The Strauss Blog

Hosting Association Events Amidst a Global Pandemic: Adapting to New Health and Safety Standards

Since social distancing protocols were set in place, 2020 has seen association events cancelled left, right, and centre. As social gatherings are now restricted to small groups, we have seen hotels, convention centres and other venues prepare and publish new health and safety guidelines with the pandemic in mind. In August, I hosted an online […]

Keep Engaging Association Members During this Pandemic

What have I learned during March and April amidst the global economic pause and stay at home orders? I’ve learned that despite legislated closures, jobs being lost, and events being cancelled, association members are engaging with their associations more than ever! They want to be engaged and connected; they want to participate in something. The […]

The Best-Intentioned Association Boards Can Get Sidetracked

A lot of thought and energy goes into preparing the agenda for an association’s board of directors meeting, but without proper planning and structure, a strong board can easily lose track of priorities throughout the meeting. How to plan an agenda and how to ensure that board members arrive prepared is equally about respecting fellow […]

Managing Tough Board Conversations

Whether you are the Chair of an association board of directors, or the chief staff officer (Executive Director), facilitating tough conversations at the board level isn’t always easy. The best way to handle tough conversations is through open and transparent dialogue and, whenever possible, by arranging face to face meetings. It is important that the […]

Value Added: The Benefits of Meeting Association Members on their Turf

Connecting with association members is one of my favourite activities as an association leader. Whether at an annual conference or committee meeting, or even by a visit to their office, I always learn a lot from these in-person discussions. While it is easy to connect with members through email or over the phone, I have […]

Managing Remote Association Teams

National and international associations by their nature are accustomed to managing projects with a remote workforce, whether that is volunteers or staff. As our team of association professionals has grown, it has meant that all our staff are no longer working from our association management company’s office, rather we have staff working from home locally […]

Association Leadership Changes Can Be Hard – Lessons Learned

I spent a large part of the last year leading a national trade association through a major management change. The year saw the departure of the long-time CEO, the appointment of an interim CEO, and finally the transition from a stand-alone association to one managed by an association management company (AMC). In addition to these […]

Choosing Promotional Products & Gifts for Your Association Event Attendees

An essential part of any successful association event is giving away promotional products to promote the association, promote a sponsor, and to say thank-you to your event delegates and speakers for participating in your event. But have you ever wondered the best way to do that? Besides incorporating ways to engage your event attendees as […]

Association Collaboration – Is Your Association Partnering for Success?

Connecting people and collaborating with others are two of the things I enjoy most about the work that I do with our association clients. Seeing a group of people or associations coming together to create success for a common purpose is satisfying for me and effective for all of those involved when they realize the […]

Association Management Systems and Websites Are Becoming One and the Same

As an association management company, we spend a lot of time speaking to associations that are exploring different management options. During these discussions, some of the most common questions revolve around association management systems (AMS), which consist of databases, a website, payment systems, and sometimes much more. We are often asked: What AMS does your […]