Association Management Blog

Getting a Charge Out of Standards

Posted by Andy Freed on 4/4/16 8:00 AM

I love new tech toys. Sometimes they’re just good for their own sake, and sometimes they teach a larger lesson.

My latest toy is a Zolt charger. These are pretty cool—a shout out to www.gozolt.com. It’s the world’s smallest and lightest laptop charger. And it works great. But there’s a catch.

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Topics: Standards

Why Employee Engagement Should Be Part of Your HR Strategy

Posted by Ann Geary on 3/30/16 7:00 AM

We’ve all had them. The employee who had everything going for them on paper during the interview process, then turns out to be a nightmare.  Associations often feel particularly challenged in this respect—feeling that constraints on salary or “perks” compared with non-profits relegate them to be less selective on hiring. 

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Topics: Association Management, Management

Changing Your Address or Responsible Party Could Get You in Hot Water with the IRS

Posted by Tom Pappas on 3/24/16 10:29 AM


Spring brings so many good things. Spring training for baseball. Better weather here in Boston. And for me, as a financial expert, the fun of tax time. As our clients approach tax time, I typically get questions like, “What’s new with the IRS?” Because in taxes, even something as simple as changing your address can generate the need for some hefty paperwork.

So that brings me to one thing that’s new. In the past, if a nonprofit with an EIN # moved or changed its address, it would normally just send in the change of address form to the IRS.

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Topics: Association Management, Finance

How to Prevent Room Block Pirates from Hijacking Your Next Event

Posted by Margot Rodger and Brittney Burns on 3/8/16 7:00 AM

If you’re planning an association meeting or conference any time soon, you’ll want to be on the lookout for “room block pirates.” These are housing companies that call your participants pretending to be affiliated with your group to try to get them to book a room outside of your room block. 

Unfortunately, one of our technology association clients fell prey to such a room block piracy scam recently. We were managing the details for a conference this client was hosting in Vancouver not long ago, when the phony housing company called one of the scheduled speakers to say that the room block was almost sold out. The pirate encouraged the person to make a reservation over the phone to secure one of the last rooms. The speaker complied, giving his credit card information, only to find out later that the company was a fake and he didn’t have a valid reservation after all. This meant that the speaker was out the room cost on his credit card and was also left with no lodgings. 

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Topics: Event Planning

Disruptive Standards

Posted by Greg Kohn on 2/24/16 3:08 PM

disruptive_standards.jpgWhen most people think of standards, they think of companies in an industry coming together to address common points of pain or to collaborate on technical specifications that would benefit the entire ecosystem. In other words, traditional standards efforts tend to support the "all boats rise" notion that when standards are developed and adopted, everyone wins. 

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Topics: Technology Standards, Standards

Lessons from The Boss

Posted by Andy Freed on 2/18/16 10:45 AM

presentation_tips.jpgI love my job. And I love my family. But there are times I’m “this close” to throwing it all away to just follow Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band around the country. He’s out on tour again, and I’m slated to see him at least four times this tour alone. 

If you’ve not been to a Springsteen show, there’s nothing else like it. His recent show in Boston was three and a half hours long, and included the 66-year-old Springsteen crowd-surfing during "Hungry Heart" and simply never taking a break from the first song to the last. 

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Topics: Association Management, Meeting

A Powerful Mission Statement, in Two Words or Less

Posted by Greg Kohn on 2/12/16 10:11 AM

mission_statement.jpgWe've all been there: those tedious board meetings spent hammering out modifications to an organization's mission statement. After all, the not-quite-right mission statement is the reason why membership is down, adoption is low, and so forth. Of course it is! 

While I have always believed in the value of a crisp, succinct mission statement, I recently witnessed the power of boiling a mission statement down to its most simple form. The FIDO Alliance, one of our client organizations, exists simply to "eliminate passwords." Sure, the organization does have a wordier "official" mission statement, but the unofficial two-word version is really why its membership has grown significantly, its members are deeply engaged and –most importantly– it stands a great chance to actually achieve its audacious goal. 

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Topics: Association Management, Mission Statement

Best Practices for Boards and Working Groups

Posted by Andy Freed on 2/4/16 6:00 AM

Sometimes you can find information for best practices for Boards and working groups in the most unusual of places.

A recent article in a scientific journal entitled “Why too much evidence can be a bad thing” talks about how sometimes too much evidence can be a bad thing. In fact, as the article states, in ancient Jewish law, if a person was found unanimously found guilty by all judges, then the suspect was acquitted. The reason being that the judges felt if no one saw a flaw in the case, it was unlikely to be true.

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Topics: Working Groups, Board, BOD, Technical Working Groups

As the Calendar Page Turns...It's Tech Conference Season

Posted by Andy Freed on 1/26/16 7:00 AM

As the calendar page turns, it starts to become conference season. The period from February to June is stacked with industry conferences of all kinds in the tech space. Starting with CES, but moving on to the RSA conference and dozens of others.

Having gone to more of these than I can count, here are a few musings on getting the most out of these events:

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Topics: Technology, Conference Planning

The Joint Development Foundation: Offering "a Standards Organization in a Box"

Posted by Andy Freed on 1/20/16 6:00 AM

Here is an innovative approach to launching an organization quickly-- the Joint Development Foundation (JDF). It's an organization that enables smaller standards and source code development collaborations to form swiftly and efficiently through a turnkey legal and operational infrastructure. 

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Topics: Standards, Associations

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CONTRIBUTORS

ANDY FREED

President & CEO
Virtual, Inc.

GREG KOHN

Executive Vice President, Client Services
Virtual, Inc.

BRUCE ROGERS

Founder & Chairman
Virtual, Inc.

TERRY LOWNEY

COO, Senior Vice President
Virtual, Inc.

JOAN JACOBS

Director, Business Development
Virtual, Inc.

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