Association Management Blog

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

Missed Connections

Posted by Andy Freed on 3/20/14 3:12 AM

I’m still pretty young (by my own standards). But I can remember the days of pink “while you were out” slips, calling in for messages from pay phones and (gasp) not having email at work.

And every innovation carries with it the same promise—it will keep us more connected. In many ways, this is true. When I sit in a far away hotel room talking to my kids over Facetime (when they actually answer), it’s a remarkable display of the promise of the connected society.

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Topics: Starting an Association, Association Management, Technology, Membership, Leadership, Standards

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

Always On

Posted by Andy Freed on 1/23/14 6:40 AM

My holiday gift to myself this year was a Pebble Smartwatch. Of course, I got one in part because I can’t resist the latest gadget. (For other gadget geeks out there, I strongly recommend the UK Magazine T3, available on the iPad. It’s like porn for gadget geeks.)

But another reason I got one is even more pitiful. I simply can’t resist the siren song of my vibrating phone, and the twenty seconds it was

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Topics: Starting an Association, Technology, Membership, Mobile

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

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

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

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CONTRIBUTORS


Andy Freed
President & CEO

Greg Kohn
Executive Vice President

Bruce Rogers
Founder & Chairman

Terry Lowney
Senior Vice President, COO

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