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Digital Transformation: Want to Learn More?

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Rethinking Revenue: Your Membership Plan

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What happens when your membership plan becomes reality? Join me and Dana Anaman (National Association of Professional Insurance Agents) Wednesday, September 30 at 10 am ET as we take you through our journey to increase membership for the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents.

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Digital Transformation: Where Do I Start?

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This is what it really comes down to, right? Learning about what digital transformation is (and isn’t), why it matters, what barriers are unique to associations, what advantages our industry has – that’s all interesting and useful.

Culture Change + Vendor Selection

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As my The No BS Guide to Digital Transformation: How Intentional Culture Change Can Propel Associations Forward co-author Maddie Grant is fond of quipping, that’s what digital transformation is: culture change + vendor selection.

A Training Company’s Guide to Selecting an eLearning Platform

Training companies have an opportunity to embrace the change and create meaningful change in their organizations by moving online. Discover the advantages of a digital-first approach, using an eLearning platform.

Engagement Lessons from the Pandemic

Spark Consulting

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to appear on a virtual panel on engagement, organized by Mary Byers, for the Veterinary Medical Association. We covered a wide range of topics, a few of which I think others would benefit from thinking about, so I’ll be doing a few related blog posts.

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What IS “Digital Transformation” Anyway?

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When Maddie Grant and I were researching The No BS Guide to Digital Transformation: How Intentional Culture Change Can Propel Associations Forward , we found all sorts of definitions, depending on the perspective of the definer (marketing, tech, HR, C-suite, etc.).

Preview: The No BS Guide to Digital Transformation

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I’m so excited to announce that the next Spark collaborative whitepaper will be dropping ONE week from today.

Engagement: You’re Doing It Right!

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One of the other hot topics on the engagement virtual panel Mary Byers had organized for the Veterinary Medical Association on April 22 was: Who’s doing member engagement well, and what can we learn from them?

Formality Is Not Always Good

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Associations tend to default to a formal tone in communications. It feels safe. It can be hard to nail being appropriately funny, and no one ever got in trouble for being excessively formal, right? Well, no.

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Does Your Company Need Help Solving These 4 Common eLearning Challenges?

If you want to know how to get ahead of the game and avoid the common mishaps in selling your eLearning courses, you’ve come to the right place! Lambda Solutions has identified the most common and costly challenges faced by eLearning providers today.

Tips for Working from Home

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I have to caveat this by saying I can’t help you with what do to with your kids (I don’t have any myself) or with your team telework tech (it’s just me here at Spark). I have been working for myself from my home office for nearly eight years.

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Help Your Members Find the Signal in the Noise

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This is probably not news to you, but we’re at an information crisis point. Your members and other audiences are dealing with a flood of information during a time when the role of traditional information gatekeepers has become severely devalued.

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

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Today marks one year since DC shut down for the pandemic. I wrote a Twitter thread to memorialize that fact, and realized I should probably have written a blog post, even though it’s not very association-y. So here it is. One year ago today, DC shut down for the pandemic.

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The Ask Matters

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About two weeks ago, DC’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, held a series of virtual budget engagement forums to share her draft budget for FY2022. The format her team chose was extremely clever.

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Deliver Effective Online Education and Events Your Members Will Love

This guide identifies the biggest challenges for associations moving their training online and provides practical solutions so that you can hit the ground running. Download now to keep your members engaged and growing even in times of COVID-19.

Three Challenges – Three Opportunities

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As we look to 2021, I see three main membership challenges for associations: Remember that membership is a lagging indicator. Per Marketing General’s annual Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report , the Q4 2007 economic crash didn’t fully show up in association metrics until 2009.

Partnership v. Membership: Wrapping Up and the BIG Question

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The Partnership v. Membership blog point-counterpoint series I was writing with Lewis Flax got abandoned a little abruptly almost exactly one year ago. I don’t know about you, but I could use some closure.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Digital Transformation…

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…but were afraid to ask. Organizations of ALL types – for profit and tax exempt – have been talking about digital transformation for many years, and yet association efforts, both to digitize and to go digital, continue to lag. Why is that? In our new whitepaper, Maddie Grant, co-founder of PROPEL , and I posit that it’s all about culture.

Associations Are Communities

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It’s time to act like it.

The Pro’s Guide To Getting The Best ROI From Your New LMS

You need a Learning Management System when your courses and training programs need to be accessible online. Quickly build the perfect business case and easily determine which LMS will provide the best return on investment you need with this how-to eBook!

What IS Content Curation?

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Associations use the term “content curation” frequently, but to quote the great Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

We Have a Match!

Spark Consulting

Update on my fall fundraising for Reading Partners (where I’m both a tutor and a board member): My initial goal was $1000, and, with ten days still to go in the campaign, I’ve raised $1300! To everyone who’s given so far, HUGE thanks.

NP Tech Podcast: Cut Through the Clutter

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A few weeks ago, Hilary Marsh and I had the opportunity to sit down (virtually, of course) with fusionSPAN’s Justin Burniske to talk all things content curation.

Partnership v. Membership: Communicating Change

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Now that you’ve mapped out the changes you want to make to your membership program, and your board of directors is on board with those changes, how do you go about communicating them to the members who will be affected?

eLearning demand is at an all-time high. Pick the right LMS!

The need for online learning is greater than ever having the right LMS is absolutely crucial. Quickly, easily, and cost-effectively decide which Learning Management System is right for you with this 12-step guide from LMS implementation experts.

Content Curation: Your Association’s Secret Weapon Against Information Overload

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Did you miss the webinar Hilary Marsh (Content Company) and I gave last week on content curation and why your association needs to get on board with it to help your members and other audiences deal with information overload? You’re in luck! Thanks to our host Impexium, there’s a free recording available at the Impexium website. In the webinar, Hilary and I: Outline the problem of information overload. Discuss what content curation is – and isn’t.

Member-Centric Engagement Webinar RESCHEDULED for September 2

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Mark your calendar to join me Wednesday, September 2 (NEW DATE!) at noon for “Leading Engagement from the Outside-In” at Association Insights in Old Town Cyberspace. I’ll be discussing findings from a whitepaper I wrote with Anna Caraveli a little while ago on member-centric engagement.

Membership Q&A: Online Communities?

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No, I’m not going to get into which white-label platform you should use – for that, we have ReviewMyCommunity. Take one step back: white-label or public ? That is, the publicly-available, commercial platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, and their ilk). This is a tough one. The advantage – and it’s a BIG one – of using a public platform is that your members are already there. They already know how to access the site. They already have an account.

Your Members Are Overwhelmed

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That’s the bad news.

Build or Buy an LMS? How to Pick the Right Solution for Your Budget

BUDGET. When it comes to picking your next LMS that six-letter word is probably the most important part of the decision-making process. So, what are your options to get the best possible eLearning solution without breaking the bank? Build it or buy it. This guide from Lambda’s eLearning experts details absolutely everything you need to consider so you can pick the perfect eLearning solution for your organization and budget.

Postponing Member-Centric Engagement Webinar

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Out of respect for the ongoing uprisings protesting the murder of George Floyd and longstanding, unaddressed racism and racial discrimination in American society, I’ve requested that Association Insights postpone our scheduled Wednesday, June 3 webinar, Leading Engagement from the Outside In, to a later date.

Member-Centric Engagement Has Never Been More Critical

Spark Consulting

Join me Wednesday, June 3 at noon for “Leading Engagement from the Outside-In” at Association Insights in Old Town Cyberspace. I’ll be discussing findings from a whitepaper I wrote with Anna Caraveli a little while ago on member-centric engagement.

What Lies on the Other Side?

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Shortly after the coronavirus pandemic stay at home edicts began coming down, a colleague posted a question to LinkedIn: What’s your vision for when we come out of this?

Stop Trying to be Google

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If an association wants to move beyond mere aggregation and serve your members by providing real curation, what should you do? To quote my co-author HilaryMarsh: “Stop trying to be Google.”

Need Remote Learning ASAP? Don’t Pick Your Next LMS Before Reading This!

Need to go remote or move your training programs online? Download this guide to identify and overcome the biggest eLearning challenges so you can pick the perfect LMS without wasting time, money, and effort, even if you are just starting your eLearning journey.

Partnership v. Membership: Prospecting Dos and Don’ts

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In Lewis’s last post in our ongoing series , he shared some great advice on prospecting for corporate partners. Lewis highlighted DO items, such as: Weed out “dead ends” Understand your potential partners’ business challenges and goals for your audiences. Focus on mutual benefit. He also called out time-wasters to eliminate (I love that framing!), such as: Pursuing a company that has no connection to your profession/industry.

Membership Q&A: Why Won’t They Join?

Spark Consulting

Why aren’t our prospects joining our association? They don’t see value in joining. Let’s unpack that a little bit. The reason they don’t see value in joining may be because they don’t see it YET, or it may be because it isn’t there. They don’t see value yet. What that means is that you’re moving too fast.

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Make a Difference for DC’s Kids

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I’m participating in a fundraiser for my favorite nonprofit organization, Reading Partners (where I’m both a tutor and a board member), and ?I’m I’m asking for your financial support.?. Reading Partners works to ensure students from low-income households have the literacy skills they need to succeed in school and life.

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Membership Q&A: Don’t Leave Us!

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What’s the #1 reason a long-standing member would not renew? As Dr. Theodore Woodward of the University of Maryland School of Medicine taught his med students in the 1940: “When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras” For our purposes, that means start with the obvious: Did that member switch careers or retire? If so, you may have to chalk this one up to “forces beyond our control,” and let that person go.

Need Remote Learning NOW? Get Online Quickly & Easily With This Can’t-Miss Guide

Remote learning is becoming more important than ever. Whether you’re scrambling to get your eLearning launched, or need to upgrade to meet increased demand, this guide will eliminate the guesswork so you can find your perfect LMS!