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A Session in Line With Our Times - and the Future of your Association

By Kay Neidlinger, CUDE, VP Communications, Indiana Credit Union League

Attending the sessions at ICON2020 are sure to check a lot of boxes for you as you find the tools and information to fuel your association’s success during these challenging times. One challenge that is sure to outlive the pandemic is revenue generation.

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Tips for Hosting a Successful Virtual Board Meeting

Whether your organization is on a national scale with board members across the country or is a local chapter with board members in close proximity, your team can benefit from hosting virtual board meetings.

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Serving the Future Leaders of Your Association

By Alyssa Gibson, American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives

A few months ago, one of our volunteers approached us to inquire about education and networking for young professionals. While we could certainly provide a list of programs and resources appropriate for this segment of our membership, we realized there was a much larger opportunity to cultivate a community for members in this very important stage of their career.

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ISAE Statement on COVID-19

The Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE) staff recognize the current COVID-19 situation and its impacts on our members, partners and the associations they represent. ISAE is committed to providing maximum support to our members during this time of crisis and uncertainty. We will continually provide updates as the association industry, ISAE events, committee meetings and other member gatherings are impacted.


We believe it is vital to remain properly and responsibly informed on COVID-19. For the most up to date information, please visit ISAE’s COVID-19 Resource Hub.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or 317-328-4569.

Association Sales for the Non-Salesperson

By Kaitlin Borowiak

I recently sat down with American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives CEO Addy Kujawa, CAE, about sales and what she has learned from her ten years of selling for AAOE and taking their conference sponsorships from $30,000 to over $300,000 each year. Here are her top 5 tips to selling for your organization.

  1. Make it a win-win-win situation. Are the vendors winning in this pitch? The association? The members? Everyone needs to win to make this a situation that will be valuable and successful to all of those involved. If it’s not a win situation, how can you make it one? Think about what makes your pitch unique and how it can offer value.

  2. Build a relationship. The more you know your vendor base, the more successful you will be in selling to them. Keep in mind: you are helping them reach members and stay within their budget and this opportunity needs to be beneficial for both parties. The better you know your vendors, the better you will be able to fit them with opportunities that suit their preferences. If you don’t know, ask!

  3. Always Customize. Customization takes time and getting to know your vendors. What does the company excel in? What can they offer your member? How do they want to interact with the members of your organization? Offer them multiple ways to engage with members. If you can cater a sales pitch toward these common goals, it will be a situation that everyone is excited about.

  4. Offer multiple price points. If you are pitching to a new vendor, or an organization with a smaller budget, it is important to offer a low entry point for them to enter your market. And always have something they can do for no monetary investment. For example, can you offer them the opportunity to write an educational article in your newsletter? This gives them exposure to your membership, provides value to your membership, and they didn’t have to pay to place the article and you didn’t have to pay someone to write content.

  5. It’s all about attitude. Not everyone likes sales, and that’s ok.  I learned I needed to be able to hear someone say ‘no’ ten times for every ‘yes’ I heard. Don’t let the ‘no’ get you down! Think, that’s one step closer to my next ‘yes’!  Smile while you’re on the phone, act confidently, stand up while you’re talking, and truly listen to your vendors. Finally, always remember to say thank you- even for that no. 

3 Small Ways to Provide Your Members with Added Value

By Callie Walker, MemberClicks

Value is at the core of member retention. If a member doesn’t feel like they’re getting value from your organization, they’re likely to let their membership lapse. But on the flip side, if they do feel like they’re getting value from your organization, they’re likely to renew — and engage more with your offerings.

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Spicing Up the Holiday Staff Party

By Katherine M. Finley, PhD, CAE, Executive Director, Organization to American Historians

Here we are again nearing the end of the year and once again asking, ‘what can we do in the office to “spice up” the holidays and create some holiday cheer?’ The ISAE Digital Marketing Committee members put their heads together to share some fun ideas for work holiday parties and activities. Given that not everyone celebrates the holidays, none of these activities or parties should be made mandatory.

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3 Steps to Recruit More (and Better!) Volunteers

By: Caroline Hoy, Boardable Content Manager

Recruiting volunteers is something that many nonprofits and associations see as a low priority. Unpaid, temporary, non-professional, why bother investing much time and effort? Unfortunately, being shortsighted in this way can do lasting damage to your organization.

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The Road to LMS Selection: Advice and Lessons Learned

By Alyssa Gibson, American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives (AAOE)

Over the summer, my association, AAOE, embarked on the journey of selecting a new Learning Management System (LMS) – a road often fraught with seemingly-endless calls and demos (where you come to discover that the Request for Proposal you so carefully crafted may or may not have been reviewed or understood), proposals that test the limits of your budget (especially for a small staff like ours), and the ultimate, nail-biting decision that can feel like a giant leap of faith. Four months later, we are now in the process of onboarding and launching our new LMS, and while I can’t claim to be an LMS selection expert, I am sharing some of my lessons learned along the way.

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Finding the Right Keynote for your 2020 Annual conference

According to learning evangelist and Event Garde CEO Aaron Wolowiec, “Finding a speaker for an event can sometimes be a daunting challenge. How do you really know if the selected individual will bring the right mix of knowledge, enthusiasm and engagement to the room?”

The demand and price for event speakers isn’t expected to drop in 2020.  The MPI Meeting Outlook Report predicted live event and virtual attendance over the next year to grow 2.7 percent over this year.  According to the report respondents, live attendance predictions are the greatest seen in this survey since 2016.   According to a survey of education, meeting, and professional development activities by Whorton Marketing & Research with Event Garde,  22 percent of respondents spend $25,000 or more on speakers per year and at least 30 percent ask speakers to engage in other elements of a meeting.

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Highlights of the 2019 ASAE Annual Meeting

The ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition was held from August 10-13 in Columbus, Ohio, and neither the convention nor the city disappointed. The conference opened with a keynote by bestselling authors Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms in which they discussed the “new power” dynamics in today’s society. Their talk was based on their bestselling book, New Power: How Anyone Can Persuade in Our Chaotic, Connected Age. Until recently, the world was defined by “old power” which was held by only a few and was jealously guarded. “New power” is transparent and participatory. New power can help us run more dynamic associations especially in an era where the public is demanding more openness and input into their associations and many individuals’ engagement with associations is declining. The challenge is to channel this “new power” to make it work for you and your association and to develop a leadership pipeline for the future. The book is a fairly easy read and relatively inexpensive (available through ASAE or Amazon for less than $17).

There were plenty of educational sessions at ASAE this year. A few sessions of note that I attended focused on rebranding, membership marketing, and mentoring The re-branding session entitled “Ten Steps to a Successful Rebranding” was presented by Brad Gillum of Indianapolis’ own Willow Marketing. It was a case study of how one association – Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing – successfully rebranded their association. As Gillum noted, rebranding begins with a decision as to whether to rebrand or refresh your brand. If a brand does not evoke positive emotions and it’s been the same for many years, it may be time to rebrand since most brands are updated every 7-10 years.  However, no rebranding effort should be undertaken without thorough research followed by an openness to listen to what the research revealed (even if it goes against what you believe about your association and its members). It is also important to involve the board and staff in the process from the beginning. It is equally as important to know the vision of the organization and make sure “it is bold” and succinct. And remember rebranding takes time and money. Gillum noted that participants spend about 60 hours each on the rebranding process. These were only a few of the ten steps that Gillum outlined in a successful rebranding effort. These steps helped make the rebranding of the Board of Certification of Emergency Nurses a success.

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Six Takeaways from ISAE 2019

By: ISAE Digital Marketing Committee

At this year’s ISAE Annual Convention, held in South Bend, fun and learning were in abundance. Topics ranged from facing change, to best practices, to what young professionals want out of their association career and more. 

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4 Reminders When Marketing to Young Professionals

By Callie Walker, Senior Inbound Marketing Specialist, MemberClicks

You’ve heard the saying, “What you say is not as important as how you say it.” Well, what you say is certainly important, but when it comes to marketing - and particularly, marketing to young professionals - how you say things is key.

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Save Time While Getting Maximum Impact Out of Your Content

By Alyssa Gibson

Regularly feeding your association’s blog, newsletter, and social media channels with new content keeps members coming back to get the latest industry information straight from your association. But that’s easier said than done when you’re facing a limited budget or staff resources. That’s where repurposing comes in. If you take the time to create a strong piece of content, you can reuse it in multiple ways to keep it fresh, timely, and relevant – all while taking less time than developing an entirely new piece and better ensuring that content gets maximum impact.

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The Worst "Isms" - Nepotism and Cronyism

By: Caroline Hoy, Boardable Content Manager

Associations are vulnerable to many of the same thorny issues that for-profit businesses face. In an environment that values relationships and status to some degree, it is no wonder that there’s a risk of nepotism and cronyism in associations and nonprofits. Let’s look at why this is a dangerous problem, how it happens, and what to do about it.

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Summer Work: Short-Term Projects With Long-Term Benefits

By Dawn Sparks

Summer is a great time to get to work on those “parking lot projects” that get squeezed out of your calendar by annual conference planning and membership renewal campaigns. It’s also an excellent time to reconnect with members without asking for anything but engagement in return.  

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Are You Rebranding or Redecorating?

By Ashley Roy

As a marketing professional one of the key responsibilities of my job is to ensure my client has a strong brand that promotes the mission of the association and its members.  This past week an ASAE discussion thread about rebranding an association was shared with me, around some potential brand conversations.

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Leaving Your Ego at the Door

By Kim B. Stoneking, CAE, CBC, Senior Associate, Springboard International, LLC

New York Times bestselling author Cy Wakeman’s book, “No Ego,” has grabbed the attention of the corporate world since its release. The book makes a compelling case for the epidemic of workplace drama and its costly impact on an organization, and serves as a tutorial for how leaders can cut the cost of these ego-driven events. I believe all of us would agree that the association world is by no means exempt from workplace drama. If you have living, breathing people working with you in the association and serving on the board of directors… drama can exist. (No joke, right?)

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Using Digital Remarketing to Increase Event Registration

Katherine Mandusic Finley, Executive Director, Organization of American Historians
Rachel Daeger, Executive Director, Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior

Ever wonder why the ad for those Zappos shoes that you really wanted to buy now show up on every website you visit? Or why that book that you were going to order but left in the Amazon cart also shows up on the sidebar next to your email and other websites. All these ads are part of digital remarketing. What exactly is digital remarketing? Basically, it is a tool that allows you to put a tag on a webpage that a person visits and that tag follows the user’s computer IP address to other sites they visit and places an ad on those sites. This blog will not delve into the technicalities of digital remarketing but instead explore the advantages and disadvantages of using a digital remarketing tool, share some results from two associations that have used this tool to their advantage, and pose some questions to ask providers of digital remarketing tools.

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Two Things to Try Before Hosting Your Next Webinar

By Callie Walker, MemberClicks

Are webinars a part of your organization’s offerings? If so, how successful would you say they currently are? Are registrations and attendance high?

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