Virtually Painless – Tips and Tricks for Speakers in the Virtual Conference Environment

Elizabeth Maynard, Executive Director, McKenna Management, Inc

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many associations are turning to virtual meetings and conferences to continue their professional education and member networking programs. We are all discovering that there are plenty of opportunities for connecting with attendees online and, while this channel looks and feels different than in-person engagement, we’d like to share with you some easy preparations that can ensure success.

Lights, Camera, Action! or Location, Set Up, and Backdrop

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Furthering Your Clients' Mission

PMG works closely with an association’s leadership to understand the needs of the professionals they serve to provide value-added benefits for their members or, in this case, board-certified pediatric dentists.

Managed by PMG since January 2016, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD) values a health professional’s commitment to lifelong learning and has developed a Renewal of Certification program to continuously validate each Diplomate’s knowledge, skills, and experience for delivering quality patient outcomes. For years ABPD awarded CE credits for successful completion of components within their annual renewal. However, this was without any formal CE accreditation recognition.

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The Show Must Go On

Michaela Sawicki, MSc, Program Coordinator, McKenna Management, Inc.

For the coming months, it seems that event planners will continue to be saddled with the task of transitioning in-person events to virtual or hybrid options. Although virtual events are not entirely new, the busy Fall Season might be the first time many associations experiment with online alternatives. Some events can be held using robust virtual meeting platforms. Others can utilize more creative approaches to holding a virtual “event”. For the New England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHCo) this year was the first time their awards ceremony was “hosted” via their social media platforms instead of in-person.

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Success Through Member Recruitment

Andrew Cronin Finn, MSc, MBA, CAE, Executive Director, McKenna Management, Inc.

Membership recruitment is the key to building a truly sustainable membership base for your association. That was a key takeaway from one of the many educational sessions at the American Society of Association Executives’ 2020 Annual Meeting, held virtually in August.

Several members of the McKenna Management team participated in the virtual meeting, with the goal of learning new strategies to help our association clients remain successful during this challenging time.

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Thinking Outside the Box Creative Society Outreach Projects

At PMG, excellence is our minimum standard.  We want to get better every year and make our clients better, so innovation is a specific goal for all our staff.  We ask each staff member for at least one example of an innovative new idea, or program, or service, or a new and better way of doing our work that they have implemented, as a part of their performance evaluation each year.  I am consistently amazed not just by the innovation of our staff, but also of the organizations we manage.

One area I think is unique about PMG and its management of societies, is that we encourage our boards in strategic planning to think outside the norm for ways to grow the society and make an impact in their field.  We challenge them to think about opportunities for new growth in revenue streams that can help them in achieving their mission as well as opportunities for public outreach and education.  Below are a few stellar examples.

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A Quick Pivot Leads to Learning and Success

Kelly Braniff, Project Manager, Parthenon Management

As a non-profit executive for more than twenty years, I joined the Parthenon Management Group (PMG) team having coordinated almost every type of event. I have planned and executed festivals, galas, golf tournaments, walkathons, dinners, fashion shows, auctions, product sales, fireside chats, recruitment weekends, and reunions. So when the COVID-19 global health crisis caused travel bans and a State of Emergency that threatened the future of my association’s revenue-producing scientific conference, I enthusiastically said, “A virtual conference will be exciting, and I am ready to tackle a new professional challenge.”

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Is There an AMC Behind That $5 Million Association?

Jonathan Lurie, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Smith Bucklin & Associates, Inc.

Picture this. A successful association with an operating budget of $5 million known as “the” source for industry knowledge with a board of directors that is strategically focused. The organization is humming on leading-edge technology, providing for efficient operations and supporting a solid financial foundation.

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Performing Due Diligence: How an Association Board of Directors Should Evaluate its Association Management Company

By Mike Dwyer, CAE, Association Headquarters & Paul Hanscom, CAE, Ewald Consulting

It’s not uncommon that an association board of directors will decide to take a harder look at its relationship with its association management company partner after a significant change has occurred. This could be a change in staff leadership, management fee adjustment, or shift in the scope of service. Some associations have governing documents that stipulate that a level of review is required on a given time cycle, e.g. every three years. And occasionally a particularly fastidious board member will ask when the board last performed such a review, claiming that it’s the board’s fiduciary duty to perform its “due diligence” to ensure the resources invested by the association in the services provided by its AMC are well spent.

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Welcome to our blog. AMCI is proud to cultivate ideas, innovations, and solutions from leading global thinkers from within our industry as well as those outside making a notable difference in association, corporate, and business strategies. We strongly encourage those with a passion for helping not-for-profits sustain, succeed, and prosper, and great ideas to help achieve them to submit your post for consideration here.