Association Management Blog

"Vacation Begins"

Posted by Andy Freed on 8/2/16 1:16 PM

One of our core values at Virtual is “Have fun.” Well, I’m a big believer that fun (and creativity) can be found in even the most mundane of places. Like an out-of-office message. For the past few years, I’ve done “something different” for my message. You can see this year’s edition at or see the full collection at 

 And if we can make an out-of-office message fun, imagine what we can do for your message! Got something you want to share with the world? Let’s talk….when I get back from vacation!

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Topics: Association Management

Tipping Point

Posted by Andy Freed on 7/20/16 12:09 PM

It’s been over 15 years since Malcom Gladwell wrote “The Tipping Point.” Gladwell defined the tipping point as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.”

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Topics: Technology, Mobile

Launching a Technical Consortium: Your Checklist for Success

Posted by Andy Freed on 6/23/16 4:10 PM

You’ve just spent months navigating the formalities of incorporating a new consortium and all the associated legalities and growing pains that will allow you to work with industry peers.

Now it’s time to begin the real work of identifying annual goals and objectives. Your chances for success will be much higher if you build a strong foundation.  Here is a handy checklist you should have before you begin to operate. Most of this checklist is also relevant for other associations seeking a blueprint for operational success.

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Topics: Consortia, Technology, starting a consortia, Launching an Association, Tech Consortia

The Process of Recovery from a Disaster

Posted by Brant Picard on 6/15/16 7:00 AM

Over the past 2 articles (read part 1 and part 2), we have examined what could potentially happen that could bring your business to a halt in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. We also looked at the critical aspects of what would be required in order to build a Business Continuity Plan, including exposing the critical aspects of the business by performing a Business Impact Analysis. We’ve determined the amount of time it would take to Return the Business to Operation (RTO) and how much data we are willing to sacrifice in order to reach our Recovery Point Objective (RPO). Now, it’s time to bring all the pieces of the puzzle together to develop our disaster recovery plan and procedures, in order to make sure the business is going to be operational again within the defined timeframes. 

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Topics: Association Management, Technology

Five Budgeting Misconceptions That Will Change Your Association’s Strategy

Posted by Andy Freed on 6/1/16 9:44 AM

Strategic planning and budgeting for associations is an essential part of management, and yet few experts can agree on what the term actually involves. Here’s a look at some of the common misconceptions we hear about strategic planning and association budgets—along with some quick clarifications to improve your objectives for the year.

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Topics: Association Management

How Your Association Can Succeed in Social Media

Posted by Andy Freed on 5/19/16 10:40 AM

Done well, using social media makes all your other objectives easier. Whether your association works to build awareness, create industry standards, provide certification programs, or promote field advancements, connecting with a world of similarly invested constituents will only make your mission easier.  Here’s how to get started:

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Topics: Social Media

Seven Words Towards Better Presentations

Posted by Andy Freed on 5/10/16 9:26 AM

Most of the movies I go to are pretty good.

Same thing for most of the plays I attend.

But here’s the cold, hard truth. Most of the business presentations I go to are pretty awful.

On one hand, it’s not a surprise. Jerry Seinfeld once joked that with public speaking ranked as the number one fear of most adults—with death number two—at a funeral most people would rather be the one in the coffin rather than the one giving the eulogy.   

But the reality is that with a little thought and preparation, anyone—and I do mean anyone—can do a lot better.

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Topics: Meetings, Communications, Associations

Tips for Managing Millennials - from a real, live millennial!

Posted by Zofia Eker on 5/2/16 8:40 AM

“Management is about coping with complexity. Leadership is about coping with change.”

- John Kotter, Harvard University, Leading Change

It was only about two years ago, when I started as a Program Coordinator at Virtual, Inc., that it dawned on me that I belong to the dreaded Millennial Generation. I say dreaded, because it seems that we have quite a reputation out in the world for being lazy, spoiled and demanding.

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Topics: Association Management, Management

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 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



Andy Freed
President & CEO

Greg Kohn
Executive Vice President

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Founder & Chairman

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Senior Vice President, COO

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