Association Management Blog

Mobile Messaging Wildfire

Posted by Bruce Rogers on 3/25/15 7:00 AM

One of my favorite urban legends (actually a true story) concerns my business partner’s next-door neighbor’s teenage daughter and the quiet “little party” she planned to have while her parents were out of town. Now, bear in mind that the party was completely sanctioned and pre-approved by her parents.

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Topics: Operations, Technology, Communications, Association Management Company

Winning Lessons from the World of Sports

Posted by Andy Freed on 5/14/14 4:00 AM

In Boston sports, these are “the good old days.” With the Sox winning championships, the Bruins contending for the Cup and Tom Brady slinging passes, it’s pretty fun to be a sports fan here. In honor of Boston sports, here’s what our four teams can teach associations:

From the Red Sox: “Know your role.” When a ball is hit up the middle in baseball, you never see the shortstop and second basemen collide as they both go for it. That’s because they know exactly where the other one will be.

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Topics: Operations, Starting an Association, Organizational Development, Governance, Association Management, Membership, Leadership, Experience, Standards

The Three “I”s of Successful Tech Associations

Posted by Greg Kohn on 5/1/14 2:43 AM

As someone who's worked around technology associations for a long time, I often get asked: "So what are the secret traits of the groups that are the most successful?" Quite honestly, these secrets traits aren't really so secret. In fact, I like to call them the three "I"s. All of the better-performing organizations I have worked with have had at least one of these traits; some of the great ones have had all three.

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Topics: Operations, Starting an Association, Organizational Development, Technology, Management, Membership, Leadership, Standards, Association Management Company

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

Old soldiers never die, they just fade away. So goes the adage.

Posted by Andy Freed on 4/2/14 2:00 AM

Well, for many Board members, “fading away” means unceremoniously dropping them off the Board. That’s why former Board members are often a trouble spot for organizations—someone goes from being “in the know” to “out in the cold.” The result: a one time key member—and often still influential one—becomes disenfranchised.

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Topics: Operations, Starting an Association, Organizational Development, Management, Board of Directors, Membership, Leadership, Association, BOD

At the Ready

Posted by Andy Freed on 3/10/14 4:37 AM

Yesterday I went underwear shopping.

This isn’t usually blog-worthy, but it actually tells you a bit of what we try to do here at Virtual.

One of our clients was due to testify on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Due to a massive 4-inch snowstorm that Washington isn’t terribly adept at clearing, his testimony was delayed until Thursday.

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Topics: Operations, Starting an Association, Association Management Companies, Membership, Standards, Association Management Company

Scouting for Talent within Your Association Membership

Posted by Andy Freed on 12/4/13 3:41 AM

New York Yankees pitcher, Mariano Rivera, retired at the end of this baseball season. After all the years Rivera he’s spent in the league—he’s retiring at age 43—it’s easy to forget where he came from. But I won’t make you look it up. Rivera is a product of the New York Yankees farm system. (If you’re not a baseball fan, the farm system is a network of minor league teams that supports the major league teams—it’s where talent is developed).

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Topics: Operations, Governance, Association Management, Board of Directors, Membership, Experience, Association Management Company, Hiring an Association Management Company

Lessons in Association Management: How to Communicate Your Group’s Vision

Posted by Andy Freed on 11/27/13 3:38 AM

I recently read a great article in The New York Times about how challenging it will be for Microsoft to find its new CEO, given the diversity of businesses that the company represents. The article ends with a quote from Harvard Business School professor, David Yoffie:

“I think the fundamental question for the next CEO of Microsoft is, what is his vision for Microsoft?”

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Topics: Operations, Organizational Development, Governance, Board of Directors, Membership, Experience, Association Management Company, Hiring an Association Management Company

Simple Truths About Strategic Planning for Your Professional Association

Posted by Andy Freed on 11/20/13 3:32 AM

Too many professional associations function without a strategic plan. And whether they know it or not, they suffer major consequences. Without strategic planning, an organization lurches from priority to priority, depending on who has the loudest voice at the Board table; volunteers are frustrated, and critical goals go unmet.

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Topics: Operations, Starting an Association, Organizational Development, Management, Conference Planning, Membership, Association, Association Management Company

Association Board Advice: 3 Rules for Strategic Service and Less Stress

Posted by Andy Freed on 11/13/13 3:30 AM


Some would say I’m a glutton for punishment. Others would say I must have some kind of a PowerPoint fetish. A small handful think I’m trying to do something good. But whatever the motivation, the reality is the same: in addition to attending dozens of monthly association Board meetings for Virtual’s clients, when the day is done I sit on several Boards myself.

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Topics: Operations, Membership, Leadership, Experience, Association Management Company

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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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