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


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


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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Virtual Governance Series: Part 1

By Mark Engle, DM FASAE CAE and Dave Bergeson, PhD CAE

Virtual Governance: what does it look like and what does it do?

As many associations and organizations make the decision to transition to a virtual work environment, now more than ever has it become critical for Boards to navigate urgent decision making.

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6 Tips for Thriving While Working Remotely

By Mike Norbut

As COVID-19 continues to spread, AMC, like many companies in our area, asked staff to begin working remotely this week. I know many people work from home on a regular basis, but doing so once a week is quite different from doing it every day, as many have quickly discovered. Given that we all might be working remotely for several weeks, I thought this might be a good time for me to share some thoughts and tips as someone who worked from home for more than 10 years straight before joining AMC. These are really just things I learned about myself over time that helped me be more productive and happier in my home office. They might be helpful for you as well. 

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Huddle Up

By Heather Comiskey

Do you have a team huddle, stand-up, or touch-base? If yes, this blog might be a good place to find ideas to spice up your current structure. Even if you already have a successful team meeting, keep reading to see more ways a quick, regularly occurring meeting could benefit your organization or team.

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How to Record a Podcast

By Evan Richards

Podcasts are more popular than ever and for good reason. They can bring value to your business or organization, give voice to your opinions or expertise, and educate members or prospects about the benefits your association or industry offers. They also provide a great opportunity for bringing in revenue through ads and sponsors. Luckily, with the proper equipment, a podcast content strategy, and a team well-versed in podcast recording, you can create a podcast that will benefit your association, too.

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The Work/Life Balancing Act

By Laura Harris

A New Decade, A New Generation

2020 is here and a new generation is beginning to enter the workplace: the unique, independent, and savvy Generation Z. You might be familiar with the several articles debunking this generation on LinkedIn, Google, or whichever site you frequent. I will admit it is interesting to see how each generation is different when it comes to the workplace, and I’d like to share how I, as an early career professional, maintain a good work/life balance and am able to pursue my passions outside of work.

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Everyone Wins When Staff Collaborate during ‘Office Hours’

By Heather Payette

Working in association management enables you to network and grow relationships with other association staff, see how many associations plan and deliver projects, and celebrate one another’s successes. One of the benefits of working at Association Management Center (AMC) is the opportunity to tap into a full range of expertise from a diverse set of professionals.

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Magazines: A Powerhouse Communication Tool for Associations

By Danielle Leber

Ask any association professional and they’ll likely all say the same thing: offering quality education to and increasing engagement with their members are foremost among their priorities. But if you’re not making the most of your written communications—whether those consist of regular email communications only or a suite of strategic sources—you’re missing a huge opportunity.

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Leveling Up in Your Career

By Valerie Good-Turney

A few years after college, I began my career at AMC as an entry-level account administrator. Now, just 4 short years later, I was recently promoted to operations manager. During my time at AMC, I have held several different titles and roles, each one adding to the reputation I had built in the previous position. Although there is certainly no formula for guaranteed career success and growth, there are several things I’ve discovered you can do as a young professional (or a regular professional) to “level up” in your career.

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What Does ‘Personal Brand’ Mean to You?

By Liz Giannini

For the first 12 years of my life, my family lived just outside of Windsor in England. My dad was an American expat working for an international company in Europe and was able to leverage his unique personal brand. A former Marine, he wore square-toe cowboy boots with business suits and read 1–2 books a week. He was a sales road warrior in the paper industry with a forestry and engineering background and a U.S. patent under his belt. He was direct, had a bit of a temper, and was known for his specific knowledge. There really was nobody else like him. When we moved to the United States and his territory changed to North and South America, I remember him receiving a call to travel to France. A customer there had stated that they only wanted to work with him; his involvement was a deal-breaker. Based on a past project, he had left a lasting impression and exhibited memorable qualities that the customer relied on to accomplish their business goals. He had a strong and enduring personal brand.

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10 Things No One Tells You About Creating a Podcast


In August 2019, AMC and The Collaborative began releasing episodes of the “Conversations by Association” podcast, a professional development series for association and nonprofit professionals by experts in this niche, yet robust, industry.

Though we carefully researched and prepared before recording even began, we learned several best practices on the job that we could not have anticipated ahead of time. If you’re considering developing a podcast for your organization, we’re sharing 10 tips that can make podcast preparation, recording, and management easier.

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5 Budget-Friendly Marketing and Engagement Techniques for Associations

By Carly Bartman

Marketing requires investment, and it can be scary to try new tactics and take risks. But, when the same old techniques aren’t bringing in the same old revenue, it’s time to change things up. Try using strategic, data-driven, and evergreen techniques that will reinforce your brand and give you measurable results to guide your next move.

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