Express Learning Labs

Express Learning Labs

Love your learning in 30-minute chunks? Join these Express Learning Labs that focus on topics across association marketing, membership, and communications.

Tuesday, May 17, 11:15 – 11:45 a.m.

Make Content Count: Membership, Marketing, and Google (M&E)

Ever questioned whether you should give away some of your member-exclusive content? Or whether keeping all that content locked away is truly the only way to demonstrate the value of membership? Explore members' and prospects' changing expectations of membership, the concept of access vs. belonging, and how associations can leverage their existing content programs to be responsive. Discover the tactics that maximize your reach and resources, doing double duty for member recruitment and retention, and how to structure your online content to maximize your SEO and increase your Google search rankings via a topic cluster model.

Sarah Black, MS, director of content+creative, Association Headquarters Inc

Sensational Curational: Curating Content for Optimal Membership Engagement (M&T)

Not all of us are part of organizations that are content-producing powerhouses. Even organizations that have the capacity to produce extensive content still need to stay on top of important news in the space to maintain a relevant voice in the industry. However, not all content aggregation efforts are created equal. It is important to know which tools to use to curate content in a thoughtful and efficient way. Explore the importance of meaningful content curation. Beyond that, you will learn how to curate in a time efficient manner and learn about cutting-edge curational tools that will leverage you to be a trusted thought leader in your space.

Erica Salm Rench, director of customer success,

Should Your Association Launch a Podcast? 5 Questions to Ask (M&T)

Podcasts were already a fast-growing communications vehicle before COVID, and they positively exploded in 2020 with many professionals at home and wanting to expand their learning. Podcasting is a big business too, with ad revenues set to exceed $1 billion in 2022. Now, with many association members returning to normal routines, podcasts remain an important part of their media diet. But starting a podcast can be time-consuming. Based on experience from a long-running association podcast, learn the five key questions that you can use to identify your ROI from podcasting. By first answering these questions, you can make sure your association podcast is sustainable, member-focused and set up to succeed long-term.

Evan Sparks, svp, member communications, American Bankers Association

What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming an Association Consultant (C&O)

Four million Americans quit their jobs during the pandemic, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Among those who quit their jobs, 32 percent said they did so to start their own business, according to a survey by

If you are considering becoming an association management consultant, join two experienced consultants with decades of consulting and association experience as they share what they wish they knew before becoming consultants. You will leave with a list of questions to determine if you’re ready to become a consultant, a 10-point checklist of what you need to launch your consultancy, tips for landing your first clients, and the most common pitfalls you may face as a consultant. You’ll walk away with practical tips to successfully launch your association consultancy.

James Arnold, CAE, executive director, PRDC

Sheri Singer, president, Singer Communications

What’s Ethics Got to Do with It? Responsible Content Curation (C&O)

Associations often rely on a balanced mix of original content creation and the curation of industry news from various outlets. When distributing content on behalf of other organizations though, associations take on the responsibility of promoting sources that value accuracy, relevancy, and respect for the audience. Take a closer look at the ethical considerations that association communications teams should keep top of mind as they curate industry content to keep their members educated and informed. We’ll also pose a list of questions that you can ask before you share a piece of content or elevate a source within your valuable member communications to ensure the content distributed is factual, balanced, and of the highest quality.

Sarah Sain, CAE, director of content, member communications, Naylor Association Solutions


Wednesday, May 18, 11:15 -11:45 AM

Moving from Volunteer Management to Volunteer Empowerment (M&E)

No one volunteers because they feel the need to go to more meetings! So, are you creating volunteer experiences that leave your members feeling appreciated, impactful, and empowered? Learn how to create a volunteer program that will leave your members so inspired that they will thank you for letting them help your organization!

Jody Skonieczny, CFRE, vice president of member engagement, volunteer development & Strategy, MICPA

When and How To Break Up With Underperforming Social Channels (C&O)

Is each of your social media channels worth your love? Explore common relationship red flags as they relate to underperforming platforms. From unmet needs to feelings of obligation, learn when it's time to break up and hear advice on how to let go.

Sarah Perlman, owner, Silver Book Design

How to Get Members (and Leadership) Comfortable With Press (C&O)

Most people understand that associations can grow their membership and establish expertise through media hits, but many leadership teams and members can be leery about speaking to the press. By sharing my experiences leading PR for a large professional organization, I can help association PR and communication staff create a media strategy that furthers organizational goals while still ensuring members and leadership are comfortable and well-equipped to handle media requests. I'll cover why people may distrust the press, how to approach media education for leadership and members, providing interview training, working with experts to craft talking points, cultivating a stable of experts and more.

Sarah Thompson, CFE, public information officer, ACFE

Warp Speed: How CASL Launched a Transformative Data Product During a Pandemic (M&T)

The Chinese American Service League identified a significant gap in the AAPI community, as there was NO central store of data to track the unique needs of Americans of Asian descent in the US, which made the process of securing funding, influencing policy change, and increasing philanthropic giving extremely challenging. In the wake of the pandemic, the AAPI community faced violent attacks, harassment, and hate incidents. The need to have accurate data on the needs of this community was more critical than ever. This accelerated CASL's plan to brand and launch its new data platform, Change InSight, which analyzes trends regarding basic human needs or Social Determinants of Health (SDoH), to better support this underserved community. Learn how the organization underwent the naming, branding, and launch of this transformational data platform rapidly during the pandemic, in addition to the impact this data platform has made in the AAPI community.

Brandi Adams, director of development & communications, Chinese American Service League

Laura Chaparro, senior account director, Sandstorm Design

The Seven Deadly Sins of Membership Marketing (M&E)

Often the secret to a thriving membership is not so much working harder. Instead, success can be driven by understanding and removing an impediment that holds back growth. By identifying the challenges and eliminating the roadblocks, membership programs can flourish. This session is designed to diagnose the seven deadly sins of membership marketing and provide insights to remove them and allow membership efforts to advance.

Tony Rossell, senior vice president, Marketing General Incorporated

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