Leading During a Pandemic: Advocacy from a Distance

Government relations is typically done with a handshake, but the Direct Selling Association has found ways to connect virtually with legislators and regulators. Advocacy is traditionally shoe-leather work at associations. Government relations staffers are experts at relationship-building—meeting with legislators, regulators, and their aides to make an association’s case clearly and efficiently. It’s a job practically defined by handshakes and face-to-face meetings. But so much, thanks to COVID-19, for that. The Direct Selling Association, like most other groups, has had [...]


Support Your Team After Layoffs

Ask the Expert Blog June 18, 2020By: Barbara Mitchell If you must lay off staff, your remaining employees need and deserve information about your decisions and reassurance about their role in the organization’s future success. Q: My organization has been hit hard financially by COVID-19 and is considering layoffs. I’ll be concerned for anyone who is let go, but I’m also thinking of the rest of the team who will lose colleagues and will also be concerned for their [...]


CDC Gathering Guidelines

Current updates on association response to the global COVID-19 crisis, along with a roundup of conference, travel, and business news and information. CDC GATHERING GUIDELINES Weeks after the World Health Organization shared its recommendations for mass gatherings, the U.S.-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now offering the same. The principles set out in the document, released last week, are not intended to usurp existing state or local guidelines, but offer advice on what kinds of events [...]


What Will an In-person Conference Look Like After COVID-19?

When in-person events resume, they will look very different. A new white paper by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events dives into what organizers will have to change to prioritize health and safety. Even though cities and states are in different phases of reopening, it will likely be months before large conferences and tradeshows can resume. According to the ASAE Research Foundation’s latest Association Impact Snapshot survey, almost 44 percent of association execs who responded said the earliest [...]


A Lesson on Board Diversity from Reddit

Reddit has fulfilled its cofounder’s request for a more diverse board of directors by replacing him with a black board member. Also: how associations can help their communities through times of struggle. Many organizations—both for-profit and not—have recommitted at a pivotal moment to improve their diversity and inclusion initiatives. A popular social network may have found a path forward while offering a potential lesson for others. This week, Reddit announced the appointment of Y Combinator CEO Michael Seibel [...]


How to Run an Efficient Virtual Board Meeting

Keep meetings focused to avoid wasting board members’ time. Also: What associations can do to grow their membership during the pandemic. These days, you’re likely feeling Zoom fatigue—and your board members are in the same boat. That is why efficiency is imperative in a virtual board meeting as well as online gambling. “A meeting that has no direction can be unproductive and annoying—especially when the meeting is after hours for your ‘volunteer” job,’ says a recent post on the YourMembership [...]


Returning to the Workplace: Legal Obligations and Risks

Returning to the office may be a welcome change for employers and employees growing weary of remote work. But employers must comply with legal requirements for keeping their staff safe onsite—some of which they may never have had to concern themselves with before. The novel coronavirus pandemic has presented a public health emergency unlike any most Americans have seen in their lifetimes—and has also upended the operations of most associations and other businesses in the U.S. Following state [...]


Highlights of “The New Normal” Panel

Everyone is doing things differently as a result of COVID-19.  Even WVSAE has taken their last two monthly meetings to the Zoom virtual platform! Panelists Jonathan Adler, West Virginia Association of Counties, Mike Clowser and Pat McDonald, Contractors Association of West Virginia, and Penny Fioravante, Osteopathic Medical Association, discussed what their respective associations have been doing and will continue to do as COVID-19 creates a new normal.  They have all rescheduled meetings, if not outright cancelled them, and [...]


Leading During a Pandemic: The Need for Steady Governance

There’s no way to make an association crisis-proof, but good governance is key to resilience. One expert shares how to help boards maintain their focus. Successful boards look for alignments with the needs of members and customers. But what are those needs during a time when economies and social norms have transformed? Successful boards consider environmental scans to establish broad strategic goals. But what if the environmental scan you conducted before your most recent five-year strategic plan no [...]


How to Surprise and Delight Attendees in a Virtual Environment

If you think hosting a virtual conference makes it more difficult to surprise your attendees or incorporate small elements of fun, think again. Here are five ways to delight your participants. At your in-person events, you may have found fun ways to surprise your attendees, whether a pop-up ice cream sundae bar at the end of the day, a performance by a local music group between sessions, or putting gift cards for local restaurants or shops under some [...]