Association Management Blog

The Lesson of Llandudno

Posted by Andy Freed on 4/20/17 8:44 AM

I went to the beach last week.  That’s nothing new for me—I surf year-round in New Hampshire, sometimes trudging through snow to get to the beach. This beach was a bit farther away from my usual surf spot.  While I was in Africa for the PCI Security Standards Council’s annual Middle East & Africa Forum, I took a day to get to surf at Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg and hit the sand at Llandudno Beach in Cape Town.

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Finding and Creating a Great Place to Work

Posted by Virtual Networking Open House Committee on 4/12/17 7:58 PM


Finding and Creating a Great Place to Work
Thursday, May 11 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
401 Edgewater Place, Suite 600
Wakefield, MA 01880

Virtual, Inc. invites prospective employees and industry partners to a networking open house and discussion surrounding a theme that embodies Virtual’s core values: “Finding and Creating a Great Place to Work.” 

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Topics: Association Management, Careers

Virtual: A Day in the Life – Events Planner

Posted by Jessie Hennion & Miriam Macedo on 2/23/17 10:10 AM

Q&A with Brittney Burns, Events Manager at Virtual

What do you do at Virtual?

At Virtual, I manage events for a technology-focused, non-profit association management company. This might mean planning conferences and member meetings. Virtual’s event planning team plans numerous Board of Directors and association working group meetings every year. We run events in 35 countries for participants including the U.S. Secretary of State, Supreme Court justices, and Fortune 100 CEOs! 

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Topics: Meetings, Association Management, Meeting, Conference Planning, Event Planning, A Day in the Life

Musings from the RSA Conference

Posted by Andy Freed on 2/16/17 4:38 PM

The RSA Conference is this week in San Francisco. This event is like the annual prom for the security industry—part conference, part trade show, part “place to be.” In the midst of all the Diet Cokes that I shared with various conference participants, a few musings about the world of security have become clear.

First, the level of threat exposure has never been higher. It wasn’t long ago that security meant PC security. Now it’s mobile and every connected device in your home. Many of which have huge vulnerabilities. Imagine if you were the fire prevention industry and every home was built out of balsa wood. That’s the security industry today—operating in an environment with ubiquitous threats. No doubt, a good time to be in the space.

Second, the “killer app” in security is going to be simplicity. We need simple solutions that users can actually use. That’s why I’m excited about solutions like FIDO authentication that strives to eliminate passwords. Back to the analogy of a home, many of today’s security solutions trade the simplicity of turning up a thermostat with the skills required to actually write the code of the next generation of smart home thermostats. The genius of FIDO is that it improves security through a modern approach to authentication while enhancing the user experience at the same time.

On a related note, people remain the weak link in the “security triangle” of “People, Process and Technology.” Like a smoke detector with a failing battery, no security solution can overcome human error. The best solutions will remove “people” from the equation.

Finally, I was pleased to see the conference include a track this year on women in cybersecurity. For a long time, the RSA Conference had the gender diversity of an MIT fraternity party. I’ve been seeing it change over the years and it’s great to see efforts like this geared toward attracting more women to the field.

It was also great to see some our clients making an impact at RSAC, including the Kantara Initiative, FIDO Alliance and SAFECode.

See you next year!
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Topics: security

Super Lessons

Posted by Andy Freed on 2/13/17 11:31 AM

I know the rest of the country doesn’t want to hear it, but all I’ve watched on TV this week is Super Bowl highlights.  I’ve watched the replay of the game.  I’ve watched the NFL films featuring the mic’d up players.  And I’ve watched endless post-game analysis.

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The Most Important Things to Consider When Creating Your Association’s Annual Budget

Posted by Tim Naughton on 12/12/16 11:59 AM

The budget: The lifeblood of any organization.

Nonprofit and for-profit organizations wrestle continually with maintaining and improving their overall operations. Regardless of tax status, organizations must constantly strive for sustainability while keeping the mission in mind.

Budgets should be a major part of every organization's plan. The budget is the realistic financial blueprint for the manifestation of an organization’s mission and goals. A well-planned budget will focus on the primary goals and objectives of the organization and provide financial and programmatic adaptability— key ingredients to maximize sustainability – for both the short and long terms.

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Topics: Association Management, Management, Finance, Budgeting

‘Tis the Season for Giving

Posted by Andy Freed on 12/9/16 12:30 PM

We’re fortunate at Virtual to be in a position to support many worthy causes in the Boston area.  Over the past few years, we’ve given tens of thousands of dollars to charitable causes ranging from the Jimmy Fund, to supporting employees who participate in various charity walks and runs, to volunteering our time at Habitat for Humanity and more.

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Topics: holiday

Black Friday: Brought to you by Virtual

Posted by Andy Freed on 11/23/16 3:14 PM

We’ve all had one of those days when you think that your job has no meaning. And I’m sure some people look from the outside at someone working in technology consortia and think “Wow…that’s pretty arcane.” But I need to look no further than Black Friday and Cyber Monday to realize that the work we do here at Virtual has a pretty significant impact on the world.

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Topics: Tech Consortia, Association

Happy Birthday, Standard Time

Posted by Andy Freed on 11/18/16 10:36 AM

On this day in 1883, time zones launched in the United States.  Prior to the time every major city had a "noon stick" where the sun being overhead set the time for noon and time was extrapolated from there. Who cared if Boston was a few minutes earlier than New York when the two were days apart on horseback.

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Topics: Standards

The Four Secrets to Making a Big Impression at Your Member Event

Posted by Andy Freed on 11/3/16 9:50 AM

Our team just wrapped up another PCI Security Standards Council Community Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland.  With hundreds of attendees, scores of speakers and dozens of exhibitors, the meeting—and its counterparts in the US and Asia—have a ton of moving parts.

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Topics: Meetings, Conference Planning, Event Planning



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