Blogs

Bermuda Offers Safe & Luxurious Escape for Vacations and Extended Stays

The Island Is One Of Only Four Places In The World Ranked Level 2 By The CDC


Donna Douglas,
Sales Manager, Bermuda Tourism Authority
[email protected]
Bermuda is open, safe and ready to welcome travellers. In August, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) improved the island’s ranking to Level 2—one of only four places in the world assessed with “moderate” COVID-19 risk level. Additionally, Bermuda just earned the World Travel & Tourism Council “Safe Travels” Stamp, which allows travellers to recognise governments and companies around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols.



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SNEB Demonstrates That Actions Speak Louder Than Words

By Leslie Murphy, FASAE, CAE

President
Raybourn Group International

The Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) is an international community of professionals actively involved in nutrition education and health promotion with a vision of people worldwide empowered by food and nutrition education to change behavior, food systems, and policy. SNEB members work in colleges, universities and schools, government agencies, cooperative extension, in addition to voluntary and service organizations.

Even before the pandemic, SNEB members worked tirelessly in their communities advocating for healthy school meals, food system workers, access to healthy food for low-income families, and related public health issues. Nationally, in 2018 the Society issued a statement denouncing the involuntary separation of immigrant/refugee infants and minor children from their families as this creates harmful impacts on eating attitudes and behaviors. As social unrest gripped the country, the board issued a statement in June – like many organizations did – on addressing racial injustice but they also took the next step. As the statement said, “How can action support these fine words?”

SNEB’s work done to date:
  1. Devoted the July Board meeting to determine a process for committing, as a Board and Society, to learning, reflecting and addressing racial equity.
  2. Held a Dismantling Racism listening session with Society leaders during the 2020 virtual annual conference in July. Over 200 members attended and shared comments such as “Dietetics profession needs to have more diverse professionals being trained.  Positions of influence have many barriers for minority students and professionals,” and “Make sure cultural competencies currently written are reviewed and include how to work with diverse populations in concrete terms.  Biases needs to be uncovered and discussed.”
  3. Began a series of six work sessions in August, led by Joanne Burke and Karen Spiller from the University of New Hampshire, exploring the topics in the 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge including pre-session readings and videos. This represents a commitment of over 10 hours on the part of these leader volunteers.
Following this course of discovery, the Board will review the Society’s strategic plan in order to chart a course that is more inclusive and supports individual and organizational commitments to authentic racial equity and food justice.

Founded in the early ‘60s in order to publish the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, SNEB has been a client of Raybourn Group International for over 20 years. The 1,000 member organization is supported by a staff team of five working 2.5 FTE hours.

About Raybourn Group International

One of just 15% of association management companies (AMCs) accredited by the AMC Institute, Raybourn Group International serves local, state, regional, national and international organizations that total more than 60,000 members in 107 countries. RGI is headquartered in Indianapolis, with service locations in the cities of Chicago, Memphis and Houston.

Enhancing your Organization’s Leadership with Emotional Intelligence

By Jodi Fisher
Founder and CEO
Impact AMC

Our team recently attended ASAE’s Annual Meeting and Exposition where they learned all about how to better manage associations. One of the topics that stuck out was that of applying social work skills to association management. This session focused on emotional intelligence and how it applies to leadership.

Emotional intelligence is your ability to understand other people and their motives as well as your own. Your ability to understand and control your own emotions is tied to your emotional intelligence or quotient. You may be wondering how this ties to running your organization. Working on how you see others’ views, react, and read people are not only skills that make for healthy personal relationships, but professional as well. Learn to have more productive conversations by utilizing the following tips, ideas, and solutions.



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Strategic Planning: Creative and Awesome Solutions for When You Can't Meet Face-to-Face

By Jeanne Weiss
Director of Marketing and Communication
AMPED Association Management

AMPED has distinguished itself as a leader in hosting and executing strategic planning sessions for associations and nonprofits. Depending on the needs of the client, a typical session may last two days, back-to-back, and require that leaders and staff travel to meet face-to-face.

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MedEvac Foundation International & AMC Institute Work Together to Support First Responders

As part of AMC Institute’s AMCs Engaged! Virtual Event last week, Cameron Curtis, CMM, CAE, MedEvac Foundation International President and CEO, explained the Foundation’s on-going virtual run/walk/roll event this year, called Run to Help the Helpers, www.medevacfoundation.org/run-to-help-the-helpers, as part of its ‘Taking Care of Our Own’ programs. Curtis invited association members to join the AMC Institute virtual team to assist with the Foundation’s goal of helping medical transport personnel improve mental health and wellness.

The Foundation supports all first responders working in emergency medical services whether by airplane, helicopter, ground transport, or vessel. These ambulance crews keep the window of time open during that “golden hour” when critical medical care determines life or death. Despite every effort, sadly some of these patients cannot be saved and spirited to safety.

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Association Management Companies See an Uptick in Interest

Companies say they are seeing more inquiries as associations seek consulting and look to outsource functions once performed by staff

July 24, 2020
By Walt Williams
This article was first posted in CEO Update

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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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Targeting Online Content to Members through AI

Pradeepa Siva, Director of Business Development, Selfstudy


Every association has access to a goldmine of content that can be invaluable to its members  — content that advances their understanding of their profession and helps them become better at their jobs. In order to maximize the value of this content, it is necessary to deliver it in a highly personalized way —  acknowledging that each member has unique information needs and preferences and little time to waste on irrelevant material. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the need for trustworthy, up-to-date information, regardless of its source. And as our understanding of the novel coronavirus and its implications for health, safety and business is constantly evolving, resulting in a deluge of published content, quick access to the most relevant new information is more vital than ever.

But how does an association cull through the ever-expanding knowledge base of information assets relevant to members, then target each person with the right information at the opportune time? And how does an association make itself even more relevant to members by transforming those assets into learning activities — without employing a team of professional education specialists? 


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Virtual Events and the Attendee Experience: 4 Ideas

Colleen Bottorff, Inbound Marketing Specialist, MemberClicks


As event planners start tackling their first all-virtual event, one crossroad they tend to come
to is...how do I engage my attendees and give them an energetic experience 
without being able to see them??

It’s true that some of the activities you would normally execute in-person just aren’t possible with a virtual event. That said, there are a ton of ways to translate those activities into a virtual experience, or execute something completely different!





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A New Way of Life at MGM

Stephanie Glanzer, CMP, SVP and Chief Sales Officer, MGM Resorts International


Without question, the last few months have been among the most challenging that any of us will face in our careers; so
many unknowns and so much rapid change. But I’ve also been incredibly inspired by the resiliency, creativity, and passion that has emerged throughout the hospitality and meetings industries, as we navigate this new normal.

 As MGM Resorts International continues to reopen its resorts in Las Vegas and throughout the country, our first priority continues to be the health and safety of our guests and employees.





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No Problems, Only Opportunities

Jeff Rose, Director of AMC Partnerships, Feathr


It’s Wednesday, March 11, 2020, and I’m traveling around the greater D.C. area for client meetings. I’m washing and sanitizing my hands at every possible turn and tapping elbows and clicking heels in greeting – rather than shaking hands – but, generally speaking, most folks are not particularly concerned at this point about the novel coronavirus.

As I’m looking for a place to park downtown, I get a call from our President and he asks whether I think we’ll still be able to host our live event there the following week. I respond enthusiastically that all my meetings have still taken place and that we’ll probably fine. My response may have been colored with what most of my colleagues would characterize as “my perpetual optimism,” but, as we all know now, I could NOT have been more wrong – and, in hindsight, I am a bit embarrassed at just how wrong I was.




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Meet Smart. Meet Safe.

By Todd Marinko, Vice President, Marketing, PSAV



Regardless of what phase of reopening your state or country is in, our industry is forever changed due to the
impact of COVID-19. Social distancing, enhanced cleaning procedures, and conference calls have become part of our everyday lives.

But as we begin the return to live and hybrid meetings, what will those events look like?




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Calgary Unveils Designs for $500M BMO Convention Centre Expansion

David Woodward, Executive Director, Calgary Tourism

Tourism Calgary, along with our partners at the Calgary Stampede and Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), is thrilled to unveil the renderings of the expanded BMO Centre, which will become the largest convention facility in Western Canada. The expansion will also act as a catalyst for Calgary’s new Culture & Entertainment District.

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Association Management Companies See an Uptick in Interest

 

Companies say they are seeing more inquiries as associations seek consulting and look to outsource functions once performed by staff

July 24, 2020
By Walt Williams
This article was first posted in CEO Update

Association management companies say they are seeing more inquiries from associations about providing services since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with many groups either seeking expertise in subjects where they lack experience or needing to outsource services previously provided by staff.



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Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel

UTSA Travel Information

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How to Prioritize Your Never-Ending To-Do List

By Callie Walker of MemberClicks

Do you ever get so overwhelmed with work that you start to feel paralyzed? The to-dos keep coming, and you don’t even know where to begin. It’s ALL important, and it all HAS to get done. If so, you’re certainly not alone. Even if you’re an extremely organized person, it can be hard to determine what tasks to tackle first.If your to-do list is no longer cutting it, and prioritization is starting to become an issue, try this alternative approach to time and project management:

The Eisenhower Matrix 

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A Note from AMCI's 2020 Chair

A Note from AMCI's 2020 Chair
By Bennett Napier, M.S., CAE

I want to personally thank you, your member firm, and AMCI's strategic partners for the honor to serve as AMCI Board Chair in 2020.

My entire association management career (nearly 30 years) has been in the AMC arena. The AMC Model is all I know, and much like you, I don't take this great field for granted. The variety of industries, professions, and causes that we work with and lead change society on a daily basis.

The membership value that comes from AMCI's marketing of the AMC model, the sharing and camaraderie amongst peers, and the first-class business educational content offered through the Institute continue to reach new heights year after year.

Prior to serving on the AMC Institute board, I was a previous board chair of the Florida Society of Association Executives and also Board Chair of the FSAE Foundation; and a past president of the Tallahassee Society of Association Executives. Those experiences in ASAE allied society organizations provided me a strong appreciation of working collaboratively with other volunteers to uphold organizational mission and achieve long term vision.

The AMC Institute has been blessed with some wonderful volunteer board members over the years, and the 2020 board is no exception, with several newbies, who will challenge the status quo and bring the organization innovative ideas and fresh perspectives.

The 2020 Annual Meeting on February 12 – 14, will be here before we know it and it's already apparent that Long Beach, CA is pulling out all the stops to welcome our community and give us a world class event experience. The location is great for many of our members to get some sun during the winter season. The Annual Meeting Committee has done an outstanding job with the keynotes and breakout sessions. If you have not registered, please take the time to do so today.

And, don't forget to mark your calendars for August 7– 8, 2020 where AMC's Engaged! will be the precursor event to help celebrate ASAE's 100th Anniversary in Las Vegas.

I want to personally thank you and your member firms for your continued support of the Institute. The organization is in a good place, financially and structurally. This would not happen if not for the wonderful leadership and talent of our AMC Institute executive staff team. Our entire staff team at the Institute continues to amaze me in terms of the number of meaningful projects and outreach initiatives that are in progress.

I am a phone call or email away and I welcome any input you have during the course of this year.

Sincerely,



Bennett Napier, M.S., CAE
President/CEO of Partners in Association Management
AMC Institute 2020 Board Chair

Case Study: Girl Scouts Embracing Change

By Kellen Company

One of the strengths of the AMC model is its ability to meet evolving client needs, even in the midst of delivering against an existing scope of work. Here, Kellen shares their approach to the strategic reinvention of the Girl Scouts' Triennial Convention and the successful outcomes it delivered.

Challenge
Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) contracted Kellen to assist in the planning, management, and production of its triennial national convention. The group needed a partner to provide the necessary operational support and strategic guidance to ensure the convention achieved its primary objective: continued growth of the Girl Scouts movement.

Solution
Kellen drew upon its deep event production expertise to design an audience experience that would reignite the passion for Girl Scouts across the globe. The convention utilized eight hotels and included a state-of-the-art main stage production featuring pyrotechnics, flutter-fetti, and a themed event "countdown" built for the opening ceremony. The audio-visual technology included video mapping and digital animation, all leveraged and managed by the Kellen team. Kellen coordinated the management of a crew of 120+ AV technicians required for all of the sessions, breakouts, and main stage live events. As the scope of the work grew, Kellen's experienced meeting planners provided training and support to further assist the new GSUSA conference planning team.

Results
  • The flagship event attracted close to 7,000 attendees from 147 countries and is the most significant driver of membership in GSUSA.
  • The event allowed GSUSA to reconnect, recruit, and deepen its ties to the international Girl Scouts community, ensuring the movement continues for years to come.
  • Featured at the event were VIPs and other well-known personalities, including a video welcome from Michelle Obama.
For more information on Kellen's approach and to see key moments from the convention, watch our 'A 'Day in the Life' of Association Strategic Membership Growth' video. In it, Kellen staff detail their work in reinvigorating the Girl Scouts' approach to member acquisition. You can view it here.

Five Tips to Make Your Speakers Shine

By MCI USA

At MCI we are conference planning professionals who work continuously with members and volunteers to ensure not only that conferences are successful, but also to enable volunteers to engage the highest and best use of their time during the conference planning process. Since MCI depends on speakers, in particular, to provide the high quality content which draws attendees to events, it is particularly important to assist them in every way possible to ensure that they are confident and prepared for their session on the day it takes place. Here are the five items below have helped MCI speakers significantly as they prepare their conference sessions.

1. Provide Content Experts for Content Questions

Used software copyright laws? Spectrum auction? The psychology of the legal workplace? Though we may not be knowledgeable on any of these topics, we have had phone conversations on all them before scrambling to refer the speaker to a more knowledgeable member of the association. Before you have to scramble, consider connecting your speakers with a volunteer member, perhaps from the Conference Committee, who can serve as their point of contact for those content-related questions. Just be sure to make it clear that all logistical questions and all forms should still be sent to you.

2. Turn Boring Reminders into Exciting Opportunities

Instead of sending the usual, "Reminder: Speaker PPTS Due Today", I often use subject lines like this:

"Mobile App Launches Next Week! Submit a Resource for Our Attendees Today!"

This is really just a deadline reminder in disguise, but it places the emphasis on how speakers can engage their audience before the conference even begins, building a sense of excitement about the upcoming event. MCI has actually had speakers who were not originally planning to submit materials decide to do so after seeing an email like this — they didn't want to miss out on a great opportunity!

3. Hold a Pre-Conference Play-by-Play Phone Call

Set up a phone call to review a play-by-play of what speakers can expect before, during, and after their sessions. If you have moderators, be sure to include them too. You can provide information on when to arrive, who will be introducing them, and how they will be given time notifications. Your speakers will thank you for the clear directions, and you will be happy on-site when speakers are prepared and confident and have fewer last minute concerns.

4. Establish a Procedure for Handling On-site Issues

Whether a speaker's USB drive corrupts, they forget to ship their handouts, or they can't find their co-presenters (all things that have happened to us), it is best to have a clear procedure for managing major and minor issues on-site. This is as simple as giving speakers instructions for reaching you during the conference. Make yourself available by email and ask speakers to see another member of staff if they need to find you quickly.

5. Say Thank You Early and Often

This is certainly a polite and necessary thing to do, but remember – it pays off for you, too! Speakers who feel appreciated are happier, and happier speakers are, in our experience, more flexible and more apt to go above and beyond for your association. Thank them before, during, and after the event, for the time they spent developing their presentation, the materials they provide, and the efforts they went to in order to travel and give their presentation.

ROI Tools to Support your Strategies for Reducing Employee Turnover

By lone Terrio, Marketing & Communications Director, The Harrington Company

You have a new client coming in during your company’s busiest time of year. Your staff is already stretched to the limit and you are onboarding a new client while hiring to fill the additional staffing needs. Now, you need to make time to train a new employee. For a busy AMC leader, this can feel daunting. You and your team are already working longer than normal days. At the same time, having a good onboarding process and providing the right training can impact how your new employee engages with your company and how long you can retain them.


According to “Strategies for Reducing Employee Turnover and Tools for Calculating ROI” a white paper from the Incentive & Engagement Solution Providers (IESP), a Strategic Industry Group of the Incentive Marketing Association; Bureau of Labor Statistics show that on average, 27% (nearly a third) of employees, voluntarily leave their jobs each year. This results in their employers having to spend up to 20% of a person’s annual salary to replace each employee.

Not only is this expensive, 78% of association managers view vacant positions as unproductive, particularly vacancies in membership-related positions says PNP Staffing Group in their 2019 “Association Salaries and Staffing Trends” report.

With those numbers, and a tight labor market with less than 4% unemployment, it makes sense to have an organizational plan to manage employee retention. The IESP white paper outlines four concepts for reducing turnover and provides tools to help calculate costs.

Calculating the cost of employee turnover
Turnover costs include direct or “hard” costs such as advertising, overtime, temporary replacements, background checks, physical exams, travel, relocation, and employee referrals. There are also “soft” costs for time spent or lost through lower productivity, loss of morale, loss of customer contacts, interviewing, onboarding and training new hires to consider.

Identifying the reasons for turnover
“When looking at employee turnover, you’re not just looking at why one person leaves and what it costs to replace that person, you’re looking for bigger trends or issues the company can address to reduce turnover across the organization,” says Brant Dolan, CPIM, director business development, Quality Incentive Company, and IESP board member.

“Employers need to understand what employees like about working there, but also what frustrates or disappoints employees so they can address system-wide improvements as well,” Dolan explained.

From this information the supervisor and the organization can consider strategies for removing the obstacles to increase satisfaction and reduce frustrations.

Developing strategies to address the reasons for turnover
According to the IESP, once the reasons for turnover have been identified and prioritized, management should concentrate on addressing the top five. For example, if an employee has a high workload and feels undervalued, you could provide an incentive to achieve a stretch goal or look at reorganizing workloads to reduce the burden.

PNP Staffing Group noted that organizations successful in finding and holding onto the best staff in a competitive marketplace follow talent management best practices that are key to their success. Leaders are hearing from candidates that several elements are essential in making an organization a “go to” place to work. These include: managers are held accountable, performance is valued and rewarded, staff work in teams, the organization invests in coaching and training, clear opportunities are offered for professional growth, workplace is productive and supportive with clear opportunities for growth – and of course – a consistent onboarding process.

Calculating the ROI of reducing turnover
The IESP white paper comes with eight calculator tools to help managers measure everything from the costs of turning over each employee such as advertising the job, hiring, and training to the costs and ROI of the turnover reduction strategies such as reward and recognition programs. According to the IESP, organizations that measure their costs and ROI find the investment made to reduce turnover is typically much less than turnover cost.

You can download the white paper and calculators by visiting the IESP website.

Looking to make a new hire? Visit the new AMC Institute Talent Center today and take advantage our employer resources. Find guides, tips, and articles on how best to manage your hiring process. And, don’t forget to visit the AMC Institute job board – the only job board dedicated to helping the AMC industry find and secure talent. AMCs will benefit from flexible, affordable pricing options and messaging specific to active and passive job seekers. Enjoy intro pricing for a limited time only.