Association Brain Food: 1.6.23

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

pileated woodpecker inspiration for my weekly list of free educational events and resources for the association communityNon-dues revenue. After attending the RevUp Summit hosted by the Professionals for Association Revenue, WBT Systems says one lesson from the painful past few years is the need to diversify revenue. Associations must address their renewed reliance on in-person events. Start by exploring a content-driven approach to sponsorships and an enhanced professional development portfolio. As always, they share lots of ideas on these two points.

Sponsorship. Mary Byers (Race for Relevance) chimes in on the non-dues conversation with input from Bruce Rosenthal. They both suggest that associations change how they collaborate with companies.

Doom. Dean West at Association Laboratory believes association governance, decision-making and decision-makers are not adapting to the harsh realities of our new world. Historical behavior is irrelevant so stop trying to return and look to the past.

AMS selection checklist. GrowthZone put together an AMS buyer’s guide with a feature/functionality checklist that will help you decide what you need vs. what would be nice to have. The guide also describes vendor, training/support, data access, and software issues to consider before signing a contract.

Membership value. COVID was a “black swan” event, says Cathi Hight. She told Tod McCloskey at Naylor’s Association Advisor that the pandemic altered what members value and how they wish to interact with your association. For example, your interactions must target three member groups: those who want to socialize in person, in small groups, or virtually.

Conferences in a remote world. With so many people working part or all of the time from home, in-person conferences take on a new meaning. Rani Molla at Vox says conferences can cure the work-from-home blues. Associations and technology partners should keep this in mind when planning in-person events and user conferences.

Online community. The community strategy playbook from Mobilize is based on the blueprint they developed for their own user community. The playbook guides you step-by-step through strategy development, community, launch, communication and engagement plans and more—a comprehensive look at everything you need to nurture and grow an online community.

Generational orthodoxy. In CalSAE’s The Executive, Jeff De Cagna (Foresight First) issued a challenge to association staff, volunteer leaders and others in our community to help end the reliance on generational orthodoxythe assumptions and biases promoted by the media and latched onto by lazy thinkers (my phrase, not his). He says your future success depends on the full inclusion of under-40 stakeholders in your organizations.

Online community trends. The Guild asked 14 experts to share their thoughts on online community trends for 2023. This insight is illuminating for membership organizations.

Cognitive diversity. When DEI efforts fail, a lack of cognitive diversity may be to blame, says Sarah Sladek (XYZ University). She believes inclusion is impossible to obtain without cognitive diversity. After reading her post, I came upon this timely Voltaire quote: “I wholly disapprove of what you say and I shall defend to the death your right to say it.” I wish more people and organizations valued cognitive diversity and free speech.


Shakespeare or Bacon. As you can see by the length of this list, I enjoyed many hours of reading during my holiday break. In The New Atlantis, Sam Kahn wrote a fascinating piece about a brilliant madwoman’s quest to prove the Bard’s works were secretly penned by the father of science.

False narratives. Real life rarely fits the narrative. At The Free Press (my new favorite daily), Amanda Fortini reminds us that commonly held stories are often untrue.

Putin. During the holiday vacation, I rediscovered my inner foreign affairs geek. This New York Times story by Roger Cohen is shocking, but not surprising. Putin wants fealty and, thanks to his mercenaries, he’s found it in the Central African Republic.

Taiwan. “Wise statecraft” sometimes means the best move is no move at all. In Foreign Affairs, Jude Blanchette and Ryan Hass recommend Washington follow that strategy to forestall a conflict between China and Taiwan. Politicians in all branches of the government need to wise up.

Quick hits

For my marketing friends and clients, enjoy these ten content ideation methods for busy content teams. (Cierra Loflin, Superpath)

27 life-changing micro habits that require only a few minutes. (Adam Bulger, Fatherly)

How to find time to read when you’re busy and over-scheduled. (Avil Beckford, The Invisible Mentor)

High-performing teams don’t leave relationships to chance—three strategies to encourage bonding. (Ron Friedman, Harvard Business Review)

Good eats

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

Shrimp cocktail makes any dinner, especially Christmas Eve, feel more special. Shrimp should be a luxury sent your way by American boats, not a cheap frozen ring from the supermarket supplied by Asian slave labor. I always poach North Carolina shrimp in a shell-based court bouillon, chill them in an ice bath, and serve with a heavy-on-the-horseradish cocktail sauce.

Another treat, clam dip. I made a big bowl for myself with hopes that my family would enjoy it too. But I didn’t mind that most of them passed on it—that meant I had plenty left for snacking the next day or two.

I made two main dishes for Christmas Eve this year (yes, thinking of leftovers again): lasagna and moussaka. I omitted the currants in the moussaka recipe and used ground venison instead of lamb. My lasagna recipe includes ground beef, Italian sausage, mushrooms, onion, garlic, basil pesto, ricotta, marinara, and mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan cheese. Email me if you’d like the recipe in a Word doc.

The closest we ever get to breakfast at dinner is salmon hash with fried eggs. The salmon was covered with a chipotle spicy rub, pan-fried and then mixed into the hash, which included sweet potato, potato, rutabaga, red onion, poblano, red bell, jalapeño and garlic.

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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’m happy to feature it as long as it’s not too product-centric.

Fri 1/6 at 10 a.m.* – Accelerating Sustainable Impact

We share ideas through connection. The vibe of the circle is thoughtful, casual, and kind. Our guest facilitator, Barry Barresi led the American Optometric Association, AIGA Design, and the New England Eye Institute. He currently leads Association Ventures, a social enterprise impact accelerator consulting firm. More info/register.

Host: Association Design Circle

*All events are online at Eastern Standard Time unless otherwise noted.

Fri 1/6 at 4 p.m. – Career Development in Organizations: A Tool for Recruitment, Engagement, and Retention

Learn how to plan and implement a career development program, the benefits of internal career development to both your employees and your organization, and how to increase the loyalty and skills of your employees. More info/register.

Host: Fridays@4

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

Mon 1/9 at 8 a.m. – The Nonprofit CEO Job: Is it for You? (Nonprofit Conversations with Cecilia Sepp, CAE)

Nonprofit Conversations features guests from around the world discussing topics of interest to the nonprofit community. Episodes publish at 8 a.m. on Mondays and can be found on all major podcast platforms.

Guest: Pamela Kaul

Host: Cecilia Sepp, CAE, CNAP, principal and founder, Rogue Tulips LLC

Mon 1/9 at 12 p.m. – Membership Mondays | Managing Your Community Effectively

We meet on the second Monday of every month to discuss membership topics based on the group’s current needs. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Amy Hemphill, ASAE

Mon 1/9 at 1 p.m. – 30-Minute Monday | A Look Into 2023

New year, new goals. Join Jessie States as we share the path and plans MPI Academy has for 2023. 0.5 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: MPI

Tue 1/10 at 11 a.m. – Why Online Community is Your Association’s Future: Changing How We Work & Connect (Part 1)

Online communities give every association an always-accessible presence, moving ahead of magazines or newsletters as the most valued member benefit. Association members are emerging from the pandemic with a significantly higher level of technical proficiency, giving membership-based organizations the opportunity to reassess and reimagine how online community can become a predictable core growth engine. Learn techniques to foster a spirit of generosity within your online community, options to transform mentorship in your industry, and how to create year-round engagement opportunities for your exhibitors and partners.  1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: UST Education


  • Sandra Nam, CEO, QiqoChat
  • Lucas Cioffi, Principal and Lead Software Engineer at QiqoChat Inc
  • Barbara J. Armentrout, CAE, Managing Partner, Mesa Group

Tue 1/10 at 12 p.m. – High Impact Events Apply The Science Of Belonging

In this highly energizing session, The Party Scientist will give participants new paradigms for designing high impact events. He’ll demonstrate the principles by incorporating them into the session itself. Aside from an immediate increase in participants’ sense of vitality and belonging, here are the learning outcomes: define the connection crisis, discover a system for engaging and vitalizing your guests, learn tools based on social neurochemistry for cultivating a sense of belonging and well-being, and understand the science of trust and relationship-building. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: MPI

Tue 1/10 at 12 p.m. – LGBTQIA2+ Community Call

The last conversation in December was great. We continued our conversation about ways to promote inclusiveness. Log on in January as we continue the discussion on the Annual ASAE conference upcoming in August 2023 in Atlanta and ASAE’s site selection with a lens to LGBTQIA2+ inclusion. More info/register.

Host: ASAE LGBTQ Association Executives and Supporters

Tue 1/10 at 1 p.m. – Supercharge Your Social Media: Tips and Tricks on How Often to Post

Learn the correct numbers of posts to publish daily, the impact your posts have on each social media channel, and the right and wrong times to make your posts. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: UST Education

Speaker: Jon Rivers, COO, Marketeery

Tue 1/10 at 2 p.m. – 2023 Must-have For Your Association’s Growth: Tech+ Culture Shift

The lack of member engagement is a common problem that many associations experience. How would it be possible to ensure your association is following the right path? It is time to analyze how culture is changing and start a digital transformation, find out the proper strategies that will keep your  association at the top. Learn all you need to know to have engagement solutions. More info/register.

Host: Grype

Speaker: Jamie Notter, Co-Founder and Culture Designer at PROPEL

Wed 1/11 at 1 p.m. – Member Segmentation: The Key to Affordable and Effective Hybrid Events

The average association only gets 15% of members to their annual conference. How do we affordably implement hybrid to reach a larger audience and ensure that our best content doesn’t miss 85% of our members? Learn how member segmentation can help you plan for hybridizing a conference, about hybrid models that work without blowing the budget or your team’s capacity, and how to use event content strategically all year long. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: UST Education

Speaker: Dan Stevens, President, WorkerBee.TV

Wed 1/11 at 1 p.m. – 2023 Legislative Forecast: What to Expect from the 118th Congress & How to Prepare

Learn what the legislative priorities of the 118th Congress will be, what your organization should be on the lookout for, and what public policy agenda items can be accomplished and which face a more unlikely future. More info/register.

Host: CQ Roll Call


  • Peter Cohn, CQ Roll Call’s budget and tax policy editor
  • Kate Ackley, senior staff writer for CQ Roll Call
  • Jason Dick (moderator), CQ Roll Call’s editor in chief

Thu 1/12 at 11 a.m. – Understanding The Difference Between Lead And Demand Generation

Learn how to understand the differences between lead gen and demand gen, identify what tactics can be used to drive both types of campaigns, and understand the type of technology and data needed to deliver each type of campaign. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: UST Education

Speaker: Maneesha Manges, Director of Services, HighRoad Solutions

Thu 1/12 at 11 a.m. – State of American Business 2023

Explore the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in 2023, and beyond. Learn about the Chamber’s priorities, the role of government in advancing smart policy, and the role of business-led innovation to chart a bright path forward for our nation and its people. Hear conversations with a range of American business leaders from small business owners to Fortune 500 executives. More info/register.

Host: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Moderator: U.S. Chamber President and CEO Suzanne Clark

Thu 1/12 at 12 p.m. – The Community Check-In

A weekly community chat on Slack for black professionals working in the events industry. More info/register.

Host: Black In Events Network

Thu 1/12 at 1 p.m. – Data Analytics Maturity Model: What’s Your Score & What’s Next?

Learn how to use a Data Analytics Maturity Model to help you understand your organization’s current state and what concrete steps you can take to advance your organization’s path to more data-driven decision making. Find out how you compare to your peers in categories such as data culture, architecture, leadership, process, and more. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: UST Education


  • David Jackson, CAE, MBA, Executive Officer for the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • Julie Sciullo, CEO, Association Analytics

Fri 1/13 at 12 p.m. – Conversations with Champions

Each conversation features an AWTC leader or AWTC Award winner, followed by breakout rooms with changing topics (selected by our featured guest). These intimate, virtual conversations are a chance to form meaningful connections with other women and allies in the association technology community. More info/register.

Host: Association Women Technology Champions

Guest: Gretchen Steenstra, the 2023 Chairwoman of the AWTC Board, and  Strategic Consultant, DelCor Technology Solutions

Fri 1/13 at 4 p.m. – The Importance of Mentorship (Panel Discussion)

In honor of National Mentoring Month, Fridays@4 will host a moderated panel discussion. You’ve likely experienced a mentor/mentee relationship, whether formal or informal. Join us as panelists share their mentorship programs, successes and lessons learned. More info/register.

Host: Fridays@4


  • Jennifer Alluisi, MA Ed, CAE, Account Executive at Custom Management Group
  • Benita Stocks, Director of Membership & Programs for NAIOP Northern Virginia, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association
  • Christopher Young, CAE, DECA’s chief program officer
  • Chelseah Mesa (moderator), program manager with the Federal Communications Bar Association

Tue 1/17 at 12 p.m. – CRVM January Crunch and Munch

Come to share your ideas, participate in conversation or listen along to learn. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Component Relations and Volunteer Management Professionals Community

Tue 1/17 at 12 p.m. – 3 Quick & Easy Ways to Easily Improve Strategic Planning

Learn three practical ways to improve your strategic planning meetings. These techniques apply to long-term planning meetings, such as board-level strategic planning, or plotting the direction of your team or department. The three techniques will turbocharge how participants generate ideas, allow participants to choose the best ones, and reach consensus; sift through products and services to determine the best ones and the ones to sunset; and identify the best options despite an uncertain future. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Association Xchange

Speaker: Lee Gimpel, Founder & Principal, Better Meetings

Tue 1/17 at 2 p.m. – Your Association’s Advocacy Tech Stack: Apps and Strategy for 2023

How do you manage your policy issues, engage with key stakeholders, ramp up your advocacy strategy, and mobilize your member community? Join Association Chat Podcast host KiKi L’Italien as she interviews Shana Glickfield, a founding Partner of Beekeeper Group, a DC-based public affairs firm whose mission is to empower people to advocate for impact. More info/register.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, senior consultant, Tecker International

Tue 1/17 at 5:30 p.m. – Making Virtual Mentoring Work

Learn how to make the most of a virtual mentoring relationship, how the researched evidence supports the effectiveness of virtual mentoring, how to create an optimal virtual experience, and how to conduct a virtual mentoring conversation. More info/register.

Host: Sidecar


  • Lisa Fain, CEO of Center for Mentoring Excellence, and founder of Vista Coaching
  • Melissa Richardson, global assessment team for the European Mentoring and Coaching Council’s ISMCP Award

Wed 1/18 at 2 p.m. – PAR GOAT Awards: Honoring Association Revenue Impact

Learn from an invited panel of 2022 PAR Subject Matter Experts, discover ideas for revenue performance now and next year, and ideate on how associations can create a think tank for revenue opportunities. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Professionals for Association Revenue


  • Carrie Hartin, President, Sales Solutions & Services, MCI-USA
  • Colleen McKenna, CEO and Founder, Intero Advisory
  • Lori Zoss Kraska, MBA, CFRE, Founder and Chief Principal of Growth Owl, LLC
  • Erin Pressley, CAE, Senior Vice President for Education, Training and Events at NRECA
  • Bruce Rosenthal, Corporate Sponsorship Consultant and Co-Convener of the Partnership Professionals Network

Thu 1/19 at 2 p.m. – Should My Association Start a Podcast?

Learn about the WHYs, WHATs, and HOWs of podcasting to help you determine if it’s right for your organization. Find out why and when you should consider launching a podcast, top things to consider for podcast success, how to choose a topic and format, what it takes to produce an episode, how to launch the podcast and best practices for ongoing promotion, how to build a content schedule and source great guests, ways to monetize your podcast to bring in more non-dues revenue, and triumphs and pitfalls from the speakers’ own personal journeys in podcasting. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Matrix Group


  • Matrix Group CEO Joanna Pineda
  • Association Briefings Founder & CEO Colby Horton
  • Association Briefings CBDO Frank Humada

Thu 1/19 at 4 p.m. – Accomplish More Focusing on Less: How Small Changes Create Awesome Results

If you are having trouble changing your habits or those of your team, the problem may not be you, it may be your systems. Bad habits perpetuate because you are not utilizing the right systems for ongoing change and improvement. Learn about the four principles found in the awesome book, Atomic Habits by James Clear that are foundational for understanding how to build good habits as an individual or as a team and how to break bad ones. We will look at your current thinking and processes and then have each of you walk through a personal habit challenge utilizing some tools and systems for change. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Reston-Loudoun Idea Swap

Speaker: Mary Power ACC, CAE, FASAE, founder, M-Powering Leaders, LLC

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 the week before it’s scheduled.

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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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