun. Join the conversation on Facebook. More info/register.

Host: Association Rockstars

Presenters: Kuma Roberts, Dewan Clayborn, Amanda Messer Creel, Catherine Brown, Geof Brown, Mary Byers, CAE, Mike Moss, and Sikha Singh

Wed 12/15 at 2 p.m. – Event Trends to Watch in 2022

What can meeting professionals expect for their businesses and supplier relationships in 2022? While the future is far from crystal clear, analysts and sector experts have been digging into the data and projecting likely scenarios, trends and outcomes for the travel and meetings industry. Join us as to hear their observations, insights and projections for the year to come. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Northstar Meetings Group


  • Beau Ballin, Vice President, Global Market Leader, CWT Meetings & Events
  • David Blansfield, Executive Vice President and Group Publisher, Northstar Meetings Group
  • Michael Shapiro (moderator), Executive Editor, Northstar Meetings Group

Wed 12/15 at 2 p.m. – The Cure for the Boring Conference: How a Chicago Event Leveraged Local Resources to Engage Attendees and Raise Money for an Important Cause

A creative partnership between the American Society of Clinical Oncology, their host city Choose Chicago, and the Chicago Cubs organization resulted in a meaningful conference to raise funds for an important cause, highlighted the unique experiences in the destination and left everyone feeling better. The architects of the innovative program will share how to connect a community’s intellectual capital to the convention economy, build attendance through partnerships, and measure success for all parties. More info/register.

Host: Smart Meetings


  • Andy Blackburn, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Chicago Cubs
  • Mandy Davis, Vice President, Meeting Services, American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Rose Horcher, Vice President, Client Services, Choose Chicago
  • Brad Weaber, founder and principal, Brad Weaber Consulting Group

Wed 12/15 at 5:30 p.m. – AWTC End of Year Celebration

Join Association Women Technology Champions as we celebrate the amazing women in technology in the association community. We invite association professional, industry partners, and allies to come party with us, but this year you must be fully vaccinated in order to attend our party. Please be prepared to show proof of vaccination status or your ASAE TEC event badge for entry. More info/register.

Location: Washington DC (I’ll see you there!)

Host: Association Women Technology Champions

Thu 12/16 at 12 p.m. – MAACME Holiday Mixer

MAACME Chats is a virtual, one-hour, peer-to-peer conversation related to our work in continuing medical education. All health education professionals are invited to attend, regardless of your role, experience, or institution/organization. More info/register.

Host: Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Continuing Medical Education (MAACME)

Thu 12/16 at 2 p.m. – Lobbying Look Ahead: Navigating the Politics of Influence During an Election Year

With a continued highly charged political environment and a lot of uncertainty in the cards, now is the time to strategize next year’s game plan for how to get your issues noticed and over the line. Join a discussion on managing the ever-changing lobbying landscape through technology and traditional tactics, by building the team of tomorrow. Learn how to influence positive outcomes for your organization in an election year, what industry experts expect for lobbying in 2022, and tips to prepare for anticipated political and policy. More info/register.

Host: FiscalNote


  • Kate Ackleym, Senior Staff Writer, CQ Roll Call
  • Maia Hunt Estes, Co-chair Defense and Appropriations Practice Group, Invariant
  • Cristina Antelo, CEO, Ferox Strategies
  • Stewart Verdery, CEO, Monument Advocacy

Fri 12/17 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

Fri 12/17 at 4 p.m. – Open Networking-Ugly Sweater Party

Join your Fridays@4 colleagues as we celebrate a successful year of building our professional networks and improving our career and professional development. We’ll discuss the Fridays@4 accomplishments in 2021 and future plans for 2022 and beyond. Don’t forget to wear your ugliest holiday sweater; there just might be a prize! More info/register—must join before registering.

Host: Fridays@4

Tue 12/21 at 12 p.m. – Crunch and Munch Monthly Chat

Join a discussion session featuring different questions from our community and helping each other with best practice sharing and idea generation. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Component Relations and Volunteer Management Section Council

Tue 12/21 at 12:30 p.m. – Meetings of Membership Minds

These impromptu, casual discussions about membership concepts, issues, and challenges are conducted live online and open to membership professionals to comment and offer insights. More info/register.

Hosts: Dan Ratner, The Business of Membership, and Scott Oser, Scott Oser Associates

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.

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Creative Commons photo by Tim Mossholder 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.

One thought on “Association Brain Food Weekly: 12.10.21”

  1. THANK you for the shout-out to Sam and amazing!!!

    On Fri, Dec 10, 2021 at 5:01 AM Reid All About It wrote:

    > deirdrereid posted: “The weekly list of free educational events and > resources for the association community… Accessibility expertise. Ashley > Neal at Sidecar wonders if associations should create a new position: > accessibility specialist. I’m happy to see this issue getting ” >


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