Why Every Association Needs an Editor

By Danielle Leber

Excellent editorial work is invisible to readers, but errors are not

I often joke that to be an editor is to have an invisible profession—after all, the editor’s role is only apparent to everyone else when it is done poorly.

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Don’t Lose Sight of the Benefits of Virtual Staff Meetings

By Katherine Wayne

You hear a lot about “Zoom fatigue” these days and the draining effects of being on video meetings for hours a day. As offices in our area consider reopening and ending capacity limitations, some are relishing the novelty of being able to return to holding meetings in person with their teams and staff. “Teams need to be together in person to truly connect” is often cited as a reason for returning to in-person meetings. Do people connect better in person? Sometimes. Do in-person meetings create an inclusive and equitable space? Not for everyone.

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The Case for Permanent Virtual Participation in Leadership Meetings: Maintaining Diversity & Accessibility

By Erin Volland

Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering, highlighted a tweet in her March newsletter that helped to further articulate one of the troubling reasons about the possible move back to in-person meetings. The tweet referenced how disabled people have been asking for years for remote conferences so they can participate and how they have been told no, it’s too difficult to do, at least until the pandemic made remote events a necessity for everyone.  In her newsletter, Priya challenges us to “build our gatherings around the needs and insights of the marginalized.”

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4 Lessons Learned Through Co-Authoring

By Wendy-Jo Toyama

In 2017, I approached Mark Engle, DM FASAE CAE, Association Management Center (AMC) principal to learn about the board selection process (BSP) research that he and Professor William Brown, PhD, Busch School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University had conducted. The research explored board competencies and processes that lead to exceptional and high-functioning board of directors.

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Get the Essentials of Good Governance for Your Organization

By AMC

On February 25, governance experts Mark Engle and Erin Volland will lead an interactive virtual workshop on Governance Essentials™, walking association professionals through the foundational practices needed to ensure good governance in their association. Sound governance practices are critical for high-performing organizations but are rarely taught to association staff, leaving them to learn as they go.

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5 Virtual Meeting Lessons Learned

By Katherine Wayne

2020 was defined by many things—for associations and the staff who support them, the ability to pivot and adapt to the unforeseen were top among them. As 2020 began, AMC staff were busy preparing for the typical  20+ events we manage each year for our association partners.

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Rocking the Boat: A Shift to a Competency-Based Board During  a Pandemic

By Erin Volland

According to recent industry data, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated trends that were already in the works (Association Laboratory). Will advancing towards a competency-based board be part of this trend? The pandemic has certainly forced many associations to review their volunteer leadership structure, particularly around their decision-making process and the distribution of authority to make key, timely decisions. 

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5 Virtual Ways to Celebrate DEI Week

By AMC

This past week we celebrated our first virtual diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) week to create a space where we could learn more about what makes us all unique and to support AMC’s commitment to DEI. It’s easy enough to find ways to celebrate and learn together when you’re able to gather in person, but what happens when everyone is still working remotely? As many of us have discovered since the start of the pandemic, virtual events take a bit more creativity and planning for attendees to feel engaged and connected.

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What You Learn with a Career Change

By Julie Rogers

In my last post, I explained how I entered the association sphere after a career in newspaper journalism. I learned a lot with this career shift and have a few tips that can apply to anyone starting a new job or switching industries.

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How did I get here? ‘The harder I work, the luckier I get’

By Julie Rogers

How did I get here? It’s been a beautiful combination of hard work and sheer luck, to be honest.

As a senior content marketing and editorial manager in the Creative Media Services (CMS) department at AMC, I work with our association partners on a wide variety of projects, including managing the  production of traditional print products, such as postcards and meeting brochures; writing feature articles and crafting marketing messaging; and assisting my colleagues with client-specific knowledge as they work on search engine optimization (SEO), analtyics, and others services that aren’t quite in my wheelhouse.

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Finding Inspiration in RBG’s Legacy

By Steve Smith

2020 feels like a year filled with an excessive amount of hardship, loss, and grief.

When I heard about the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last Friday evening, I gasped and my heart sank. I knew her cancer had returned, but she always seemed to bounce back. Perhaps I was buoyed by the images of her morning workouts that are famously featured in the documentary The Notorious RBG and forever etched in my mind. She seemed eternally and unusually resilient.

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The Keys to High-Functioning Committees and Task Forces

By AMC

Highly functional committees and task forces are equally as important to organizations as a high-functioning board. Both depend on the other to govern well. And both can suffer if there is discord or lack of direction. Read this new article by AMC Senior Consultant Erin Volland for insights into why and how you can ensure your committees and task forces are functioning as effectively as possible so they can advance your organization’s strategy and serve your mission.

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4 Strategies for Engaging and Retaining Members During COVID-19

By Molly Anderson, Meg Drumm, Chris Ocampo, and Caryn Odenbach

2020 is not business as usual…2021 looks scary, too.

Members are the lifeblood of associations and AMC clients. As association professionals, we’re here to serve them, and our bottom lines depend on their support through dues payments, meeting registrations, and product sales. So, when a global pandemic and a recession challenge those goals, how can we keep up?

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7 Tips for Better Productivity

By Katherine Wayne

Like many offices, AMC transitioned to a fully remote work environment back in March. I was happy about the change and envisioned sailing through my to-do list each day and checking off all of those lingering tasks I’d been meaning to finish. After all, I’d been very productive working from home 1 day a week for years.

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Stop! Grammar Time

By Megan Toal

At AMC, our Creative Media Services (CMS) team includes 8 editors who take great pride in correct grammar, following style guides, and beautifully worded phrases. You may have seen earlier posts on grammar faux pas and misused words, but in this age of digital communication—which is especially augmented now that many offices will continue to work remotely and organizations are taking great care to communicate their plans, intent, and social justice stances—it remains even more critical to effectively communicate what we are trying to say. At best, you avoid embarrassment, and at worst, you avoid a public scandal.

We have gathered the CMS editorial team’s top grammar blunders. We’ll break it down for you, so stop! It’s grammar time.

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Don’t Burn the Furniture, Please

By Dave Bergeson, PhD, CAE

It would be cliché and perhaps too obvious to say that for nonprofits and associations, this year is unlike any other. And yet, here we are. Most of our in-person conferences have been cancelled. Many, if not most, of us are implementing virtual meetings and conferences. Our traditional forms of content delivery and revenue streams have been disrupted.

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14 Best Practice Tips for Association Book Publishing

By Bryan O'Donnell

I have loved books ever since I was a kid. It’s more than simply the act of reading—I enjoy the tangible feel of books, the cover design. I have way too many books at home, and it’s kind of a problem.

However, that love for books has translated into a passion for the act of publishing books. As a managing editor on AMC’s Creative Media Services (CMS) team, I have helped manage the publication of six healthcare-related books, and I’m currently managing two other book projects.

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“Let’s Take This Online”: 5 Ways to Smoothly Plan a Virtual Event

By Peggy Doherty and Val Good-Turney

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) hosts two in-person educational meetings each year that typically draw 110–125 people at each event. Seven weeks before the 2020 MCA Summer Meeting in June, with COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in the United States, the MCA board and staff made the decision to transition to a virtual event this year and move our hotel contract to a similar date at the same location in a future year. With months spent planning the in-person meeting, all parties knew we needed to act swiftly and smartly to smoothly transition to a virtual event.

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The Power and Potential of a Virtual Board Orientation

By Erin Volland, MPA CAE

There is the line in everyone’s 2020 calendar where plane tickets and hotel reservations shift to virtual meeting appointments. For our personal calendars, the shift might look like cancelled vacations. For our professional calendars, it might be rescheduled annual conferences and house of delegates and board meetings: those events where consequential business still has to take place but no longer can in the traditional face-to-face format.

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7 Tips for Staying Connected When You're Running Out of  Ideas and Still Social Distancing

By Erica Berg and Megan Toal

Connecting with your staff is always important, but during uncertain times where your team is remote or social distancing, it’s even more crucial to keep your staff engaged, connected, and, in turn, happy. We have been working remotely for 3 months now and  know it can be challenging to come up with creative ideas. Here are our 7 tips for keeping staff connected when you feel like you’ve used up your best ideas:

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A DES Guide for Adding a Virtual Component to your Conference

By Darlene Somers, CMP DES

With COVID-19 infection rates decreasing in some areas and increasing in others, the AMC Meetings team is busy planning client conferences with four different contingency options in place: a regular face-to-face (F2F) meeting, a hybrid meeting, an all-virtual meeting, and a potentially cancelled meeting. Adding a virtual component to an existing face-to-face (F2F) meeting or converting your F2F meeting to a completely virtual one has never been a hotter topic of conversation in the meetings and events industry. But before you rush off and start talking to digital platform vendors, take a moment to think about WHY you are adding that virtual component.
Such virtual components include hybrid meetings and virtual meetings:

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Amy Sherwood, CAE, Joins Association Management Center as Executive Director of the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses

By AMC

We are pleased to announce that Amy Sherwood, CAE, has returned to the company as executive director of the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON). In this role, Amy oversees all administrative and program responsibilities for APHON including its strategic plan, operations management, resource development, business planning, membership and marketing, and partnership with its board of directors.  

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Is a Virtual Conference Right for Your Audience?

By Stephanie Adams

5 Insights from AMC’s Education SIG

Members of AMC’s education special interest group (SIG) have been at the forefront of transitioning in-person educational conferences to virtual events for our clients in response to COVID-19. With so many unknowns around the ability to meet in person in the fall and beyond, many AMC clients are already looking ahead to 2021 and considering fully virtual events or hybrid in-person/virtual events. Before you make the leap into hosting a virtual educational event, there are a few aspects that you need to consider first. As we’ve gone through the process with several of our clients, we’ve identified five considerations to keep in mind to ensure a successful virtual educational event.

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Redefining the Corporate Partner’s Experience during COVID-19 Conference Cancellations

By Joél Payne and Megan Toal

How AMC’s Professional Relations and Development Team Pivoted to Virtual Options for Members, Sponsors, and Exhibitors

As associations try to field the crisis created by the coronavirus, the teams that serve AMC’s client partners and execute their conferences have had to nimbly circumvent the cancellations while ensuring that members still receive the education they need and clients meet revenue goals. With client conferences being canceled in response to Shelter in Place orders in many states, AMC’s Professional Relations and Development (PRD) Team needed to rapidly change direction to create contingency plans for exhibit sales and corporate-sponsored events. With flexibility, collaboration, and an openness to any and all ideas, PRD created a strategy for exhibits and corporate sponsorships affected by current disrupted conferences and future events that may be impacted in the same way.

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Virtual Governance: What Boards must Do

By Mark Engle, DM FASAE CAE

Jerald Jacobs, practice leader at Pillsbury Nonprofit Organization, author of Association Law Handbook, and past general counsel of ASAE, and Mark Engle dive deeper into association bylaw processes during COVID-19. Listen to Jerald’s recommendations of the ways boards might change how they delegate responsibilities and the methods and frequencies of how they meet, especially given that multiple virtual meetings generate various levels of engagement.

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Bylaws in Virtual Governance—Friend or Foe

By Mark Engle, DM FASAE CAE
 

In this vlog, Mark Engle speaks with Jerald Jacobs, who is the Pillsbury Nonprofit Organization’s practice leader, author of the Association Law Handbook, and past general counsel of ASAE. Tune in for Jerald’s legal insights about the ability of nonprofit boards to delegate authority and amend bylaws, particularly during time of crisis, along with how well association have adapted to the new normal of operating remotely.

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Helping Members Stay Ahead of the COVID-19 Curve

By Danielle Leber and Julie Rogers

Communication in the Time of Coronavirus

COVID-19 threatens not just the health of individuals, but also the economy. For the 99.9% of businesses in the United States—the small businesses that employ nearly half of U.S. workers and are crucial to the economy’s success—the pandemic is a threat to their survival. The small businesses that make up the majority of the member companies in the Awards and Personalization Association are no exception. Therefore, providing timely, reliable information to members in the face of COVID-19 is of the utmost importance.

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Virtual Governance: Trust and Board/Staff Partnerships Take on a Greater Meaning with Arlene Pietranton, CEO of the ASHA

By Mark Engle, DM FASAE CAE

In his latest vlog, Mark Engle talks with Arlene Pietranton, PhD CAE, CEO of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), about how being intentional about instilling a culture of trust between the ASHA board and staff from the beginning has been instrumental in helping them to make decisions quickly during this time of crisis.

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Sustainable Sustainability during a Global Pandemic

By Sarah Mania

Any chance you’ve been thinking of sustainability recently? Given the variety of adjustments we've all needed to make recently, it's not surprising if whatever you initially considered to be sustainable has since gone out the window. That's OK—your primary focus should be on keeping yourself and others healthy. But if you're still interested in practicing a sustainable lifestyle, how can you do that safely during a global public health pandemic? Read the below tips to learn how you can keep practicing sustainability during these disrupted times.

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Seeing Opportunities in Uncertainty

By Deb Woodall

During AMC’s very first all-remote, all-staff meeting on March 26, executive director Deb Woodall shared her reflections on how the world as we know it has changed and how she is responding to it. Hopefully, her reflections will inspire others, as it inspired our staff, to take a step back, look around, and see what we can do with what we have right now. Here are her thoughts:

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Creating an Association COVID-19 Response Plan

By Meg Drumm, CAE

COVID-19 has affected every person and organization across the world, and the association community is no different. With the constantly developing news and sweeping measures being taken to address the coronavirus outbreak, it’s important for associations to respond quickly and thoughtfully when acting on behalf of their constituents.

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