Association Management Blog

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

Your Choice: Change or Irrelevance

Posted by Andy Freed on 4/15/14 2:20 AM

One of my favorite quotes was when Eric Shinseki, then the Army Chief of Staff, now Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, said “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”

I love that.

But boy, is it tough for a lot of associations to heed this advice. Many organizations are well on their way to irrelevance.

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Topics: Operations, Starting an Association, Organizational Development, Association Management, Technology, Launching an Association, Membership, Leadership, Association Boards

The Best Social Media Channels for Professional Associations and Advocacy Groups

Posted by Andy Freed on 10/16/13 5:00 AM

With everyone from your accountant to your grandmother posting status updates, it seems like the whole world has mastered social media strategy. But social media is more complicated that it appears—especially for professional associations who are trying to build relationships, not just follower counts.

Plus, many organizations feel like they need to play catch-up, when it comes to social media. As a result, they overreach,

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Topics: Social Media, Starting an Association, Technology, Launching an Association, Increase Membership, Membership, Mobile, Hiring an Association Management Company

Conference Services: How They Can Improve Your Association Events

Posted by Andy Freed on 10/9/13 5:00 AM

Today’s remote conferencing tools and virtual events are great for going green and reducing travel spend—particularly if your working groups, association executives, or Board members are geographically dispersed. But there’s no real substitute for in-person gatherings. When you need to unite key people in your association—for training, strategizing, or promoting new initiatives—professional conference services can help.

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Topics: Operations, Meetings, Launching an Association, Increase Membership, Membership, Experience, Association Management Company

The Right Founding Members

Posted by Andy Freed on 5/30/13 2:47 PM

The founding members of an association will define it for many years to come. Prospective members and opinion leaders often look at an organization’s founding members as a way to establish how likely that organization is to succeed.

That’s why it’s so important to think about your mix of members at launch. Consider:

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Topics: Starting an Association, Founding Members, starting a consortia, Launching an Association, Membership, Standards

We finished the structure phase… How do we get the word out? Creating an effective launch for maximum visibility

Posted by Andy Freed on 5/15/13 12:50 PM

You only have one chance to make a first impression. That’s why an effective launch strategy is so critical for an organization.

Here are a few rules of thumb for an effective launch.

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Topics: Social Media, Starting an Association, public relations, Launching an Association, Website, Membership, webcast

Will it Fly?

Posted by Greg Kohn on 3/19/13 7:20 PM

One of my favorite business books is Will it Fly by Thomas McKnight, who among other ventures helped create the popular newspaper USA Today. As a serial entrepreneur and investor, McKnight decided to publish a book to guide new business owners around common missteps and pitfalls when starting a new venture. Someday I'd like to write a version of this book just for associations [after all, just because you can create a 501(c)(6) organization, it doesn't mean you should.] Until I get around to that project, I've boiled my "Will It Fly -- Association Edition" list to four main topics:

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Topics: Starting an Association, Organizational Development, Launching an Association, Conference Planning, Membership, Association, strategic counsel, Budgeting, Experience

Top Six Things to Look for in an Association Management Company

Posted by Andy Freed on 2/7/13 7:17 AM

At Virtual, half of our business is organizations we helped launch. And the other half comes to us from another AMC. This gives me a bit of a jaded view of other AMCs—after all, no one would be looking to switch if they’re current AMC was doing a great job. But it has given me a great window into some of the challenges that organizations face in working with AMCs, and as a result a good idea of some of the things that someone should look for in hiring an AMC. Here’s my top six.

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Topics: Starting an Association, Management, Launching an Association, Leadership, Experience, Association Management Company

Help Your Board Avoid the Post-launch Blues

Posted by Greg Kohn on 11/14/11 4:00 AM

Recently the chairman of a newly launched association approached me, frustrated that his board was becoming ineffective. Where the same board had been highly focused moving toward launch, post-launch it suddenly seemed to lack engagement and focus.

There are a few reasons why this happened. First, it's natural for any group to experience a let-down after a key goal or milestone has been achieved.

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Topics: Operations, Starting an Association, Launching an Association, Post-launch, Subcommittees

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Andy Freed
President & CEO

Greg Kohn
Executive Vice President

Bruce Rogers
Founder & Chairman

Terry Lowney
Senior Vice President, COO

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