Blog FPO

Gardian of the Month: Ann Parker

Our Gardian of the Month is Ann Parker, Chief Operating Officer for the Small Business Association of Michigan.

Learn: What's one subject you'd like to learn more about?  

I have been dabbling with genealogy on and off for years and have revived my interest during the pandemic.  Three generations of family are in various stages of documentation, but I’d like to go back further to preserve family history for future generations and to learn more about the people already identified.  The thrill of the hunt is what draws me in. 

Network: Some people are wallflowers while others are natural networkers.  Which are you (or are you in the middle)? How does this play into your networking experiences?

Definitely closer to the wallflower end of the scale for me!  I always prefer to walk into a reception or event with someone or know that a friend or colleague will be there when I arrive.  I’m fine once introductions are made so I appreciate the networkers in the room that take initiative to stick their hand out and say hello.

Transfer: Think about a topic in which you feel you're quite knowledgeable. How would you use this knowledge to better your industry?

Associations spend so much time on their systems whether it be membership databases, accounting, payroll and benefits administration and the list goes on.  Once those systems have been identified there is another phase of getting them to talk to each other, extract meaningful data from them and use that data to inform Board members and staff.  It is so unfortunate that we are all suffering the same challenges and spending time on this. I would love be able to use this knowledge to alleviate this pinch point.  Sure, there are many resources available to address all of these issues, but the association community collectively expends an inordinate amount of effort in this area. 

Please share with us a resource and why you can’t live without it.

My current go-to favorite is Wake Up Call by Katie Couric Media.  It’s a daily newsletter with just the right amount of hard news, pandemic resources, guest interviews, an occasional recipe and a little humor or viral video mixed at the end like a cherry on top of a sundae.  I read it every morning to start my day.  Most stories have a link so you can keep it a high level read or dive in for more detail.  It’s great water cooler fodder if you have one to stand around!

Just for Fun: Which season represents you best, and why? 

Well, this question made me think!  Fall is a time of fresh starts.  Despite fall being associated with dormancy and the end of summer fun, I think years of being in back-to-school mode, getting new clothes, new school supplies and starting sports practices all make it feel like a time of renewal.  The organized planner in me makes time in September to shake off any cobwebs that have formed from a more relaxed summer mode and kick back into a higher gear for personal and professional projects and initiatives.

Coaches…Can You Define Trust?

Coaches often say that trust is the key to their coaching success, but the term itself defies a universal definition. This post suggest three areas where we can leverage trust to strengthen our coaching practice.

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Great Leaders Coach or Risk Cheating Team Development

There is often a difference between how we are leading and how we would prefer to be leading – not to mention the impact on our teams and our organizations. There can also be a difference between how people are being led and how they would like to contribute and develop their long-term career potential. When we choose to eliminate the risk of cheating our team’s development by using a coaching approach as leaders, the effort creates a magnitude of impact for our organizations, our teams, and our own leadership that becomes irresistible.

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The 3 Things Your Next Pricing Survey Must Have

At Pricing for Associations, they have conducted numerous surveys for market research and market testing around value and pricing. They'’ve found that most surveys require three core components. If you're looking to DIY a survey on value and pricing in the next few months, this article is for you.

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Is it Time to Rethink Your Event Sales Strategy, Process and Expectations?

One year later, as we continue to watch the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in the United States, there is hope that we may start to see in-person meetings and events return in the near future. There are still however many unknowns related to events, and particularly for associations who rely heavily on this non-dues revenue source, there continues to be concern and angst with regards to revenue goals. Perhaps it’s time to consider plan B, C, and D…

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Six Types of User-Generated Video Content to Use to Maximize Engagement and Value for Your Next Event

"In our increasingly connected digital world, it’s more difficult than ever for event planners to cut through the noise, hold the attention of attendees, and deliver valuable engagement for event sponsors. It’s no surprise that 71.5% of event marketers say that virtual engagement tools will play a big role in their event strategies for 2021.  

To drive real engagement for your event, you need to invite your audience, speakers, staff, and sponsors to join in the conversation with you. Why? Because people want to interact with real people, not with brands. With user-generated video content, you can humanize your next event - whether it’s virtual, hybrid, or in-person - and create a valuable and unique experience that attendees won’t soon forget."

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Tips for Sponsor Relations and Retention

Associations continuously look to sponsorships to achieve non-dues-revenue goals. Putting your focus on sponsor retention will have long-term impact on your revenue goals and repeat support from sponsors. Here are 10 simple things you can do to improve your sponsor relations.

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