If you’re looking for a way to contribute to the association community, I’ve got one for you. Tagoras, a consulting and education firm specializing in the market for lifelong learning, invites you to participate in a survey that will help our community better understand how membership organizations use or don’t use social technologies to deliver learning.

Please participate – the size or budget of your association doesn’t matter. Data from the survey will form the basis of a report Tagoras will release in the coming months. After completing the survey, you’ll have the chance to win one of five registrations to Learning • Technology • Design 2017 – and, if you win, I’ll be very envious.

Here’s another link to the survey. And, here’s the list of this week’s webinars – it’s a biggie. If your company has a webinar scheduled in the next few weeks, please send me the link. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not too product-centric.

Mon 10/24 at 2 p.m.* – Developing Conference Radical Hospitality

Learn how to create a conference culture of radical hospitality that will increase participant engagement; how to discover your participants’ expectations of your event; and how to make an on-site first impression that extends radical hospitality before and after your event. More info/register.

Host: Velvet Chainsaw Consulting

Presenter: Sarah Michel, CSP, Vice President, Professional Connexity, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting

*All times are Eastern Daylight Saving Time unless otherwise noted.

Mon 10/24 – Design Thinking for Innovation (Coursera)

Several people in ASAE’s Professional Development section are auditing this 5-week online class on design thinking. Check out the course description if you’re interested in joining them.

Host: Coursera/University of Virginia

Tue 10/25 at 12 p.m. – 5 Keys to Association Website Success in 2017 (Columbia MD Idea Swap)

Associations compete with for-profits, media, and other associations for web visitors. New technologies and trends reshape the way we use the web, transforming your members’ expectations and what you need to do to not lose them. Hear about five web strategies that will help you beat the competition, engage members and prospects, and grow revenue. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Association Networking Group

Presenter: Ray van Hilst, Director of Client Results, Yoko Co Interactive Marketing

Location: Maryland Psychological Association, Columbia, MD

Tue 10/25 at 12 p.m. – O Canada: Meetings and Events “from Sea to Sea”

Discover best practices for customs and travel when hosting events in Canada, particularly, Calgary. Learn about shipping, phone plans, the GST rebate, and ease of access when landing at Calgary International Airport. More info/register.

Host: MPI

Presenters: Marlise Stewart and Read Sutton, Meetings + Conventions Calgary

Tue 10/25 at 1 p.m. – Developing and Implementing Marketing Personas

Learn how to determine the needs and revenue-generating potential of different membership segments so you can develop successful targeted marketing campaigns. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Marketing General Inc. (MGI)


  • Arina Polukhina, MSPA, Data Analytics Manager, MGI
  • Erik Schonher, Vice President, MGI

Tue 10/25 at 1 p.m. – Crash Course in Visual Design (Managing eLearning Thought Leader Series)

The visual design of eLearning, slides, and other instructional materials has a big impact on learner success. Well-designed materials can motivate learners, improve comprehension, and assist retention. Learn the power principles that have the biggest impact on design and how to apply each for maximum success. You’ll be surprised at how much you can improve your design skills in one hour. More info/register.

Host: Web Courseworks

Tue 10/25 at 2 p.m. – How Associations Tell Their Stories & How It’s Changing (Association Chat)

How your organization tells its story can dramatically influence how it accomplishes its mission. This week’s chat focuses on the power of storytelling and how associations are using it to transform their memberships. Watch/participate live or view the recording.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, CEO and founder, Amplified Growth

Guest: Greg Melia, CAE, VP of Program Development, ITN Productions US Industry News

Tue 10/25 at 2 p.m. – Menu Mastery: Key Ingredients for Five Star F&B

If you think you’ve heard it all when it comes to menus, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with this valuable insight into high-level menu planning. CE credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA & Louisville CVB

Presenter: Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM, owner, Strategic Meetings & Events

Wed 10/26 at 9 a.m. – Corporate Partnerships and Sponsorships (Washington DC-Area Partnership Professionals Network)

Join a productive discussion about strategies related to corporate partnerships and sponsorships. Learn solutions to problems and new approaches. More info/register.

Location: Washington, DC

Wed 10/26 at 1 p.m. – Contracts: Audiovisual & Speakers

Learn about the types of AV vendors and how to evaluate the best options for your event; budget items that may not be listed, and how to leverage them to negotiate on gear and price; speaker contract riders, along with other contract and logistics issues; and questions to ask vendors and questions they should ask you to provide appropriate solutions. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Meetings Today

Presenter: Jon Trask, founder and owner, Strategic Meeting Tech

Wed 10/26 at 2 p.m. – How to Move Up the Ladder of Relationship Marketing

Forward-thinking associations see the value in moving towards a more personalized one-to-one communication style, but can be overwhelmed at the start because the steps look too steep. Learn how to get started with relationship marketing; how to divide and track your audience, from basic segmentation to defined personas; and the importance of relationship marketing to attract, engage, and nurture millennials. More info/register.

Host: Informz


  • Lisa Campo, Marketing & Communications Manager, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
  • Vivian Swertinski, Sr. Digital Marketing Strategist, Informz
  • Fran Vincent, Marketing and Membership Manager, International Hearing Society
  • Maddie Grant (moderator), co-founder, WorkXO

Wed 10/26 at 2 p.m. – The Rocky Horror Membership Show: Engagement Lessons from Dr. Frank-N-Furter

Best webinar title of the month goes to this exploration of the lessons your association can learn from the cult-classic film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Learn how to leverage alternate membership models, online learning programs, and networking opportunities to draw members into your community; welcome new members and ensure they’re engaged from day one; collect essential pieces of information to bring your idea of the perfect member to life; and avoid dynamic tension with long-term members so they don’t feel left out. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Abila

Presenter: Amanda Myers, Director of Member Strategy, Abila

Wed 10/26 at 2 p.m. – Introduction to Technology Planning for Nonprofits

The technology planning process can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a technical background. Learn how your organization can take the first steps to building a technology plan. More info/register.

Host: TechSoup


  • Karen Graham, Executive Director, Idealware
  • Ann Puckett, IT Manager, Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Thu 10/27 at 12:00 p.m. – Medical Meeting Trends and Changes Affecting Our Industry

Find out what will change the way medical meetings are planned and managed. Learn what HCPs really want at a meeting. Understand the three emerging trends which will lead to an increased investment in long-term compliance solutions. More info/register.

Host: MPI

Presenter: Pat Schaumann, senior director of healthcare compliance, Maritz Travel

Thu 10/27 at 2 p.m. – How Marketing Automation Can Help with Member Retention 

One of the toughest jobs association marketers face is providing value to their existing members year after year. Learn how to automate renewals and develop email strategies that provide more personalized outreach and boost member retention efforts. More info/register.

Host: Real Magnet

Thu 10/27 at 2 p.m. – Secrets to Hybrid Conference Success with EMDRIA

Go behind the scenes of a successful hybrid conference with an association conference team who will share their strategies for success and their overall business process for hosting a successful hybrid conference. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: iCohere


  • Sara Sturtevant, Continuing Education and Certification Coordinator, EMDRIA
  • Alex White, project management and site training, iCohere

Thu 10/27 at 2 p.m. – The Tech Effect: Discover the Simple Solution that 1000s of Organizations Are Using to Grow Membership in Today’s World

Learn about The Tech Effect, the hidden threat that’s making it harder to grow membership. Hear the story of one membership manager’s challenges, and ultimate triumph—a story that’s inspired thousands to grow their memberships faster than ever. Get five proven strategies to address The Tech Effect and attract new members right away. More info/register.

Host: Wild Apricot


  • Donald Cowper, membership growth specialist, Wild Apricot
  • Terry Ibele, content manager, Wild Apricot

Thu 10/27 at 2:30 p.m. – Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Benefits

To ensure your members engage with your association, not just the first time, but all the time, you need to design your offerings so members cultivate engagement habits. Learn about the psychology of forming habits, and how you can leverage the Hook Model when building your association’s offerings. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.


Presenter: Nir Eyal, author, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Thu 10/27 at 3 p.m. – Where Perception Meets Reality: The State of Association Communications and Recommendations to Improve

Take a comprehensive look at membership communication trends, best practices, and resource investments revealed by Association Adviser’s 2016 Communications Benchmarking Survey and Report. Learn tips to help you to recognize your current communications strengths and opportunities so you can optimize efforts to achieve more. More info/register.

Host: Association Advisor/Naylor Association Solutions

Presenter: Jill Andreu, Vice President of Content Strategy and Development, Naylor Association Solutions

Thu 10/27 at 4 p.m. – PD Virtual Half-Hour Happy Hour

Got a burning professional development issue? Bring it to this virtual happy half-hour. The PD section team will help you solve it. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Professional Development Section

Fri 10/28 at 3 p.m. – Toolkit of the Month

For many organizations, digital marketing is a new undertaking. Associations want to know how to best staff their organizations, craft campaigns and measure programs in the digital age. This webinar series will help your organization evolve fully into digital. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: HighRoad Solution

If you can’t attend a live webinar, go ahead and register if the topic interests you. Most webinar hosts send a link to the recording to all registrants.

Association Brain Food Weekly is published Friday mornings. If your organization offers professional development for the association community, please send me the link via email or Twitter.

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<Creative Commons licensed photo by Anthony.>

Our neighborhood creek found a new path during the hurricane.

Our neighborhood creek found a new path during the hurricane.

My apologies if I missed a few webinars this time. I’m writing this post earlier than usual (Wednesday) because we’re leaving tomorrow for a weekend camping trip on the beach – a welcome change from several days of camping inside our house.

As I write this, we’re heading into our fifth day without power. The relentless rain and wind of Hurricane Matthew took down trees and power lines in four spots in our neighborhood. Thank goodness for our Coleman stove and lantern, they make indoor camping more bearable. But at times this kind of living gets old and I get grumpy. That’s when I remember this week’s mantra: perspective.

It could have been so much worse. Our home, property and lives were spared from the storm, unlike so many in North Carolina. People are still dying here because of river and creek flooding. And Haiti – I can’t even properly express my thoughts on that poor country.

I’ve managed to work a few hours each day during quiet times at my boyfriend’s business – commercial areas in the next town over got their power back on quickly. Behind my chair right now, our chest freezer purrs away – it will camp out here until our power goes back on.

If you’d like to buy food for the North Carolina residents who lost their homes or don’t have the means to make their lives bearable, please consider supporting my favorite charity: Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is holding a virtual food drive.

Here’s the list of this week’s webinars. If your company has a webinar scheduled in the next few weeks, please send me the link. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not too product-centric.

Tue 10/18 at 2 p.m.* – Turning Your Org’s Continuing Education into a Competitive Advantage (Association Chat)

The training industry is a huge enterprise representing approximately $160 billion in North America and over $355 billion globally. What portion of this market do associations claim and should your organization be a part of it? What should that training look like? Hear how to design integrated learning programming that disrupts disruption. Watch/participate live or view the recording.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, CEO and founder, Amplified Growth

Guest: Tracy King, chief learning strategist & founder, InspirEd

*All times are Eastern Daylight Saving Time unless otherwise noted.

Tue 10/18 at 3:30 p.m. – Data Sessions: Getting Real with Data (Arlington VA)

In this Ask Me Anything (AMA) session, find out how associations and event professionals are using data to enhance sales, marketing, planning and everything in between. Come early and/or stay late to network. More info/register.

Host: Bear Analytics and ASAE Meetings & Exposition Section


  • Ryan Brown, VP of sales & event services, National Trade Productions
  • Erin Lee, managing director, marketing, Biotechnology Innovation Organization
  • Katherine Matthews, database manager, Entomological Society of America
  • KiKi L’Italien (moderator), CEO and founder, Amplified Growth

Wed 10/19 at 2 p.m. – Look Before You Leap Into a New AMS

Many of today’s organizations understand the need to change their AMS to better meet the needs of their stakeholders, but how ready are they to make the leap? Learn how to assess your association’s readiness to change and get tips for identifying tech partners. More info/register.

Host: Altai Systems

Presenter: Brandon Russ

Thu 10/20 at 12 p.m. – Tools and Processes to Create Impactful Credentialing Programs

Credentialing models are evolving in the association space. Learn a step-by-step process for implementing a credentialing program and hear about technology tools that deliver a robust user experience. Understand the key trends and possible environmental threats out in the lifelong-learning world and how to ensure your association creates “golden handcuff” value for your members. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.
Host: ASAE Professional Development Section

Presenter: Adrienne Segundo, IOM, co-founder, Limitless Association Solution Resource

Thu 10/20 at 12 p.m. – The Future of Healthcare Compliance: What Today’s Medical Meeting Planner Must Know

Medical meeting planners face a tough challenge: ensuring each meeting achieves its objectives while remaining compliant with healthcare laws and limitations. This discussion on the trends and challenges in medical meetings will help you understand what’s driving change in the medical meetings landscape and how to be prepared for the future of medical meetings. More info/register.

Hosts: Maritz Travel and Polaris


  • Pat Schaumann, senior director of healthcare compliance, Maritz Travel
  • Rob Shropshire, director of product development, Polaris

If you can’t attend a live webinar, go ahead and register if the topic interests you. Most webinar hosts send a link to the recording to all registrants.

Association Brain Food Weekly is published Friday mornings. If your organization offers professional development for the association community, please send me the link via email or Twitter.

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associations, curate the raging river of information

We all need help dealing with the raging river (not gentle stream) of information coming at us every day. Associations are perfectly placed to help us sift through and select the best information to read or consult. Yes, I’ll use the C-word: associations should be the #1 curators for their community.

Since I’ve been on an education kick lately, here’s an example of curation by a for-profit organization. Class Central has reviewed and compiled a list of The Best Intro to Programming Courses for Data Science. This list is part of their Data Science Career Guide, a six-part series recommending the best online courses and MOOCs for people entering the data science industry.

What online courses (including your own) and MOOCs would you recommend to people entering (or thinking about entering) your industry or profession? Wouldn’t that be a valuable resource for young professionals and other people in career transition? Just an idea.

Here’s the list of this week’s webinars. If your company has a webinar scheduled in the next few weeks, please send me the link. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not too product-centric.

Mon 10/10 at 1 p.m.* – How to Prepare for an IRS Audit
In deciding to audit a tax-exempt organization, the IRS looks at the gap between the tax reported and paid, and the tax the IRS says is owed. Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) and employment taxes are fertile ground for collecting additional tax revenue. Learn about other areas of IRS focus and types of audits; how to prepare for an IRS audit; what to give and what not to give the IRS; and how to minimize the amount of time it takes for an audit. More info/register.



  • Marc Berger, National Nonprofit Tax Services Director, BDO USA, LLP
  • Laura Kalick, National Nonprofit Tax Consulting Director, BDO USA, LLP
  • Doug Klein, Tax Managing Director, BDO USA, LLP

*All times are Eastern Daylight Saving Time unless otherwise noted.

Tue 10/11 at 12 p.m. – 10 Things You Need to Know before Using Snapchat at Your Event
Snapchat isn’t just for teenagers. If you’re dismissing it as irrelevant to your audience you could be missing an opportunity. Learn how Snapchat is different from other social media platforms; how to use Snapchat to engage event attendees; how to design an effective On-Demand Geofilter for your event; and how to market your organization with Snapchat. More info/register.

Hosts: EventMB and Bizzabo

Presenter: Nick Borelli, President and Strategist, Borelli Strategies

Tue 10/11 at 12 p.m. – Ask CIC: Answers to Your Burning CMP Questions

Learn about CMP test requirements and the resources MPI has available to help you accumulate and track your clock hours. More info/register.

Host: MPI

Presenter: Gayle Rosnick, CMP and CMP-HC Certification Director, Convention Industry Council

Tue 10/11 at 1 p.m. – Transform Your Event ROI Story with Digital Engagement

Find out how to use the metrics from your mobile app to justify the investment in and show the business value of your event. Learn how to leverage the digital engagement at your event to demonstrate ROI; best practices for using a mobile app to realize instant cost savings; and actionable tips for sharing the value of the event with your team. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Hosts: Meetings Today and CrowdCompass by Cvent

Presenter: Brooke Gracey, Senior Mobile Event App Strategist, Cvent

Tue 10/11 at 2 p.m. – How Data Powers Next Generation Membership (Association Chat)

Hear how one association is redesigning its value proposition by rethinking their membership model, re-examining member needs and digital habits, and re-evaluating collaborative relationships with partner organizations. Learn how they embarked on a data-driven, innovative, holistic and wide-reaching strategy to create an open, inclusive, content-driven community based membership model that connects online and offline engagement in whole new ways. Watch/participate live or view the recording.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, founder, Amplified Growth

Guest: Susan Cato and Joe Colangelo, Bear Analytics

Tue 10/11 at 3:30 p.m. – Unified Learning Design Studio: Digital Bridges for Unified Learning

Learn about the digital relationship between content, marketing and eLearning. Get a close look at how to use content marketing to support your eLearning programs and what tools are best for promoting participation, engagement and unified learning. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: iCohere

Presenter: Dr. Amanda Batson, ADB Partners

Wed 10/12 at 12 p.m. – Election & Holiday Email Marketing Extravaganza

Sending email in Q4 has always been a bit tricky, especially when an election is thrown into the mix. Learn the do’s and don’ts of sending email in Q4 of an election year. Find out how to optimize your email reputation; how to increase engagement amidst more inbox competition; and what to do differently in the next few months to deliver your message. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Presenter: Jenny Lassi, Director of Operations, HighRoad Solution

Host: HighRoad Solution

Wed 10/12 at 12 p.m. – Stand Out in 30 Seconds: Effective Communication for Millennial Professionals

Pitching yourself in a way that’s authentic and engaging is difficult. Whether you’re prepping for a job interview, pitching your business, or attending a networking event, this webinar will coach you for success. More info/register.

Host: Association CareerHQ and Millennial Week DC

Presenter: Bill Kenney, My Expo & Event Team and Test My Pitch

Wed 10/12 at 12 p.m. – Event Transformation: It’s Easier Than You Think

Whether you are struggling to bring incremental change or a total transformation to your events, this webinar offers actions you can take today to re-frame your approach. Learn the 5 keys to successful innovation; how to do event audits; and how one association transformed its event. More info/register.

Host: RMK Productions


  • Reggie M. Kouba, President, RMK Productions
  • Stephanie A. Morris, Deputy Executive Director, National Association for the Education of Young Children.
  • Scott Punk, SCPM, President, JSPunk Strategies

Wed 10/12 at 12 p.m. – Are You Haunted by Chapter Volunteer Burnout & Turnover?

Chapter volunteers are critical to the success of your chapters and association as a whole. Learn why volunteers are becoming harder to find, and how to create an effective volunteer succession plan. Take away tools and tactics to make chapter volunteer life easier. More info/register.

Host: BillHighway

Presenter: Kyle Bazzy, Director of Growth, Billhighway

Thu 10/13 at 12 p.m. – Doing More with Few: Small Staff Associations through the CEO Lens

Crafting the right programs, products and services that will help your members succeed and exceed the status quo is no small task – especially for associations with smaller budgets and staff sizes. Hear how two small-staff CEOs tackle important issues and design their organizations for success. More info/register.

Organizer: Lowell Aplebaum, CAE

Host: ASAE Aspiring Executive Leaders


  • Shawn Boynes, CAE, Executive Director, American Association of Anatomists
  • Bonnie Fedchock, CAE, Executive Director, National Association for Catering and Events

Thu 10/13 at 12 p.m. – How Your Nonprofit Can Operate a Legally Sound Certification or Accreditation Program

Discover how nonprofits establish, maintain and reinvent strong, legally sound programs. Learn about the Project Management Institute’s international experience with more than 750,000 certified professionals in every corner of the globe. Find out how the American Alliance of Museums recently reinvented its 45 year old voluntary, peer review-based accreditation program for museums to better serve participants. More info/register.

Host: Venable LLP


  • Julie Hart, Senior Director, Museum Standards and Excellence, American Alliance of Museums
  • William Scarborough, Esq., Vice President and General Counsel, Project Management Institute
  • George E. Constantine, Esq. (Moderator), Partner, Nonprofit Organizations Practice, Venable LLP

Thu 10/13 at 12 p.m. – DC Small Staff Association Brown Bag Lunch Group (Washington DC)

Association colleagues who work at small staff associations share ideas and ask questions about other associations’ best practices. More info/register.

Organizer: Claudia Trapp of International Registration Plan, Inc. (a small-staff association)

Host: Laurie Kendall-Ellis, Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions.

Thu 10/13 at 1:30 p.m. Central – Associations Tableau User Group Meeting (Rosemont IL)

Connect with other association professionals using Tableau, get advice, and learn best practices and tips in Tableau. More info/register.

Organizer: Association Analytics

Thu 10/13 at 2 p.m. – Credentialing Is King: Make All Members Love Learning

Members look to associations for learning opportunities that allow them to fulfill industry-mandated CE requirements, but they also want to advance in their careers, and need the credentials to do so. Find out the differences between certificates, certifications, and credentialing programs. Hear about trends like micro and stackable credentials and just-in-time learning. Learn the steps for creating certification and credentialing programs, and online learning strategies to make your programs scalable and accessible. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Abila

Presenters: Keith and Adrienne Segundo, founders, Limitless Association Solution Resource

Thu 10/13 at 3 p.m. – Leveraging LinkedIn to Grow Your Reputation, Visibility, and Impact (Reston VA Idea Swap)

Get key actionable insights on defining your reputation and leveraging LinkedIn to build your visibility and impact. Gain clarity on how you want to show up on LinkedIn and understand how to increase engagement and achieve your business goals with your key audiences. CAE credit. On-site registration .

Presenter: Jen Dalton, founder of BrandMirror and author of The Intentional Entrepreneur


  • Eileen Johnson, Whiteford Taylor & Preston
  • Kathy Benson and Mary Lee, ORI Results
  • Barbara Armentrout, NCRA

Location: National Association for Music Education, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston VA

Fri 10/14 at 9:30 a.m. – The Greater China Update (Washington, DC)

Find out what associations need to know before expanding into China, including the latest information on China’s new Foreign NGO Law. Learn what steps associations are taking to ensure compliance before the law takes effect on January 1. Gain current insights on the status of China’s association reform and how Chinese associations are working toward a separation from government oversight. Evaluate ongoing legal and political reform in the country and how to align your association’s activities. 2 CAE credits. More info/register.

Hosts: ASAE, Kellen Company and Meetings & Expositions Hong Kong

Presenters: senior association executives, legal analysts, and government experts with extensive experience in the region

If you can’t attend a live webinar, go ahead and register if the topic interests you. Most webinar hosts send a link to the recording to all registrants.

Association Brain Food Weekly is published Friday mornings. If your organization offers professional development for the association community, please send me the link via email or Twitter.


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Szoki Adams>

cautious turtle

The future of learning has been on my mind lately. After reading Elizabeth Engel and Shelly Alcorn’s paper, The Association Role in the New Education Paradigm, I was inspired to write my own take on how associations could transform higher education. Why not dream big or dream differently—that’s how to design your own future.

After publishing that post, I saw the news about LinkedIn’s new site, LinkedIn Learning. Here’s the description from TechCrunch:

“…an ambitious e-learning portal tailored to individuals, but also catering to businesses looking to keep training their employees, and beyond that even educational institutions exploring e-learning courses.”

Follow the money, folks. I hate to think that ten years from now associations will look back and say, “If only we had taken the initiative to double down on education back then, we’d still have <fill in the blank>.”

I’m a believer in the Power of A, but I also believe in the entrepreneurial mindset that seizes opportunities to create value. Associations must adopt that mindset or, well, I hate to think.

Onward! Here’s the list of this week’s webinars. If your company has a webinar scheduled in the next few weeks, please send me the link. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not too product-centric.

Tue 10/4 at 11 a.m.* – AWWA Creating Community – Better India Through Better Water

American Water Works Association’s strategic objective to expand into seven priority markets was accompanied by the mission statement, “Better World Through Better Water.” Its first office outside North America was opened in Mumbai, India in 2015. Hear about the opportunities and challenges faced by a US association in penetrating the India market as well as the lessons they learned. More info/register.

Host: MCI Group


  • David LaFrance, CEO, American Water Works Association (AWWA)
  • Gaurav Sood, AWWA India

*all times are Eastern Daylight Saving Time

Tue 10/4 at 12 p.m. – Visioneering the Meeting Room of the Future

Recent global research has found that meeting surroundings—not only the rooms themselves, but also the spaces where delegates congregate, network and socialize—have an effect on how people engage onsite. Learn how different meeting rooms support learning outcomes and help maximize meeting ROI, develop a better understanding of how technology can help build multi-way communication in the room and for virtual participants, and hear about different venues types and non-traditional room layouts that help foster connections between and among delegates. More info/register.

Host: MPI

Presenter: Mark Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, IACC

Tue 10/4 at 1 p.m. – Demystifying Micro-Credentials: Practical Questions and Considerations

Learn the pros and cons of offering micro-credentials, where micro-credentials fit in the ecosystem of professional development, ethical and practical considerations, and the impact a micro-credential could have on your existing certification program. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ACGI

Presenter: Marc Thompson, EVP, credentialing provider ITPG

Tue 10/4 at 2 p.m. – Social Media Siloes (Association Chat)

Join a live-stream Q&A session hosted by KiKi L’Italien, founder, Amplified Growth. Watch/participate live or view the recording.

Wed 10/5 at 12 p.m. – Omni-Channel Marketing: How to Layer Your Channels to Increase Leads

Find out how to plan content marketing for an omni-channel world. Learn how to publish digital content—social, email, website, blog, video and on-demand webinars—so one amplifies another, and how to cross-promote across channels. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Business Services

Presenter: Suzanne Carawan, Chief Marketing Officer, HighRoad Solution

Wed 10/5 at 12:30 p.m. – Making Online Communities Work in 2016

Since technology has become such an integral part of everyday life, it’s more important than ever for organizations to find ways to connect with their members online. Learn how to adapt your online community to keep pace with modern expectations. Hear what the current community landscape looks like, the role consumer grade platforms play in your member’s expectations, and the practices every online community should include to best serve its members. More info/register.


Presenter: Christian Britto, Operations Manager,

Thu 10/6 at 1 p.m. – Chapter Governance and What That Means to Chapter Leaders

Frequent change in a chapter’s volunteer management often leads to chapters losing track of their basic corporate requirements. Learn about requirements of incorporation, board fiduciary duties, and the differences between articles of incorporation, bylaws and policies. More info/register.

Host: IAEE

Fri 10/7 at 12 p.m. – Leveraging the Millennial Generation in your Workplace

Learn exactly how you can optimize your organization for a multi-generational workforce. Find out how millennials work, act, think and learn; why your work culture, environment, and location is more important than ever; best practices to recruit and retain millennials; proactive strategies you can begin to apply to leverage this generation; and the advantages millennial and multi-generational organizations have. More info/register.


  • Breezio
  • Maryland Dept. of Commerce
  • The Maryland Internship Network


  • Shira Harrington, Founder & President, Purposeful Hire, Inc.
  • Jamie Notter, Founding Partner, WorkXO, LLC
  • Joey Price, CEO, Jumpstart: HR

Fri 10/7 at 12 p.m. – The ABCs of Digital Badging

Learn why digital badges are transforming the credentialing industry. Find out how to avoid the risk of someone misrepresenting or misusing your credentials; how to brand and market your programs and credentials as certificants share their badges across the web; and how digital badges provide a convenience for professionals while saving an organization time and money. More info/register.

Host: BadgeCert

Presenter: Dr. Ginger Malin, a leading expert on digital badging

Fri 10/7 at 2 p.m. – Costs of a Virtual Conference

Take a look at four strategic reasons to go all-virtual and five elements for making your case to “go virtual” with your meetings, including financial justification. More info/register.

Host: iCohere

Presenter: Lance A. Simon, CVEP, Executive Vice President, iCohere

Fri 10/7 at 3 p.m. – Using Banner Ads to Attract Customers

For many organizations, digital marketing is a new undertaking. Associations want to know how to best staff their organizations, craft campaigns and measure programs in the digital age. This webinar series will help your organization evolve fully into digital. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: HighRoad Solution

If you can’t attend a live webinar, go ahead and register if the topic interests you. Most webinar hosts send a link to the recording to all registrants.

Association Brain Food Weekly is published Friday mornings. If your organization offers professional development for the association community, please send me the link via email or Twitter.

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


association role in higher education

Right now, today, in 2016 is the best time to start up.

There has never been a better day in the whole history of the world to invent something. There has never been a better time with more opportunities, more openings, lower barriers, higher benefit/risk ratios, better returns, greater upside than now.

Right now, this minute.

This is the moment that folks in the future will look back at and say, “Oh, to have been alive and well back then!”

(Kevin Kelly, from his book, The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future)

Let’s not blow our chance.

In the association community, it feels like we’re always playing catch up to the world around us. Webinars and conference sessions focus on challenges, problems to solve, outside forces and disruption. Depending on who’s talking, it can be a downer, frankly.

I get it—limited resources, too many priorities, a sense of overwhelm and the old not making room for the new (you interpret that however you wish).

Here’s the thing: the future should inspire us, not defeat us. The future is calling us.

Come to the rescue of young adults and lifelong learners

If you need a little inspiration—the kind that makes you feel blessed “to have been alive and well back then”—then read The Association Role in the New Education Paradigm, a white paper from Elizabeth Engel, CAE and Shelly Alcorn, CAE.

You may know these two: Elizabeth is CEO & Chief Strategist of Spark Consulting LLC and Shelly is Principal of Alcorn Associates Management Consulting. Maybe you’ve seen them speak at a conference or webinar, read their blogs or even worked with them. This paper is one in a series that Elizabeth has written with other smarty pants in our community.

So what’s their paper all about?

“Our thesis is that the association community has a vital role to fill in addressing the needs of both workers and employers in the coming decades, in helping to bridge the gap from education to employment.”

I can imagine a lot of heads nodding in agreement. But how many associations only pay lip service to that part of their mission? How many of them actually do something about it? How many find new ways to help people develop the learning habits and the personal and professional skills they need for existing and future jobs? The paper introduces you to a few associations that are stepping up to this challenge.

Unlike many industry reports, the paper shows associations their place in our larger world. The paper isn’t just about associations. It’s about the role associations can play in our world solving a serious issue, one that affects everyone reading this.

Many of us came of age at a time when change didn’t happen as intensely as it does now. We had time to hone skills, acquire knowledge and progress in our careers. But now, I don’t think any of us can imagine how much our world and our place in that world will change in the next five or ten years. The way we work will change. The way our members and customers will work will change. What we need to learn and know to make a living will change.

How will you keep up your skills and remain employable (relevant)? How will your children, grandchildren or the young people you see every day in your town or city prepare for the future of work? How will your members and future members? Don’t say college.

The sad state of higher education

Unless colleges change how they do business, they won’t be the answer for long, except for a small percentage of kids. This paper provides many depressing statistics about the ROI of college—stats that no longer surprise anyone who knows recent graduates and the debt that clouds the choices they make in life.

When I went to college, a middle class kid could afford a four-year liberal arts education. My parents and I took out loans to make it work. Plus, I worked several shifts a week as a waitress and bartender to cover the rest of my tuition plus rent and other expenses. What I didn’t realize then was my work experience in the restaurant and bar scene of Washington DC would be just as valuable as the hours I spent writing papers and studying for exams—the soft skills I was acquiring were just as important as the industry knowledge.

I wasn’t burdened by a huge debt when I graduated. I could afford my monthly loan payment on a measly restaurant manager salary and paid it off in ten years. Unlike many kids graduating today, I could afford to do what I loved even though it didn’t pay much. I’m thankful for my history degree because it trained my mind and sparked a love for learning that’s never left me and never will.

But how many kids today can afford to study what they love if what they love is literature, history or some other liberal arts program? Not many, not at the prices charged by universities today. If the cost of a college education is going to saddle you with crazy amounts of debt, you better prepare yourself for a career that gets you to six figures fast.

Elizabeth and Shelly point out the disconnect between employers and colleges on the value of a college education:

“Employers, education providers, and youth live in parallel universes…Fewer than half of youth and employers, for example, believe that new graduates are adequately prepared for entry-level positions. Education providers, however, are much more optimistic: 72 percent of them believe new graduates are ready to work.”

Imagine a 21st century college curriculum

In the paper, Tom Hood, CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs, said, “College programs are missing the success skills that are increasingly required earlier in young professionals’ careers.” If you were to reinvent the college experience so it truly prepared people for a productive life in a changing world, what would the curriculum look like?

Here are some of the courses I’d require:

  • Strategic thinking and goal-setting
  • Communication – interpersonal, public speaking, writing and digital/social media
  • Soft skills to improve social and emotional intelligence (EQ)
  • Research skills
  • Data analytics – Google’s chief economist said the ability to understand, visualize and communicate data will be “a hugely important skill in the next decades.”
  • Financial management, both personal and business
  • Project management and team dynamics

Not your typical classes, I know, but they’re life skills people need to develop personally and professionally. Some adults don’t learn them until far too late in their career, some never do. Give students the tools they need to be successful, productive and healthy adults.

I wouldn’t leave out liberal arts. Reading and discussion groups can help people develop an appreciation for the arts, analysis and communication skills and a sense of history (something sorely lacking today), plus expose them to other historical and contemporary cultures and perspectives.

Supplement this curriculum with specialized classes that train people to enter an industry or profession. Colleges should partner with businesses, start-up incubators, nonprofits and associations to design the curriculum. These partners can share what people in their industry or profession should have learned or what they will need to learn.

Colleges must change dramatically. They need to offer relevant, dynamic curriculums—accreditation requirements hold them back now from responding quickly enough to market (and student) needs.

Break up the typical four-year enrollment period. Every 12 to 18 months, give students the opportunity to go out into the workforce to try out different types of work. When they return to their studies, they’ll have a better appreciation for what it takes to succeed.

Rethink the college experience

Thanks to MOOCs, many people around the world are patching together a college-level education by taking classes from Brown, Penn, UVA, Harvard and other respected universities. Students design their own curriculum using online education.

What if organizations, like associations, help people put together a curriculum from various online sources such as MOOCs and associations? You could select the most qualified subject matter experts—it wouldn’t matter where they live because everything is online. You could help organize local study and discussion groups around the country to provide an in-person social learning element.

Design this educational experience and offer it for a fee that covers curriculum design, individual online counseling, mentor-matching and group online coaching. I bet it would be a heck of a deal compared to traditional college tuition.

You don’t have the resources? Do what colleges and startups do: go after the money—venture capital, grants and endowments. Partner with the big names in your industry—they’ll benefit from the pipeline of talent you send their way, plus they get to help design the curriculum and develop their future workforce.

Not practical? Maybe, maybe not. Who cares right now? Here’s the thing: you need to start envisioning different futures. Then start figuring out the little steps you can take now that might move you toward one of those futures. Why can’t you design this future for your association and industry?

Don’t nit-pick. Focus on what you could do, not on what you can’t. Fill the gap. You can bet that venture capital will continue to be invested in education. How long will it be before it enters your market? Be ready to partner with others so you can continue to influence the future of your industry, not be left on the sidelines.

Here’s the first thing you can do: read Elizabeth and Shelly’s paper. It’s sure to inform and inspire you to start thinking about how you and your association can change the world—isn’t that your mission?

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Creative Commons licensed photo by Lee Roylland.

prickly pear cactus on Bear Mountain Trail, Sedona AZ

Let’s start with my desert hiking observations from last week in Sedona, AZ. I suppose this might bore 96% of you. But if you’re hiking out west soon, you’ll appreciate these thoughts, I hope.

  • Greet fellow hikers as you pass by. People hiking trails rated “strenuous” are usually much friendlier than people on trails rated “easy” or “moderate”—must be a camaraderie thing.
  • Kolsch and wheat beers are perfect post-hiking beers. Avoid real hoppy or dark beers. A nicely balanced pale ale works well too. Don’t forget a bottle opener and koozies/huggers.
  • What is it about tequila and lime? Margaritas are my choice of beverage when indulging the night before hiking. I don’t get too fancy as long as it’s not rot-gut tequila. I like good ol’ regular margaritas, prickly pear margaritas, and pineapple and jalapeno margaritas—a new discovery.
  • Whoever’s in front has to be absolutely sure they always follow the main trail and not a wash, side trail or game trail. Not mentioning any names.
  • Watch out for cacti and snakes when taking a natural break.
  • Beware loose gravel on slickrock, especially if you’re descending.
  • If you have trouble with exposure and you’re crossing a fin or natural bridge, keep your eyes on where your next step is landing and, if you can, one step ahead of that—maybe where the person in front of you is stepping. For god’s sake, don’t look down at the drop or you may freeze. Stay focused on the present, one step at a time.
  • Enjoy the beauty while you can—nothing is better than time in the high desert.

Now that I’ve indulged myself in desert memories, it’s time for the list of this week’s webinars. If your company has a webinar scheduled in the next few weeks, please send me the link. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not too product-centric.

Mon 9/26 at 2 p.m.* – The Strategic AMS + LMS: Efficiency Made Easy

The right technology can make engaging your members, driving revenue, and targeting key segments easy, when you know how to optimize the data. The tools to minimize time and maximize impact are housed in your association management system (AMS) and learning management system (LMS). Learn how to make the most out of your AMS + LMS to enhance your association, the top features to consider when shopping for association software, and how to navigate the marketplace and make an informed decision. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Abila

Presenter: Anna Toon, Abila Product Marketer

*all times are Eastern Daylight Saving Time

Tue 9/27 at 7:30 or 7:45 a.m. – Innovation in Practice: Hybrid Meetings/Virtual Events

Hybrid meetings and virtual events give associations the opportunity to engage members who cannot attend their annual meeting or other in-person meetings. Learn how hybrid meetings and virtual events can benefit associations and how to monetize them. Hear case studies illustrating association best practices. More info/register for in-person event. More info/register for virtual event.

Host: ASAE Ideas and Innovation Collaborate Group

Presenter: Duane Capuano, Success Roads LLC

Tue 9/27 at 12 p.m. – Forget Big Data: Focus on the Right Data (ANEX Columbia Idea Swap – Columbia MD)

Accurate, timely data can transform strategic planning, member relations, and fundraising not to mention programs and services. But with tight margins and limited access to large datasets, what’s an association to do? Hear lessons learned from associations that have creatively leveraged existing data sources to gain useful insights into their membership and industries. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Organizer: Peggy Hoffman, CAE, Mariner Management & Consulting

Moderator/Host: Sam Waters, CAE, IMPAQ Strategy

Tue 9/27 at 2 p.m. – What You Need to Know About Website Redesign (Association Chat)

If a website redesign is in your future (and, well, it is), tune into this week’s chat to hear about the top design trends you should be aware of, website redesign solutions for associations with small budgets, and much more. Watch/participate live or view the recording.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, founder, Amplified Growth

Guests: Benji Craig, Dick Rabil and Kara Primm

Wed 9/28 at 9 a.m. – Are You ADA Complaint? Ensuring your Website is Accessible to People with Disabilities (Washington, DC)

Learn what it means to be 508 compliant and the benefits of embracing and focusing on accessibility. Discussion will cover: understanding accessibility in our world today; how increasing accessibility improves your bottom line; how to implement a culture that is inclusionary; and the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind Accessibility Assurance services. More info/register.

Host: Raffa Marketing Group


  • Vencer Cotton, Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind
  • Eduardo Meza-Etienne, Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind

Wed 9/28 at 12:30 p.m. – Embracing the Board’s Duty of Foresight

This live chat on Slack will focus on the duty of foresight: a board’s strategic responsibility and moral obligation to the association’s stakeholders. More info.

Organizer: Lucas Cioffi, founder, Qiqochat, co-organizer of the Association Community on Slack

Presenter: Jeff De Cagna, CAE, FASAE, chief strategist and founder, Principled Innovation LLC

Wed 9/28 at 1 p.m. – Contracts: F&B & Off-Sites

Discover how you can protect your organization from the many thorny issues that can torpedo your meeting and impact your bottom line. Learn how to define service standards that will improve the quality of service and reduce the risk of liability; negotiate stronger indemnification clauses; evaluate due diligence when dealing with ADA issues, including food allergies; and clarify the responsibilities and opportunities under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Meetings Today

Presenter: meetings industry attorney Tyra Hilliard

Wed 9/28 at 2 p.m. – Are You Curating Your Best Event?

These industry experts will share case studies of events like Forbes’ 30 under 30 and IBM Insight as well as the questions you need to ask before every meeting or event. Learn how to create content that will drive ticket sales, find the right balance between education sessions and networking moments, and new ways to deliver more to your event sponsors. More info/register.

Hosts: BizBash & Eventbrite


  • David Adler, founder & CEO, BizBash
  • Cathi Culbertson, vice president of event marketing & conferences, Forbes
  • Jill Taub Drury, founder & CEO, Drury Design

Wed 9/28 at 2 p.m. – Email Design Tips for the Modern Marketer

You have precious seconds to grab the attention of your audience before they decide to skip, skim, or read your email. With so much at stake, it only makes sense to maximize the effectiveness of your email design and template. Learn how to effectively organize content to maximize the reader experience, successfully use imagery to tell better stories, and create call to action buttons that drive conversions. More info/register.

Host: Informz

Presenter: Chris Scavo

Wed 9/28 at 2 p.m. – Making the Most of Metrics: Putting Virtual Event Data to Work for You

One of the greatest benefits of running a virtual event is the data you receive about your how your audience interacts with your content. The sheer volume of the data can be intimidating, though. Learn about strategies for turning numbers and tables into actionable insight about your audience. Hear how other organizations have improved their content and empowered their sales teams using virtual event data. 1 CEU hour. More info/register.

Host: PCMA and INXPO

Presenter: Sean Patrick Keen, Video Strategy Consultant, INXPO

Wed 9/28 at 2 p.m. – Everything You Wanted to Know About Nonprofit Executive Compensation

Paying executives too much can have negative consequences: public anger, loss of tax-exempt status, and substantial fines on both the executives who receive the overpayment and the board members who approved it. But underpaying executives has risks too: valuable employees could leave for greener pastures and you’ll have trouble attracting the best candidates to lead your organization. Learn how to make sense of nonprofit executive compensation, so you can get it right for your organization. More info/register.

Host: Guidestar

Presenter: Matthew Journy, Counsel, Nonprofit Organizations Practice, Venable LLP

Thu 9/29 at 12 p.m. – Leverage Your LinkedIn Network to Land Your Dream Job 

Learn how to cultivate a professional LinkedIn network that demonstrates your wide variety of connections and how to best leverage your connections to land your dream job. The webinar will cover essential LinkedIn networking etiquette and the more granular aspects of making and maintaining connections in the context of an active job search. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Association Career HQ

Presenter: Phaedra Brotherton, CPRW, JCTC, CDF, principal, Resumes and Career Strategies

Thu 9/29 at 3 p.m. – Pitfalls, Practices and Progress: Actionable Approaches to Capturing Membership Data and Gaining Insight to Strengthen Engagement (ANEX MoCo Idea Swap – Rockville MD)

Understand how to capture, analyze and visualize your existing association data to execute winning member-facing strategies. Learn how to mine the right data to improve your member’s experience; better understand the “why” and not just the “what” of your membership data; combine multiple data sources for a true 360-view of member and prospect activities; and determine a successful ROI on your collection and analysis of member data. More info/register.

Organizer: Scott Oser, founder, Scott Oser Associates

Presenter: Patrick Dorsey, EVP of Marketing, Impexium

Fri 9/30 at 3 p.m. – Building Digital Ecosystems that Deliver ROI: Measuring

For many organizations, digital marketing is a new undertaking. Associations want to know how to best staff their organizations, craft campaigns and measure programs in the digital age. This webinar series will help your organization evolve fully into digital. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: HighRoad Solution

If you can’t attend a live webinar, go ahead and register if the topic interests you. Most webinar hosts send a link to the recording to all registrants.

Association Brain Food Weekly is published Friday mornings. If your organization offers professional development for the association community, please send me the link via email or Twitter.

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

South Mountain Park in Phoenix at sunset

Does everyone have a cup of coffee and a maple-glazed donut? No? Just me? No matter, it’s time to review the many learning opportunities scheduled for next week. Then, you know the drill, select and register for one and add it to your schedule. Make time to invest in your future.

Now, if your association or business hosts webinars or if you’re one of those smarty pants who regularly shares your expertise via webinars, this week’s list includes two items especially for you. Check out Wednesday’s The Art of Becoming a Great Webinar Presenter and Friday’s A Recipe for Creating Engaging Webinars.

If your company has a webinar scheduled in the next few weeks, please send me the link. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not too product-centric.

Tue 9/20 at 2 p.m.* – The Highly Energized and Engaged Conference Experience

If your conference attendees are not engaged with your experience, what chance will they have to improve their job performance? Using the strategies identified in this presentation, every conference professional can create event experiences where engagement is the norm, not the exception.

You’ll learn how to identify the four questions you must address that participants ask themselves; why conference experiences must have a high level of inclusive, interactive energy experiences; and practical strategies that translate engagement research and theory into conference experience practice. More info/register.

Host: Velvet Chainsaw

Presenter: Jeff Hurt, EVP, Education and Engagement, Velvet Chainsaw

*all times are Eastern Daylight Saving Time

Tue 9/20 at 2 p.m. – Association Chat Live: Communication Disruption (Arlington VA)

Hosted by KiKi L’Italien, founder of Amplified Growth, this week’s chat is live at the Higher Logic office in Arlington VA. Register to attend in person or watch the live stream as KiKi and her guests discuss: how communications and association experts are navigating massive social and technological changes for their organizations and clients; their top concerns and visions for the future; and how association executives can confidently and proactively move forward in marketing and PR initiatives. More info/register.


  • Robb Lee, CMO, ASAE
  • Deb Fiscella, president, Center Stage Marketing
  • Rachna Choudhry, co-founder, POPVOX
  • Esteban Escobar, CEO & Executive Producer, 5:00 Films & Media

Tue 9/20 at 2 p.m. – Transform Your Event ROI Story with Digital Engagement

Your event is a smashing success, but how do you prove it? Learn how to leverage the digital engagement at your event to demonstrate ROI; best practices for using a mobile app to realize instant cost savings; what metrics are available and how to interpret them; and actionable tips for sharing the value of the event with your team. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: MeetingsNet and CrowdCompass


  • Brooke Gracey, Senior Mobile Events App Strategist, CrowdCompass by Cvent
  • Adrea Hill, Training Program Manager, Haworth
  • Lisa Hurley (Moderator), Content Director, Special Events magazine

Tue 9/20 at 3 p.m. – Northern Virginia Small Association Forum for Executives (call in or Alexandria VA)

This round table is a free-flowing conversation about the most pressing issues facing executives with 9 or fewer employees. Participants discuss best practices and create a valuable cadre of professional resources. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Small Staff Association Committee

Facilitator: Shira Harrington, Founder & President, Purposeful Hire, Inc.

Tue 9/20 at 5:15 p.m. – ANEX Happy Hour (McLean VA)

Join the DC/MD/VA association community for a casual happy hour where you’re welcome to pop in and pop out as your schedule allows. More info/register.

Event organizer: Scott Oser

Wed 9/21 at 1 p.m. – 3 Strategies to Future-Proof Your Association

A panel of association industry technologists and association executives will discuss technological breakthroughs in mobile, eMarketing, data analytics and membership management that help associations transform their business and serve members more intelligently and profitably. You’ll hear about practices designed to help you: create unlimited event value; be where your members are; leverage your data; make it personal for members; and identify and drive new revenue opportunities. More info/register.

Host: Impexium

Wed 9/21 at 2 p.m. – Should You Beware the New Meetings Block Buster?

Airbnb and other alternative accommodation services are making inroads into the leisure travel market, but meeting-goers will always want to stay in the headquarters hotel, right? Exclusive research by MeetingsNet and event housing specialist onPeak|GES suggests that may not in fact be the case—at least, not for much longer. Hear about the disconnect between how planners think their attendees are booking and what’s really happening; what event accommodations challenges are on the rise, and how to get on top of them; and the up- and downsides of making peer-to-peer accommodations providers your next best frenemy. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: MeetingsNet

Presenter: Lisa Hurley, Content Director, Special Events magazine

Wed 9/21 at 2 p.m. – Making Abstract & Speaker Management (Almost) Painless

As an event planner, you have bigger problems to worry about than constantly reminding each speaker to submit their bio. This webinar will share tips to create a painless speaker management program. Learn how to increase the productivity of your events team by 67% using simple automation. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Hosts: Pathable and Hubb

Wed 9/21 at 2 p.m. – The Art of Becoming a Great Webinar Presenter

One of the most common complaints people have about webinars is that the speaker(s) were boring so they don’t feel engaged. This results in low viewing time and low content retention. And, if they don’t like your presenters, they probably won’t like your brand. Learn how to find great webinar talent, how to prepare for a webinar, tips for directly engaging your audience, and new formats to spice up your webinars. More info/register.

Host: ON24, Inc.

Presenter: Mark Bornstein, Vice President, Content Marketing, ON24, Inc.

Thu 9/22 at 12 p.m. – Marketing Automation Workshop (virtual or Washington DC)

How can you get your message out to people for whom you don’t have email addresses, target a market that uses social media, increase email open rates, or revitalize your email audience? A growing number of organizations use marketing automation to turn content into leads and gain a deeper understanding of members. This free interactive workshop (with lunch provided for on-site attendees) will educate you on marketing automation, assess your organization’s readiness, and help you prepare a realistic timeline and budget. 3 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Marketing Section


  • Suzanne Carawan, CMO, HighRoad Solution
  • Maneesha Manges, Director of Consulting, HighRoad Solution
  • Adam Higgins, MarTech Consultant, HighRoad Solution

Thu 9/22 at 1 p.m. – Making Virtual Events a Strategic Reality

Most organizations reach only a small slice of members with traditional place-based conferences. The rest of the membership gets nothing—or, worse, finds other sources for learning and networking. Virtual events can help you solve this problem, but they’re not a panacea. This webinar will look at a range of virtual events to help you evaluate which option, if any, might be the right fit for your association and members. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Hosts: Naylor Learning Solutions and Blue Sky eLearn


  • Celisa Steele and Jeff Cobb, co-founders, Tagoras
  • Phil Forte, CEO and founder, Blue Sky

Thu 9/22 at 2 p.m. – The Future of Event Technology

The latest research suggests that events and trade shows are, by far, the highest category of spend for most marketers. But these events still remain isolated from the sophistication of most CRM and marketing automation processes. Learn how you can create world-class event experiences, driven by technology, while collecting valuable real-time customer data that can be shared with your sales and marketing clouds, and ultimately drive growth. 1 CEU credit. More info/register.

Host: PCMA and Lanyon

Presenter: Anthony Miller, CMO, Lanyon

Thu 9/22 at 4 p.m. – PD Book Club

The Professional Development Book Club is meeting via Zoom to discuss Brain Rules by John Medina—a must read for anyone involved in professional development or who wants to understand how brains learn. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Professional Development Section

Fri 9/23 at 1 p.m. – A Recipe for Creating Engaging Webinars

Here’s one for both association folks and the businesses that serve them: learn how to develop a reliable, repeatable process for delivering consistently engaging webinars. You’ll hear about best practices for: managing the process from planning to evaluation; determining how much coaching and support a subject matter expert needs to deliver an effective webinar; designing interactions that engage participants; and identifying steps you can take to avoid and troubleshoot common technical issues. More info/register.

Host: Blue Sky eLearn

Presenter: Karen Hyder, The eLearning Guild and Kaleidoscope Training and Consulting

If you can’t attend a live webinar, go ahead and register if the topic interests you. Most webinar hosts send a link to the recording to all registrants.

Association Brain Food Weekly is published Friday mornings. If your organization offers professional development for the association community, please send me the link via email or Twitter.


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

<Photo of South Mountain Park/Preserve in Phoenix where I spent a few hours on the trail Tuesday night>