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At a recent association conference, I heard a classic cliché, “I learn the most during conversations in the hallway.” My response? If you’ve devoted all that time and energy to an educational event and the best learning is a random conversation in the hallway, your education probably sucks needs improvement.   Any reasonably competent meeting planner or educator should be able to produce an activity more meaningful than a random conversation. In Looking Forward 2019, 81% of association leaders indicated they were concerned or somewhat concerned about producing compelling professional development opportunities. I go to and speak at many conferences. I’ve also acted as a Master of Ceremonies for events. Association Laboratory also designs our own association executive educational events. We also develop education strategy. Here are some thoughts. Audience Understanding (or not) Educational events don’t have an “audience”. They have a Venn diagram of audiences. Multiple markets who are attending for their own reasons. In research for

I’m not a “milestone” sort of person. I rarely celebrate with big birthday parties for example. My wife and I famously celebrated our anniversary with a drink at the United Club once as we passed each other in the airport. This year, though, when I announced the 20th anniversary of starting Association Laboratory on LinkedIn, the response surprised me. I received more than 7,000 views of the post. I only have 1, 531 connections on LinkedIn. People I’d never met were interested and supportive. It got me thinking about how it all began and what I learned about business and life through the years as I conceived, started and grew my small business. Below is the original HQ of Association Laboratory (no hassles please, I’m not a photography consultant). I started the company out of my condo on the 12th floor. Original HQ of Association Laboratory  The voice on my answering machine for the company was an English woman

Association Laboratory's Nicolette Haton, MBA, CAE will present as part of a panel on Wednesday, May 8 at 12:00pmET for a webinar through ASAE titled Trust is a Must – 3 Ways to Build Trust in Your Healthcare Organization. ASAE and Association Laboratory’s research shows that trust in institutions, including government, science, and medicine, is declining. Association Laboratory’s 2019 Looking Forward also identified that: 60 percent of healthcare association chief staff officer are concerned or somewhat concerned about their association’s perception as a source of credible information.52 percent of healthcare chief staff officer respondents are concerned or somewhat concerned about public perceptions of their members’ competence or quality. As a result, healthcare associations are needing to invest more time and resources into building trust with their members and the general public. But, how? Attend this one-hour webinar to hear what healthcare associations are doing about trust in their organization. For more information, and to

Dean West, FASAE will address the Council of Education and Scientific Society Executives Annual Meeting this July in Baltimore, MD. The program, titled “Explicit Content (Strategy) Warning” discusses the creation and monetization of content strategy. In Looking Forward™, the nation’s most comprehensive scan of the association business environment, 53% of association chief staff officers indicated they were pursuing content strategies to improve information impact  and 85% were creating more robust content. From thought-leadership strategies to content-based revenue models, Content Strategy is the most innovative tool being pursued by professional societies to create deeper, more meaningful relationships with members to improve Mission impact and business results. This presentation, built on research into association content strategy, lessons highlighted at the recent Association Laboratory Content Strategy Summit and case studies from professional societies will introduce best practices in creating, sustaining and monetizing content strategy.

Dean West, FASAE will keynote the Colorado Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting this June in Pueblo, Colorado. He will outline results from the company’s industry leading environmental scan of the association strategy environment and discuss the implications on the association business model. The study assessed more than 50 environmental factors in five domains and more than 50 implications on association strategy. From workforce and technology to economic implications and the changing role of government, participants will learn about the most substantial factors impacting association members and how these changes are influencing association membership, meetings, education and government affairs strategy. For the first time ever, sector-wide data was collected on more than 30 strategies associations are implementing to successfully adapt to a changing environment to improve Mission-based and business outcomes. Review what your peers in associations believe is essential to success and to position associations for continued growth.

Dean West, FASAE will address the Georgia Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting this May. The program, titled “Crafting the Future Proofed Association” introduces the  results from the company’s industry leading environmental scan of the association strategy environment and discuss the implications on the association business model. The study assessed more than 50 environmental factors in five domains and more than 50 implications on association strategy. From workforce and technology to economic implications and the changing role of government, participants will learn about the most substantial factors impacting association members and how these changes are influencing association membership, meetings, education and government affairs strategy. For the first time ever, sector-wide data was collected on more than 30 strategies associations are implementing to successfully adapt to a changing environment to improve Mission-based and business outcomes. Review what your peers in associations believe is essential to success and to position associations for continued growth.

Dean West, FASAE President and Founder of Association Laboratory Dean West, FASAE will address the California Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting (ELEVATE) this May. The program, titled “Crafting the Future Proofed Association” introduces the  results from the company’s industry leading environmental scan of the association strategy environment and discusss the implications on the association business model. The study assessed more than 50 environmental factors in five domains and more than 50 implications on association strategy. From workforce and technology to economic implications and the changing role of government, participants will learn about the most substantial factors impacting association members and how these changes are influencing association membership, meetings, education and government affairs strategy. For the first time ever, sector-wide data was collected on more than 30 strategies associations are implementing to successfully adapt to a changing environment to improve Mission-based and business outcomes. Review what your peers in associations believe is essential to success and to