The Strauss Blog

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 […]

Identifying and Mentoring Future Association Board Leaders

Recruiting and identifying future association board members and leaders should not be a seasonal activity for associations, rather it should be top of mind all year long. Progressive associations add “future leadership” as a standing agenda item at every board meeting to keep this on everyone’s radar, instead of simply addressing it a few months […]

The Importance of Role Clarity for Association Boards and Committees

I recently attended the Symposium for Chief Staff and Elected Officers led by Glenn Tecker and presented by the Canadian Society of Association Executives. This is an event that I attend each year with a volunteer leader from one of the associations that we manage as an association management company (AMC). While the content does […]

Association Memberships that Deliver Value

It should go without saying, members want value for their membership dues Times have changed and people no longer feel the need to belong to an association, rather they see themselves as customers of an association. For some generations, the desire to belong is enough, but more and more of today’s potential association members are […]

Turning Around Frustrated Volunteers

Even for the best run associations, inevitably a bump in the road will appear, seemingly out of nowhere. A variety of things can pop-up to surprise or derail a successful association, and how these situations are handled by the Executive Director or Chair, is the sign of the association’s leadership strength. Your association is looking […]