A Virtual Advocacy Event with Surprise Benefits

The Alzheimer’s Association’s annual advocacy fly-in changed dramatically because of the pandemic—in many ways for the better. Its new incarnation includes inventive elements, a wider audience, and more flexibility. Every spring, thousands of association advocates flock to Washington, DC, to share their personal and professional stories in face-to-face meetings with members of Congress. Their goal: to help shape legislative priorities for the causes they support. Not this year and—in many cases—not last year either. Associations had to change [...]


Membership Pro Tip: A Low-cost Way to Connect Members

Looking for simple, inexpensive ways to keep members engaged in a virtual world? Here’s one solution. How does it work? Recognizing that its members were lonelier and more isolated than ever without the typical pathways to interact with colleagues at in-person meetings—an ongoing issue—the Council on Undergraduate Research established “CUR Conversations,” a low-cost way for members to connect on a video calling platform. CUR sends out an email inviting members of its community to get together and share ideas [...]


Social Media in the Workplace

We begin by offering our thanks to speakers Tina Cobb and Jane Peak for their valuable advice and insights.  Both speakers looked at social media in the workplace from two sides of the issue.  Peak, an attorney with Allan N. Karlin & Associates, shared the legal pitfalls and options employers should be aware of when it comes to the online presence of and relationship between both the employer and the employee.  Cobb presented various approaches for social media [...]


Short or long? What a content marketing expert says about word count.

Should your content be short, long, or somewhere in between? A top editorial leader at the Content Marketing Institute says that what matters is whether it’s helping your readers. What’s the optimal word count for content? You might be asking that question as you strive for perfection in your content strategy. But Kim Moutsos, vice president of editorial for the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), says that’s the wrong question. Your strategy for creating strong content shouldn’t be focused [...]


National Association of Manufacturers Campaign Counters Vaccine Hesitancy

The new NAM campaign is directly aimed at confronting Americans’ doubts and fears about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, amplifying the message that widespread vaccination is the way out of the pandemic and back to work. Responding to a sobering new milestone of 100 million COVID-19 cases worldwide, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute—NAM’s workforce development and education partner—are launching a new project aiming to stop the virus in its tracks by convincing more Americans to [...]


A Return to Meetings: COVID Protocol Document

As associations start hosting in-person meetings again, they’ll want to develop a COVID protocol document that outlines the steps they’re taking to keep participants safe. Here’s a look at the components you should consider including in your documentation. When in-person meetings resume post-pandemic, meeting professionals will need to consider several new elements of meeting execution, as well as develop additional documentation, including a COVID protocol document. For an in-depth look at this, I spoke with Julie Ann Schmidt, [...]


How to Use Games to Bring Virtual Attendees Together

By using games and simple icebreakers to open virtual meeting sessions, speakers can design an engaging experience that helps participants find common ground and get to know each other. So, thank you for coming. We’ll get um … started in just a few—hang on, I can’t see my slides anymore. One second. Hey, can you see my slides? I can’t … uhhh … oh, hi there, we’ll get started soon, I’m just … um … Has that ever [...]


What Leaders Can Learn from 2020 to Make 2021 a Success

The challenges of 2020 forged newly resilient and galvanized leaders armed with reshaped skill sets and strengthened resolve. One association leader shares her hard-won advice and lessons learned for the road ahead. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that resilience is a superpower. As architects of possibilities, it is incumbent upon leaders to serve as beacons of hope for a more promising future for our teams and organizations. A global pandemic, heightened racial tensions, political unrest, [...]


The Value of Strategic Planning in a Crisis

The pandemic may have prompted a search for quick fixes, but associations found that holding steady on a long-term, forward-thinking plan makes more sense. Strategy is still strategy. Among the many changes I hope the pandemic has delivered to associations in the past year is a new recognition of the importance of strategic planning. COVID-19 was one of those “black swan” events might have tempted a lot of organizations to slip into panic mode. But it may be [...]


When Will Social Gatherings Be Allowed in 2021?

Recent COVID-19 news has many around the nation feeling hopeful for 2021. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve all be asking When will things get back to normal? and What will that normal look like? Although the answers to those questions are still just predictions and not fact, the new year seems promising for social gatherings and event planning. On December 10, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Committee met to discuss the Pfizer vaccine candidate, and again on December [...]