Associations Now - Fall 2019


  • Cover Story: Meet the Meeting Innovators
    Alex Beall
    The events space is always changing, as attendees expect more from the onsite experience, new conferences compete for meeting-goers, and technological advancements are introduced. It takes forward-thinking planners to keep up and create successful events. Meet three who are making it happen.
  • Associations Built to Last 100 Years
    By: Mark Athitakis
    Associations don’t last 100 years by accident. Here’s what some associations have learned about what it takes to make it to a centennial—and set themselves up to thrive in their second century.
  • How Good Stories Improve Fundraising
    By: Rasheeda Childress
    Does storytelling in fundraising really work? Associations that have used it successfully say it requires the right kinds of stories told in a way that inspires.
  • Make Your Expos Exceptional
    By: Allison Torres Burtka
    Conference expos are major revenue generators, but the standard booth-maze model is past its prime. Today, both exhibitors and attendees expect associations to offer something better.


The A List

  • Community Service Linked to Mission
    By: Mark Athitakis
    The Water Environment Federation focuses its conference community service initiatives squarely on its mission, lending a hand with local water projects in host cities.
  • How an Association Partnership Fought Human Trafficking
    By: Mark Athitakis
    The Georgia Association for Convenience Stores waged—and won—a few battles in the fight against human trafficking when it partnered with a charitable nonprofit at Super Bowl time.
  • What Do You Call Your Global Members?
    By: Mark Athitakis
    How you refer to your members outside the United States can have a big impact on your global strategy—and one size often doesn’t fit all.



  • This Benefit Gets Members in a Study Groove
    By: Rasheeda Childress
    Volunteers at the Ohio State Bar Association assembled a “study session” playlist to help law students and early-career lawyers prep for the bar exam.
  • When Members Behave Badly
    By: Julia Judish
    Before expelling members over their personal conduct, check your bylaws. You’ll need to comply with them—or amend them—when you adopt policies to address harassment, discrimination, or other unacceptable behavior.
  • Startup Stories: National Industrial Hemp Council
    By: Rasheeda Childress
    New associations launch to fill a void in their sector. In this series, newbies tell us what got them started, how they’re succeeding, and what they plan to do next. Here’s What the National Industry Hemp Council has been up to.
  • Take Some of the Worry Out of Meetings With Cancellation Insurance
    Meetings are a major revenue source for associations, but what happens to that revenue if a meeting has to be canceled due to extreme weather or some other emergency? Seth Fleischer, business development professional at Aon Affinity, has some tips about event cancellation insurance.


  • Data: Look Who's Tweeting
    Not all Twitter users are the same. Here’s what a Pew study found about who’s tweeting and who’s just scrolling their feeds.
  • Stay Up and Running With Microservices
    By: Tim Ebner
    The microservices approach lets you direct server resources where they’re needed most, so that your websites and apps run smoothly even during periods of high demand.
  • Get Started on a Digital Badging Program
    Professionals want to showcase their achievements, and employers want to find workers with the knowledge and skills they need. Digital badges serve both goals, says Ashish Rangnekar, CEO of the online learning platform BenchPrep. He has some tips for how to get a digital badge program started.


  • Data: Recruitment Goes Digital
    Associations are testing the waters of digital membership recruitment using social media channels, online advertising, and ad retargeting campaigns.
  • Build Better Surveys
    By: Tim Ebner
    Has survey fatigue set in with your members? Here are three tactics to help you boost your response rates.


  • Is It Time to Say Goodbye to Q&A?
    By: Samantha Whitehorne
    Most conference sessions end with time for questions and answers. But when one group realized that the standard formula was getting stale, it turned to C&I: conversations and input.
  • A Strategy for Boosting Conference Attendance
    By: Samantha Whitehorne
    One association’s solution to declining conference attendance was to work with the host city’s CVB to sell a few previously unsatisfied attendees on a new location.

Brain Power