Ignite The Restart


Ignite The Restart

On behalf of Association Forum, we wish you and yours well during this unprecedented time in our history. As we continue to embrace the changes before us, please know that Association Forum is with you all the way - #WeAreForum.

We are all experiencing extraordinary times and must make uncomfortable decisions. This too shall pass. We are a resilient community with 104 years of history. Our commitment to you is not only to join with you to plan for today, we are committed to helping you restart your tomorrow. The safety and stability of the association community in Chicago is most important to us.

Over the coming months, we will not only keep you updated on the latest information on COVID-19, we will also focus on the tools and resources to ignite your restart in the new day. We believe the association community has more permission now to be innovative and take risks. Carpe Diem.

We are working tirelessly to respond to your needs and understand how best to serve you as we enter the new day. We are in this together and will emerge as a community stronger and more relevant than before.

We are your Forum and want to hear from you as we continue on this journey. Please email us at membership@associationforum.org. Let’s get ready to ignite our restart!


Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE
President and CEO
Association Forum

Let's All Do Our Part

Deborah Bowen, FACHE, CAE, President and CEO of the American College of Healthcare Executives, encourages Forum members to support the healthcare community.

Purchase an Association Forum Face Mask to Support the Foundation

Association Forum branded facemasks are now available! Show your support of our community while protecting yourselves and others. Masks are $15 each with $5 from each one sold going directly to the Association Forum Foundation. Your purchase helps fund Foundation scholarships, internships, D&I initiatives and more. To get started, visit this online store, create a username and ID (this is not tied to your Forum profile) and choose which color and style you like best.

Reopening Your Office Safely

At some point in the near or distant future, teams will be returning to their offices. To ensure that our members have the knowledge to do this safely, Association Forum created an Office Reopen Advisory Council.

We are sharing the work of the Advisory Council to help organizations weigh the many aspects of reopening their spaces including seven key considerations. That information has been compiled into a comprehensive guide and accompanying video.

Download "A Guidance to Reopening Your Office"


Infection and Contamination Control Course

Does your organization have a member on the team trained in preparing your office for a healthy and safe return to work? If not, ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, has launched the GBAC Fundamentals Online Course just for you. This course will teach association professionals infection and contamination control measures for infectious disease outbreak situations.

Association Forum members can use code ASSOCFORUM to receive the ISSA member rate when registering.

Digital Event Strategist (DES) Certification & Digital Events Fast Track


PCMA's Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification and Digital Events Fast Track are now available to Association Forum members.

Association Forum members can use code FORUM to receive the PCMA member rate when registering for both the Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification and Digital Events Fast Track.

  • The DES certification is designed to help events strategists plan, produce and measure results of live-streamed and digital engagement events. The course can be taken live twice a week over seven weeks or done self-paced.
  • For events staff who are interested in pivoting quickly towards virtual event adoption, PCMA recommends its Digital Events Fast Track course. The course consists of five modules (as opposed to the certification's 10 modules) and is designed to accelerate an individual's digital event mindset.

Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago
Goodwill TalentBridge is a full-service staffing and recruitment firm, which provides its partner clients with staffing and recruiting solutions in the areas of administrative, manufacturing and professional search and placement. More info coming soon!

National Louis University
2020 junior and senior students at National Louis University (NLU) have been offered a digital membership to Association Forum. This partnership will allow us to create a pipeline of inclusive talent to fuel the future of association management and ignite the restart of our internship program. National Louis University is a private, non-profit university with its main campus in Chicago, Illinois. NLU currently enrolls 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students in more than 60 programs across its four colleges, and has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the most diverse national universities in the country.


Association Forum can still help you achieve your professional development goals with our live and on-demand webinars.

New live webinars are being added weekly, so check here to see a list of our current offerings:

Live Webinars

Association Forum is making many of our on-demand webinars completely free to our members. Here is a list of a few to take advantage of right now:

Advocacy Alerts

April 2, 2020
COVID-19 Letter to Illinois Delegation
Association Forum is asking our members to add their names to a letter we are sending to the Illinois Delegation Members of Congress. In the letter, we will urge lawmakers to support efforts of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) to include additional, direct emergency support in the next coronavirus aid package for Internal Revenue Code Section (Section) 501(c)(6) organizations, such as trade and professional associations.

Read the Full Letter

March 23, 2020
ASAE Urgent Appeal to Congress
ASAE sent an urgent appeal to Congressional leaders to again advocate significant, emergency financial support to the association and nonprofit communities. We encourage you to write your legislators with this urgent appeal to help ensure associations and nonprofits – as well as their employees and constituents – are secure throughout and beyond this crisis.

Read the appeal

March 19
Illinois Hospitals Issue Plea For Medical Supplies
The Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) today issued a plea to the leaders of associations for the construction industry, dentists, veterinarians,and other groups that may be able to help the state’s more than 200 hospitals protecttheir healthcare workers as they care for COVID-19 patients. IHA is asking the organizations to donate face masks or N95s to their local hospitals.

Read the appeal


Protecting Chicago
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently released the “Protecting Chicago” framework. It is a 5-phase approach for safely and responsibly reopening the city.

Read the Plan

Governor Releases Public Health Approach to Safely Reopen Illinois
From the beginning of the new coronavirus pandemic, Illinois’ response has been guided by data, science, and public health experts. As community spread rapidly increased, Governor Pritzker moved quickly to issue a Disaster Proclamation on March 9, restrict visitors to nursing homes on March 11, close bars and restaurants for on-site consumption on March 16, move schools to remote learning on March 17, and issue a Stay at Home order on March 21.

Read the Plan

The Strategic and Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Associations
Association Laboratory Inc. has just released the results of their impact study entitled The Strategic and Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Associations. This is a research-based analysis of the impact of the recent pandemic on associations.

Read the Full Study

Chicago Chamber of Commerce Resources
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is tracking the COVID-19 crisis closely, evaluating programs and events on a daily basis, and working hard to provide the most updated facts and data. They have hosted webinars with elected representatives, public health officials, and state and city economic development and business departments which can be found at the link below

Chicago Chamber of Commerce Webinars and Resources

Mayor Lightfoot Announces $100 Million Relief Package

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced a new $100 million economic relief package to support Chicago's small businesses that are experiencing a temporary loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The economic relief package is designed to provide much-needed cash flow relief for neighborhood entrepreneurs over the coming weeks and months and includes extended due dates for business-related tax payments until April 30, 2020.

Learn more

Cook County Tax Relief
Per Executive Order 2020-3, issued by President Preckwinkle, to protect the health and safety of our staff and customers and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, essential functions of government will continue while protecting the public and our workforce through a reduction of the footprint in the County Building.

Learn more

Resources From Our Members

In response to this crisis, some of our members have shared the following resources. We thank them for their support!

American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM)

American College of Chest Physicians

American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

American Hospital Association (AHA)

American Medical Association (AMA)

American Osteopathic Association (AOA)

American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)

American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

CCIM Institute

Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

Medical Library Association (MLA)

National Association of Healthcare Quality (NAHQ)

Selected Independent Funeral Homes

Staying Positive

Isolation can add to the stress that the COVID-19 virus is already causing. Sometimes, a little human interaction can vastly improve your well-being.

We'd love to know what you've been up to and how you've been coping with the shelter-in. You can create a video or a written anecdote and share it on social media using the hashtag #WEareForum. You can also post it in our all-member MyForum online community page.