Association Management Blog

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

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

The Right Tools for the Job

Posted by Joan Jacobs on 4/2/15 1:51 PM

Technology associations based on standards efforts share many common goals and challenges.  Over the years, through the shared experiences of literally hundreds of such efforts, a set of best practices has emerged, including strategies on:

  • How best to set up a new association
  • What an effective organizational structure looks like
  • What programs and practices make sense as the organization moves from conception through launch, growth and ultimately through maturity and end of life
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Topics: Association Management, Associations

Agenda Setting

Posted by Andy Freed on 2/10/15 7:00 AM

Ever really think about the agenda for a meeting? Often, agendas aren’t created with a lot of thought, they’re just a list of things that an association or consortium needs to cover in its meeting. But a properly structured agenda can be the difference between an effective meeting and one that drifts.

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Topics: Meeting, Associations, Association Boards

Right from the Start: Setting a Dues Structure That Works

Posted by Andy Freed on 10/28/14 7:30 AM

You only get one chance to make a first impression.  

This isn’t just for people, it’s for organizations as well. 

And that’s why it’s so critical to set your dues at the correct level right out of the box. 

In my mind, there are three things to think about in setting dues levels. 

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Topics: Finance, Membership, Associations

Diversifying from Dues: Ways to drive non-dues revenue for your association

Posted by Andy Freed on 10/7/14 7:00 AM

There are two truisms that affect association finances. First, most associations are financed primarily by dues. And second, when a member organization needs to cut its budget, the first line item they often look at is “Dues, fees and subscriptions.” 

So a diverse revenue stream isn’t just a “nice to have” for associations, it’s often a matter of survival. 

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Topics: Budgeting, Associations

Social Media for Associations 101

Posted by Aimee Levesque on 10/1/14 7:00 AM

Before your association starts a social media account on every existing medium, you need to know what you’re trying to accomplish. Simply having a social media account won’t add value to your association, and if not done correctly, social media can actually inhibit progress. So before you get started, you need to answer these four questions: 1. What channels should you be on? 2. How are you going to provide value? 3. How will you engage your audience?, and ultimately, 4. What are your goals?

1. What Channels Should You Be On?

Choosing your channels wisely in the beginning can save you a lot of stress later on. Because each association is different, it makes sense that different channels benefit different associations. When choosing channels there are three basic things you should consider: your audience, your message and your goal. When you know your audience well, you will be able to determine which social networks they are utilizing. By defining your message, you are able to determine which channels best deliver that message. Knowing what you hope to derive from using social media is imperative to choosing which channels your association should be on.

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Topics: Social Media, Associations

Mistakes Happen

Posted by Andy Freed on 7/8/14 7:13 AM

Everybody makes mistakes. That phrase is a cliché because it’s so true.   

And we make mistakes here at Virtual as well. They key is in how you recover from them. 

Check out this story: http://www.dmnews.com/this-is-how-cx-is-done-in-email/article/347377/. 

It tells the story better than I can of how we recovered from a recent mistake with one of our clients. 

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Topics: Association Management, Leadership, Associations

How to Create an Association-Backed Certification Program

Posted by Andy Freed on 10/23/13 10:00 PM

Ever get handed someone’s business card that has an “alphabet soup” of letters after their name? CISSP? (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) CFP? (Certified Financial Planner) CAE? (Certified Association Executive).

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Topics: Operations, Starting an Association, professional management, certification programs, Associations

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Andy Freed
President & CEO

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Senior Vice President, COO

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