So you’ve read about the importance of style guides, talked to your colleagues, and gotten all of the organization’s stakeholders on board—you’re ready to write a style guide. But where do you begin?Read More »
The time spent leading up to your next onsite meeting is always hectic. Between last-minute projects and fielding questions from staff and attendees alike, planning for the unexpected can easily fall off the to-do list. Believe me, I have been there.Read More »
What a member wants, what a member needs, whatever makes them happy sets you free… Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you there. Please forgive my singing. I was just thinking about how members shape the goals of our organizations and guide them into the future. Wouldn’t it be great to know what they want from their membership? Wouldn’t you like to know what they like about you?Read More »
High-performing boards are selfish with their time. According to BoardSource, most directors spend about 40 hours per year engaged in board work, so their time together is extremely precious.Read More »
Sequels are rarely as good as the original, but someone thought it was worth it to have a part two. Darn, not very compelling. Let me try again. Following my first AMC blog post on Kanban, I’m picking up where I left you, still curious about Kanban, perhaps seeking encouragement to take the first step into having a board of your own one day.Read More »
As a new member of the team, I was anxious to get my hands on some member and customer information. However, creating a survey that asked the right questions, collected the right data, and implementing an action plan afterward was overwhelming; where was the best place to start?Read More »
I am not much of a cook and the biggest challenge for me is getting the entrees and side dishes done at the same time, plated and served. I’m in awe of chefs who, through craft and precision, can serve beautifully presented plates of food (often customized) to hundreds of people each night.Read More »
Let’s do an experiment.
Take a moment. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think about your favorite brand. Really think about it.
What popped into your head? Was it the feeling of buying your preferred product from that company? The sound of their familiar jingle? Or did you imagine the company’s logo, a graphic you likely could recognize anywhere?Read More »
As associations, we plan annual meetings and events years in advance. And while it would be great to have a crystal ball informing us of the weather our attendees will experience while traveling or when they arrive onsite, that kind of foresight just isn’t a reality. At the Annual Assembly of Hospice and Palliative Care, presented by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, a major Nor’easter storm descended upon Boston and threatened travel plans for more than 3,500 attendees, exhibitors, faculty and staff members – many of whom were scheduled to arrive on the day Logan International Airport closed.Read More »
I started as the Director of Governance & Operations for AMC client the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (ASPHO) in late April 2016. Coming onto the staff at the time I did, I was able to be here right as our current president began her two-year term. On May 5 at the conclusion of our conference, that term will conclude.Read More »
When meeting new people at work, I am often introduced as the grant writer. I like being called a grant writer. When I first transitioned into this area of work, I imagined sitting undisturbed in a cubicle spending my days writing and putting together well thought out, neat and tidy proposal packets. It was a great fantasy.Read More »
When the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) first launched their Industry Relations Council (IRC) in 2011, only four companies saw the potential of joining as supporters. But under the direction of Association Management Center and Julie Ichiba, director, professional relations, for HOPA, the IRC quickly became profitable, productive, and very popular.Read More »
In last week’s Wall Street Journal front-page article How Jeffrey Immelt’s ‘Success Theater’ Masked the Rot at GE, it seems that GE’s Chairman and CEO wouldn’t surround himself with anyone willing to say that the emperor has no clothes.Read More »
What you say actually does matter, but that’s a topic for another day. I’d venture to guess most of you have your organization’s subject matter down pat. Today we’re focusing on the how.Read More »
When you think of the average conference, what comes to mind? For most of us, it’s spending our days in educational sessions and our evenings sharing stories (and perhaps a few cocktails) with fellow professionals.Read More »
I recently had the honor of being selected as an ASAE’s NextGen Summit participant, where I had the chance to attend a retreat for emerging leaders to come together and discuss association trends and topics along with personal and professional development. Enough knowledge was passed along to make my head hurt, but in an invigorating and energizing way. I can’t share everything – I probably wouldn’t do it justice and I also can’t write a novel (though I could) – so below are my three favorite takeaways.Read More »
There are 2 Tuesdays until Mardi Gras.
My favorite New Orleans local to follow on Instagram and Twitter, @nolamaven, has been filling followers’ feeds with visions of glitter in preparation. The 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival lineup was just released and it’s dynamite. The Saints…oh, the Saints…what a heartbreaking end to a hard fought football season. Bon Appetit magazine named the New Orleans sandwich shop Turkey and the Wolf the #1 Best New Restaurant in America! A sandwich shop! I could go on and on.
Are you looking for answers to questions such as
On Tuesday, November 7, 2017 The American Marketing Association (AMA) Chicago chapter partnered with Association Forumto host an event called, “Get Noticed on Social media (without breaking the bank)!” AMC’s own Allison Lundberg was one of two speakers on a panel that discussed how an organization can find its voice, get noticed on social media, and take it to the next level with social advertising. A handful of members from AMC’s Professional Relations and Development (PRD) team, including Joey Maginot, Maddie Liesz, Dana D’Onofrio, and Zack Smith, attended this session at the AMA office in Chicago. The team shares key take-a-ways from the event, why they found them important and creative ways they’ve incorporated them into their work for PRD.Read More »
Education. Networking. Publications. Advocacy. The benefits associations provide their members are numerous and invaluable—and the rewards members gain from them are equally incalculable.
But what do you do when one of your top-rated member benefits starts having problems that overshadow the many solutions it offers? If you’re PRISM International, you start to think outside the (paper) box.Read More »
Some people follow all the latest nutrition and diet trends like cleanses, South Beach diet, cabbage soup diet, paleo, raw foods and clean eating. What do I follow? Productivity trends. Go ahead and laugh, I’ve come to terms with it. One of the tools I have discovered that seems to hold the most promise for increasing productivity is Kanban. Kanban literally translates to “board”, but often you’ll hear or read “Kanban Board”, which is redundant. We’ll forgive the repetitiveness and just focus on what Kanban entails and how it might increase your productivity. Curious yet? Let’s jump right in.Read More »
We’ve all been there before. You’re discussing an important issue for your association, but instead of concentrating on your organization’s agenda, someone is trying to further their own. These hidden agendas can derail important conversations, complicate decision-making, and result in poor solutions for your association.Read More »
Ok, since you’re twisting my virtual arm, I’ll admit it… I’ve always wanted to be Jeopardy host Alex Trebek. He’s just so darn cool. He has the best job in the world, probably drives a Ferrari or some other cool car, and has the power to create categories in his show like Potpourri where he just throws together a bunch of things that don’t really relate all that much to one another.Read More »
For all organizations and businesses, not just associations, it’s the ultimate catch-22—you need more leads to make money, and you need money to get more leads. To thrive, associations need members and customers to continue running, but it can be difficult to find room in the budget for marketing and lead generation. Never fear though, there are easy and affordable methods to draw more potential members and purchasers to your organization right at your fingertips.Read More »
Do you spend way too much time reading posts about interview questions? If that’s the case, please take my virtual hand so we can walk away from that darkness.Read More »
There I was, on a bright, sunny Saturday in September with a hammer and work gloves in hand, trying to look the part at the Park Ridge Presbyterian Church parking lot. I was there with Solid Rock Carpenters to build wall sections for 3 homes to be donated to those in need in Johnson City, Tennessee. Those of you who know me are probably thinking “Dude, what do you know about building houses?” Believe me, I asked myself the same question several times and when I saw the 85+ volunteers going at it, I seriously considered getting back in my car and heading home.Read More »
Two weeks after the unthinkable happened in Las Vegas, my colleague and I touched down in the city for the METALCON trade show. Unsure of the environment that would greet us, I found we were met with the very definition of strength, and given a daily reminder of the message resonating throughout the city. The city is #VegasStrong. In fact, I feel it is stronger than ever.Read More »
Member associations en masse are finally recognizing that revenue diversification is the key to sustainability in the current economic and cultural climate. Focusing on developing key revenue generating sources outside of membership are job one. Concurrent with grandiose strategic plans forming around major non-dues revenue initiatives, organizations should start immediately with the low hanging fruit that can bring in small profits today leading to much larger profitability and revenue gains tomorrow.Read More »
A common conversation among grant professionals is about how to set expectations and measure success of grant programs. Many stakeholders (the boss, the board, the committees) often want to talk about revenue as a measure of success and usually focus on increasing revenue. While a meaningful metric, increasing revenue is not always the most reflective of success or impact of the program. Over-the-years, I have come up with a few rules-of-thumb that help frame the conversation in a better way.Read More »
As the staff of any association can tell you, onboarding new leadership is an important process that can reap many rewards. However, the process for when those leaders eventually leave may not be as well defined. Ensuring a smooth exit for your former president or board member not only make a difference to them but also your association.Read More »
Millennials, Millennials, Millennials….We may all feel like this topic has been beaten to death, and yet we just can’t stop ourselves from asking, “What makes them tick?” As co-chairs of AMC’s Young Professionals SIG and because we are both Millennials (although on slightly opposite ends of the age spectrum) we have a unique perspective on how our generation functions as a product of our surroundings. We sat down to answer some burning questions and provide insight into the largest generation in the workforce today:Read More »
Several times throughout my college career, I thought, “This is it! I’ve found what I want to do!” Some of those career plans included museum curator, archeologist, communications director of a sports team, professor of physics, and professor of economics. Considering every “add” or “drop” of a major or minor in college, I think I made at least 11 changes to reflect the latest “This is it!” phase. I graduated with a marketing degree - very different from the previously listed jobs!Read More »
The creative team at AMC revealed why they work so well together in a recent post. As it turned out, the magic formula for teamwork required more than strange grapes, oddly flavored potato chips, cupcakes, and the rest of the carbs we cram onto a file cabinet that’s conveniently buffet height.Read More »
It is not uncommon for analogies to be drawn between business strategy and military strategy. One of my favorite examples is a 2016 article Australian consultant Graham Kenny wrote for Harvard Business Review. In it, he compares strategic planning in business and the military, citing an approach promoted by Moltke the Elder, Dwight Eisenhower, and Winston ChurchillRead More »
In the late 90s, Harvard Business Review noted that “The Experience Economy” is demonstrated when “a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event.” Likening the Experience Economy to a performance is as effective a metaphor today as it was then because it reminds us that we need to create connection to our products and services to engage our customers.Read More »
For association professionals, the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential is a mark of professional development. Earning your CAE can make a positive impact on your career path and showcase your commitment to the association profession. Several AMC executives use the knowledge they gained earning their CAE certification to guide and support our association partners.Read More »
Ad campaigns about customer service are all the rage right now. Who doesn’t love “Jake from State Farm”, the khaki-wearing night shift worker turned meme? Or what about Discover and their commercials about how they treat you like you treat you. Because “I don’t have time for machines,” according to one Discover customer.Read More »
As leader of the organization and chair of the board of directors, an association’s president has a unique responsibility to guide the actions of numerous volunteers to ensure they make decisions based on the association’s best interests. Most often, this person is well-prepared to act as an advocate for members following many successful years of service. Most often, this person also has extensive experience acting as a leader within his or her field, experience that proves invaluable to their role as president.Read More »
What makes a happy and healthy team? I could tell you what I think, but maybe it makes more sense to go directly to an actual team that fits the description. I asked members of our creative team to share their thoughts, expecting to hear about a “hardworking yet fun atmosphere” and buzzwords like “accountability,” “flexibility,” and “recognition.”Read More »
In 2015, Association Management Center (AMC) was faced with upgrading Personify, its association management software, and realized there was a problem: The upgrade would not solve a number of challenges; however, the organization expected the new version to magically do exactly that! There was a misalignment of business goals and project goals, and the project, as initially planned, would have left us with many of the same usability issues, such as:Read More »
Your cab drops you off in the middle of a changing Chicago neighborhood…Fulton Market; once a gritty meatpacking district, is being transformed into a tech and foodie hot spot. The glimpse of the Google office and the new Ace Hotel flash past your window and you are delivered into the urban Morgan Manufacturing space – the location of Association Forum’s June 28, 2017 Forum Forward conference event. With one step in the door, you’re already excited about what’s ahead…Read More »
The American Pain Society’s (APS) beloved educational program Fundamentals of Pain was initially developed to educate and engage early career practitioners and researchers in the field of pain medicine in order to meet the growing need for research and practitioner support for those in pain. The Fundamentals program was held annually as a preconference to the association’s Annual Scientific Meeting and included education, mentoring, and networking components. In the beginning, it was 100% funded by a singular corporate funder. However, after nearly a decade, the sponsor’s funding initiatives changed, and they decreased funding for the program. At the same time Fundamentals attendance slowly began to shrink.Read More »
Being onsite for conference is the best, isn’t it? Sure, the hours are long, your legs are tired from schlepping your bags across a convention center, and you’re breathing recycled air for about a week, but it is nearly unrivaled in building connection to our work and members.Read More »
An inclusive environment promotes continual reflection, opportunities for growth, and helps individuals feel welcomed. Most importantly, participants are able to be themselves. Do your members feel a sense of inclusion within your association?Read More »
There I was, standing face to face with a large, bemused group of boys about eight years old. I had just emerged from an idling bus along with seven other members of our board of directors. These kids were staring at us like we were aliens emerging from a space craft. Why the stares? Because our board of directors – composed of nurses in their 30s 40s 50s and 60s - had just converged at a laser tag facility and this horde of eight year olds was no doubt not accustomed to being booted out by a group of people the age of their parents or grandparents.Read More »
My wife and I are in the market for a new patio on the back of our house. It’s our one big purchase for the year and it’s important to us that it’s done right. Like most people in this situation, we want to get some quotes and determine who can do the job best. We reached out to three local companies to come out and give us a quote, providing each with the same request and specs for the job.Read More »
Expectations of board members in the association world are high. Upon election to the board, members are expected to have a solid understanding of the association’s mission, strategic plan goals and objectives, financial status, programs and services, and governance structure. In addition, board members bear a legal and fiduciary responsibility for the health and future of the association. These expectations can be daunting. As a member of the governance team at the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) it is our job to ensure board members are informed and prepared for their roles so that they can participate fully on day one.Read More »
Old news: Membership retention in the current millennium is a key challenge for organizations, especially for those not connected with mandated licensures or certifications.
Bad news: There is no magic bullet to overcome this challenge quickly. You need a loooong term strategy.
Good news: There are a few short term tools that may help slow the rate of loss and stem some of the decline.
Let’s focus on the good news.Read More »
In the past, Nominating Committees started their work a few months before elections began by identifying those who were next in line for the open positions. This process assumed that the most qualified candidates for the governing board were those who had worked their way up through the ranks of committees and participated in other volunteer opportunities.Read More »