Try Picking Up the Phone: The Value of Individual Board Member Calls

By Steve Smith, AAHPM Executive Director, AMC Client Executive

Before we go any further, I want you to ask yourself one important question: When and how do you and your president engage association board members in direct, proactive dialogue? If you answered only during new board member orientation or regular in-person board meetings, then you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to engage with, and get ideas from, some of your most involved members. Luckily, capitalizing on their knowledge, boosting their levels of engagement, and providing them with personal support can be as easy as picking up the phone.

Read More »

Value-Driven Decision Making (and Crickets)

By Jess Morgan, Senior Manager, Information Technology Applications

Almost a year ago, we had a series of meetings with clients in preparation for an enterprise project. The goal of the meeting was for the IT team to walk away with an idea of client values, pain points, and drivers for success. The client representatives in the meetings came from various functional areas of our association client teams and each brought a different perspective to the discussions.

Read More »

 5 Tips for Online Community Engagement

By Emily Muse, Manager, Membership and Community Engagement, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Increasingly, associations hear members express the desire to connect with colleagues outside annual meetings and CME events. When one of our physician members at the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) responded to an engagement survey by saying, “In my rural practice I literally have no one to ask for clinical advice in this field,” we knew that development of a virtual or online community sharing platform had to begin.

Read More »

Asking the Right Questions

By Valerie Romack, Assistant Editor

An Introduction to Surveys

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 »

Productivity Using Kanban: Part 2

By Jess Morgan, Sr. Manager, Information Technology Applications

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 »

Utilizing Your Greatest Assets to Make Informed Decisions

By Caryn Giznik, Marketing Manager

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 »

Mise en Place and the Database

By Susan Vogel

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 »

The Skinny on Style Guides

By Danielle Leber

How Consistency Can Result in Higher Revenues and Better Brand Visibility

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 »

Onsite Communication in a Weather Crisis

By AAHPM Team Members

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 »

Call Me a Grant Writer

By Susan Vogel

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 »

What's Next(Gen)?

By Joe Lindahl, Senior Operations Manager

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 »

Building for the Future Like New Orleans

By Liz Giannini, Senior Account Manager

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.

Read More »

Get Answers to Your Burning Governance Questions

By AMC

Are you looking for answers to questions such as

  • What is governance anyway?
  • Are we doing it right in my organization? Can we do it better? What can I do better?
  • Bylaws, policies, procedures – what’s the difference? Why so many documents?
  • What’s the difference between what the Board of Directors does and what the staff does?
  • How can my preparation for a board meeting affect governance?
  • Help! I have to take minutes! What do I do?
  • Whew! The board meeting is over. So all my work is done, right?
Read More »

Applying Social Media Concepts to Professional Relations

By AMC

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 »

Turning Digital Disruption into Real-Life Results

By Danielle Leber, Managing Editor

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 »

Increase Productivity Using Kanban

By Jess Morgan, Sr. Manager, Information Technology Applications

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 »

4 Reasons to Bring Your “Other Agenda” into the Boardroom

By Steve Smith, Account Executive and Karen Nason, Account Executive

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 »

I’ll Take Potpourri for $500, Alex…

By Bruce Hammond, Director of Governance & Operations, American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

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 »

5 Tactics to Generate More Leads

By Carly Bartman, Content Marketing Associate

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 »

9 Corporate Lessons Reinforced in a Parking Lot

By Vish Kalambur, Chief Information Officer

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 »

#VegasStrong

By Liz Giannini, Senior Account Manager

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 »

Maximizing Non-Dues Revenue

By Judy Paczko, Project Manager & Beth Zemach, Senior Consultant

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 »

6 Rules-Of-Thumb for Effective Grant Program Discussions

By Susan Vogel, Grant Manager

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 »

5 Questions You Should Be Asking in Board Exit Interviews

By Steve Smith and Karen Nason, AMC Executive Directors

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 Demystified by Millennials

By Andrea King, Operations Manager & Valerie Good-Turney, Operations Coordinator

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 »

Calling All Young Professionals: Career Panel Takeaways

By Sarah Dittmer, Education Administrator, Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists

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 »

Looking for Team Happiness? R+R+R… and Cupcakes

By Clay Baznik, Executive Director of Marketing & Creative Media Services

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 »

Strategic Planning: Moltke the Elder, Dwight Eisenhower, Winston Churchill, and Just a Little Mike Tyson

By Dave Bergeson, Ph.D., CAE

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 Churchill

Read More »

Personalizing the Experience Economy

By Carly Reisner, Chief Operations Officer, American Pain Society and Brianna Johnson, Education Manager, American Pain Society

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 »

Earning Your CAE? Remember These Important Steps

By Kelly Kellermann, Content Marketing and Editorial Manager, with Bruce Hammond, CAE

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 »

Personal Touch: How Much do Your Members Matter?

By Brendan Sugrue, Membership and Marketing Coordinator

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 »

3 Steps to Smoother Onboarding of Incoming Presidents

By Danielle Leber, Managing Editor

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 »

Asking Team Why it Clicks Reveals Surprising Word

By Clay Baznik, Executive Director of Marketing & Creative Media Services

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 »

Scrum: Build Teamwork and Drive Results

By Vish Kalambur, Chief Information Officer

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 »

Construct. Deconstruct. Reconstruct.

By Liz Giannini, Senior Account Manager

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 »

Innovative Models Fund Product Development – Win-Win for Association Clients

By Sue Farrell Stock, Executive Director, AMC Consulting Services and Susan Vogel, Senior Grants Manager

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 »

Thank you for your thank you!

By Carly Reisner, Chief Operations Officer, American Pain Society

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 »

Building Inclusivity into your Association and Events

By Jamal Turner, MJ MSA, Manager, Education and Diversity Initiatives

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 »

The Effect of Laser Tag on Board Performance

By Dave Bergeson, PhD, CAE

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 »

Real World Lessons on Customer Experience

By Bruce Hammond, CAE

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 »