Association Management

Be Like Yoda, Not Luke: Designing a Customer Success Program

Association Management

At Virtual, we pride ourselves on the long-term success of each of our clients. To achieve that, our individual team members have been given a voice and the agency to help clients succeed.

If You Build It –and Communicate It– They Will Come

Association Management

“If you build it, they will come.” In the film “Field of Dreams,” a voice in Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella’s cornfield convinces him to turn his acreage into a baseball diamond, and sure enough, once he’s done it, the ghosts of the 1919 Chicago White Sox do appear.

Doing Battle Against RFPs

Association Management

Analyze. Correct Course. Even in the Middle of Action. By all accounts, World War I was one of the deadliest armed conflicts in the history of mankind, a four-year campaign in which the technological capabilities of the combatants far surpassed military strategy.

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Preparing for the Bus

Association Management

We all know one, or maybe we are one. You know – the person that plans for all eventualities, including the most unbelievably improbable situations or opportunities. I like to think I’m that person now, but that wasn’t the case many years ago.

Virtual Overview

Association Management

Reimagine What’s Possible Virtual’s strategic consulting and operational expertise ignite your organization’s growth.

1+1+1 = 5

Association Management

It happens every time businesses join forces. The leaders talk about “synergies.” In many cases, they’re referring to the cost savings they expect to be realized as the previously discrete organizations’ operations are combined. Of course, that kind of synergy is important.

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What Makes Virtual a Special Place to Work [VIDEO]

Association Management

The Virtual Family Virtual’s strategic consulting and operational expertise ignite your organization’s growth. What’s powering that is a team of highly passionate and highly collaborative team members.

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And the Winner is … Your Organization

Association Management

The Oscars. The Nobel Prize. The Palme d’Or. The Man Booker Prize. The Pulitzer Prize. The world is captivated by the bestowing of awards for achievement.

Our Growth is Your Growth: How Employee Development Ensures Client Success

Association Management

Here at Virtual, our mission is to achieve long-term success by ensuring that every client we serve achieves or exceeds its strategic objectives. This can be boiled down to two words: clients first. Every move we make as a company is driven by our purpose to help clients succeed and thrive.

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The Lesson of Llandudno

Association Management

I went to the beach last week. That’s nothing new for me—I surf year-round in New Hampshire, sometimes trudging through snow to get to the beach. This beach was a bit farther away from my usual surf spot.

Musings from the RSA Conference

Association Management

RSA Conference is this week in San Francisco. This event is like the annual prom for the security industry—part conference, part trade show, part “place to be.”

‘Tis the Season for Giving

Association Management

We’re fortunate at Virtual to be in a position to support many worthy causes in the Boston area.

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Black Friday: Brought to you by Virtual

Association Management

We’ve all had one of those days when you think that your job has no meaning. And I’m sure some people look from the outside at someone working in technology consortia and think “Wow…that’s pretty arcane.”.

Super Lessons

Association Management

I know the rest of the country doesn’t want to hear it, but all I’ve watched on TV this week is Super Bowl highlights. I’ve watched the replay of the game. I’ve watched the NFL films featuring the mic’d up players. And I’ve watched endless post-game analysis. And I learned quite a bit.

The Four Secrets to Making a Big Impression at Your Member Event

Association Management

Our team just wrapped up another PCI Security Standards Council Community Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland. With hundreds of attendees, scores of speakers and dozens of exhibitors, the meeting—and its counterparts in the US and Asia—have a ton of moving parts.

5 Minutes with Andy: Fear, Coughdrops, and Getting Naked

Association Management

5 Minutes with Andy (Podcast) Welcome to the second episode of Virtual’s new podcast, 5 Minutes with Andy, in which our CEO, Andy Freed, offers you tips, tricks, and insights into leadership, management, and business skills. In Episode Two, Andy discusses Patrick Lencioni’s book Getting Naked, which explores the management of professional services and how. View Article.

Tips 100

Introducing Virtual’s New Podcast: 5 Minutes with Andy

Association Management

5 Minutes with Andy (Podcast) Introducing the new Virtual podcast, 5 Minutes with Andy, in which Virtual, Inc.’s ’s CEO, Andy Freed, will be offering you tips, tricks, and insights into leadership, management, and business skills. In Episode One, Andy discusses the various benefits and lessons learned in Virtual joining forces with the Drohan Management Group. View Article.

Tips 100

Happy Birthday, Standard Time

Association Management

On today in 1883, time zones launched in the United States. Prior to the time every major city had a "noon stick" where the sun being overhead set the time for noon and time was extrapolated from there.

Boston 169

The Most Important Things to Consider When Creating Your Association’s Annual Budget

Association Management

The budget: The lifeblood of any organization. Nonprofit and for-profit organizations wrestle continually with maintaining and improving their overall operations. Regardless of tax status, organizations must constantly strive for sustainability while keeping the mission in mind.

Social Media for Associations 101

Association Management

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.

Spinach and Standards: Much in Common

Association Management

My neighbor is a spinach farmer. Because his work is so much different than mine, I ask him about it whenever I can. What I’ve learned most through our conversations is that in farming, timing is everything. This past week is a great example of that.

Think QUICK for Better Board Members

Association Management

I’ve written before about how Boards need to be willing to drop bad members from the Board. Deadwood can kill a Board. But what makes a good Board member? Think QUICK. Q uestions: The best Board members have the courage to ask the hard questions of staff and their fellow Board members.

Scouting for Talent within Your Association Membership

Association Management

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.

Best Practices for Boards and Working Groups

Association Management

Sometimes you can find information for best practices for Boards and working groups in the most unusual of places. A recent article in a scientific journal entitled “ Why too much evidence can be a bad thing ” talks about how sometimes too much evidence can be a bad thing.

Why Your Professional Association Needs a Strategic Plan…Right Now

Association Management

What’s an eight-letter word for association management? Strategy. And even though it should be the driving force behind your professional association’s agenda, strategic plans are often lacking in their most basic elements—including the imperative to stay current.

Finding and Creating a Great Place to Work

Association Management

Finding and Creating a Great Place to Work Thursday, May 11 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. 401 Edgewater Place, Suite 600 Wakefield, MA 01880. Virtual, Inc.

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Virtual: A Day in the Life – Events Planner

Association Management

Q&A with Brittney Burns, Events Manager at Virtual. What do you do at Virtual? At Virtual, I manage events for a technology-focused, non-profit association management company. This might mean planning conferences and member meetings.

Meetings 5.0: Five Ways to Improve Your Events

Association Management

This week I’m speaking on a panel at the New England Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting. I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the session title is. But I know it has something to do with “innovations in meetings and programs.”.

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The Three “I”s of Successful Tech Associations

Association Management

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.

Association Finance: How Much Cash Should You Have in Reserve?

Association Management

I’m not quite old enough to have seen the television commercials for Fletcher’s Castoria children’s laxative when they aired in the ‘60s. They carried the memorable tag line “Better than Prunes.”

Report 225

Fighting fury with F.I.R.E.

Association Management

The “bad” Board member. Every Board has one. Just say their name and people roll their eyes. This person exists on nearly every Board, but takes on different forms. Sometimes it’s a person who is intentionally disrupting the group’s activity. Sometimes it’s a person who monopolizes discussion.

Winning Lessons from the World of Sports

Association Management

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.

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The Right Tools for the Job

Association Management

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.

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

Association Management

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.”

Agenda Setting

Association Management

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.

Mobile Messaging Wildfire

Association Management

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.

Five Budgeting Misconceptions That Will Change Your Association’s Strategy

Association Management

Strategic planning and budgeting for associations is an essential part of management, and yet few experts can agree on what the term actually involves.

How did you spend your weekend?

Association Management

Here’s how I spent mine: This past week, we organized the PCI SSC North American Community Meeting. This annual event brings together over 1200 people in the payment security space—we’ll repeat it next week in Tokyo and in two weeks in Nice. The video says it all—it’s a pretty big production.

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Seven Words Towards Better Presentations

Association Management

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.

Team 141

Simple Truths about Strategic Planning for Your Professional Association

Association Management

Too many professional associations function without a strategic plan. And whether they know it or not, they suffer major consequences.

Video 205

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

Association Management

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.

Does Your Association Have a Private Online Social Community?

Association Management

The legendary Augusta National Golf Club is home to the annual Masters Golf Tournament, and it’s one of the finest golf courses in the world. But beyond the club’s reputation for world-class golf, it’s also one of the world’s most exclusive social clubs.

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

Association Management

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.