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By Paul Bergeron Here’s a checklist of a few dozen questions and critical things meeting planners and their CEOs might not have considered when looking to plan their first virtual meetings, based on comments from a veteran Assn meeting planner. Caution: There’s not a lot of uplifting points made on this list. Rather, it’s a sober dose of reality. ZOOM FATIGUE Right now, it’s all-aboard for most associations when it comes to holding a virtual meeting now, but what tolerance will your members have for laptop-based communications such as Zoom a month from now, much less in the fall or by year’s end? When does Zoom fatigue set in? It’s only mid-April ...
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By Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE, Executive Advisor, Foresight First LLC Join Jeff for his webinar, "Developing Your Association's COVID-19 Scenarios of the Future," on Wednesday, May 6 from 2-3:30 p.m. CDT. Please use this link to learn more and to register. The webinar is free for Association Forum members and $39 for non-members. As association decision-makers strive to navigate the most serious disruption of our lifetimes, there is a crucial question they must ask: how can we better understand, anticipate, and prepare for a full range of plausible futures created by the COVID-19 pandemic? The most generative answer is the development of provocative ...
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The COVID-19 crisis is unusual. It is extraordinary, heartbreaking, unsettling and worrisome. It is also an opportunity for the meetings and travel industry to show the world why we are duty-bound to our core mission. During this time we have attended more virtual meetings than ever before. I have been so impressed with organizations like Association Forum, PCMA, MPI and more who have swiftly adapted to correspond, present vital information and continue to do what is most important -- bring us together. We are very fortunate as a community to have virtual meetings. They allow us to extend what is necessary while reinforcing why we need to get together once ...
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CHICAGO (April 17, 2020) — Association Forum and the Illinois Society of Association Executives (ISAE) are pleased to announce their strategic partnership. Through a new agreement, ISAE’s more than 400 members will now receive Forum Plus membership. “This partnership brings together the two pre-eminent organizations representing association professionals across the State of Illinois and Chicagoland,” said Sara Decatoire, executive director of ISAE. “It also provides access to diversified thought leadership, allowing for greater innovation and education for all of our members. State and federal advocacy efforts will be enhanced by the increased number of ...
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Working from home this past month has given our team the opportunity to fine tune our techniques and workspaces, so we wanted to take a second to share some things we’ve discovered. We also encourage you to share your own tips in the comments section below. Sabrina Adams Membership Coordinator Have a designated workspace. I found that separating my workspace from my living space allows me to turn off my working brain when the day is over. Caryn Adolph Manager to the Executive Office Spending long periods looking at computer, phone, or tablet screens can strain the eyes. Using the 20-20-20 rule can help to prevent this problem. The rule says that ...
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Why Are Associations Important Right Now? By Amy Thomasson, Marketing Director, Congress of Neurological Surgeons Currently, association management professionals are reinventing, repurposing, and redefining our products, services, roles, and organizations in the midst of uncertainty. Changing times are trying times, and it can be difficult to find positivity in a pandemic. Personally, when facing chaos and confusion, I find that leaning into my ‘why’ or purpose provides me with clarity. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you ...
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March 19, 2020 Contact: Danny Chun 847-736-0108,  dchun@team-iha.org ILLINOIS HOSPITALS ISSUE PLEA FOR MEDICAL SUPPLIES N95 Masks Critically Needed to Protect Healthcare Workers As They Care for COVID-19 Patients Naperville and Springfield – 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 protect their healthcare workers as they care for COVID-19 patients. IHA is asking the organizations to donate face masks or N95s to their local hospitals. “Hospitals ...
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By Bob Moore, CAE, Executive Director, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians Hi all, I've replied to some posts and have received a few questions so I pieced together how we at the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians launched our virtual conference this week. It was to start 3/18 in New Orleans with record registration just over 2,000. We held out until 3/11, but had no choice but to cancel given the escalation of COVID-19. Seeing that COVID-19 was going to affect our on-site attendance we started talking about ways to have a hybrid event a week or so before we canceled. This helped give us a running start when we canceled the in-person ...
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Association Forum takes the health and wellness of our professional community very seriously. Based on current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to halt gatherings of over 50 people , the following Association Forum events have been postponed and/or moved to a virtual format: All SIGs and Conversation Circles will be held as webinars. We will send registrants login information prior to these events. March 25- CEO Exchange will be held as a webinar. We will send registrants login information prior to the event. March 31- SmartTech Conference® 2020 has been postponed. We will keep members informed when a new date is determined. ...
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Everyone can do their part to limit the risk of exposure to the Coronavirus. Everyday preventive actions can help keep people from getting and/or spreading the virus. Stay home when you are sick. Stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use at least a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects. Employers also play a key role by preparing for various elements that may affect ...
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  Take time to understand each department’s tasks and the timeframe. What reports are they preparing, for whom and when?   Each staff member who is receiving help should list the tasks they get help with.   Have your AMS expert sit down with each member of staff to review how they provide the help.     Note:  The association power-user may feel threated about this exercise, so leaders must reassure the AMS expert that they won’t lose their job. This exercise is about keeping the association from struggling during a long absence.   The staff and the power user should walk through the exercise, getting screen ...
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Comments from Simona Rollinson, Chief Technology Officer, ISACA: No matter an organization’s size or level of sophistication, its level of maturity in business continuity and disaster recovery will vary. However, one thing that applies to all organizations is that the best time for sound planning is before a crisis develops. I can never stress enough the importance of planning for a pandemic, cybersecurity breach or any other major incident. Technology can be a great equalizer and provide enterprises with the ability to conduct business remotely. This is the good news. The bad news is that this is not the time to start setting up the remote access infrastructure ...
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With the impact the Coronavirus is currently having on the travel industry, Association Forum would like to share the following informational articles to keep our members informed.   How Coronavirus Is Affecting a Meeting Near You , Smart Meetings Answers to Travelers’ Questions About the Coronavirus , The New York Times Coronavirus: Morgan Stanley’s Hong Kong summit goes virtual amid virus fears — as it happened , Financial Times Poll: Coronavirus fears create travel planning chaos , SF Gate Some Japan investors worry as coronavirus puts question-mark over Tokyo Olympics , Reuters Smartphone convention nixed over coronavirus fears hits ...
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CHICAGO (FEB. 19, 2020)— Association Forum’s Awards & Scholarship Committee met earlier this month to review and judge award applications for five of the association’s most prestigious awards. The following honorees will be recognized at Association Forum’s Honors Gala on June, 18, 2020 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown-Magnificent Mile. “We are very excited to acknowledge these honorees,” said Association Forum President and CEO Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE. Each year, the association community gathers at Association Forum’s Honors Gala to celebrate the profession and honor the leaders who strengthen it. The Honors Gala supports the Association Forum ...
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By Marilyn Mages, CAE Undertaking a website redesign is something that every organization will experience at some point. So a few questions that all association staff must ask prior to getting started include: What is going to drive our decisions? And how do these concepts meet user’s expectations as well as meet the needs of the current content strategy. Sandy Marsico, founder and CEO, Sandstorm Design, believes that UX design (user experience) starts with understanding a user’s motivations and behaviors. To get the needed answers, she encourages her clients to conduct a usability study on their existing site to uncover how things could work more efficiently. ...
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“If its main source of revenue starts to dry up, or if changing trends suggest it may not be around for much longer, an association must be prepared to pivot and change its business model — not in the future, but right now.” - Sheri Jacobs, president and CEO of Avenue M Group  In the January/February 2020 issue of FORUM , we hear from forward-thinkers blazing the trail forward for association revenue models. If you’re looking for innovative ways to diversify your portfolio, we’ve got you covered. There was a time that less than 5% of an association’s revenue came from non-dues revenue. That time was 1953. Feel old yet? As a share of association ...
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By Kimberly A. Pendo - (312) 929-1964 - kpendo@clpchicago.com As you may be aware, the City of Chicago’s City Council adopted a new lobbyist registration ordinance (SO2019-5305) in July focused on ethics reform. Among other things, the new ordinance requires a non-profit organization’s paid staff, contractors and pro bono representatives, as well as volunteer leaders and organizers (in some circumstances), to register as lobbyists with the City if they represent or support a City law or ordinance that would further the interests of the organization or its membership. While generally supportive of the Mayor’s efforts to implement ethics reform, the Forum ...
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By Amy Thomasson As association management professionals, we know that branding our organizations is important, but what about your personal brand? At the 2019 Holiday Showcase, Jacqualine Price Osafo, MBA, CAE; Membership and Development Director, Water Quality Association, and I facilitated a discussion on the meaning, implications, and challenges of personal branding.   What is personal branding?   We defined personal branding as how you market and differentiate yourself to others. It’s the unique combination of values, skills, and experiences that make up you. Personal branding is an ongoing process with no expiration date. It’s strongly correlated ...
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In the second installment of our two-part blog series on the redesign of FORUM magazine, we discuss the graphic design of the publication and how the design choices reflect Association Forum’s foundation and future. Read our first post in the series with Association Forum President Michelle Mason here .   Designing a magazine is about more than just the cover; it’s everything from fonts to grids to colors and all the little graphic themes that make a book cohesive. As Nariman Tahir, art director at marketing communications agency GLC, began the process of redesigning FORUM , she recalled the core values that Association Forum President Michelle ...
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This is the first installment of our two-part blog series on the redesign of FORUM magazine. In this post, Association Forum President Michelle Mason shares her vision for the organization and how FORUM ’s redesign reflects AF’s evolution. Look out for the next post in the series on the magazine’s design with GLC Art Director Nariman Tahir. Michelle Mason took the helm of Association Forum on September 15, 2014, and along with the board of directors, her objective was to adapt the (at that time) 98-year-old organization to the challenges of the 21st century and the expectations of members whose professional lives needed to evolve with the pace of digital ...
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