Lunchtime Links: Associations Battle NYC Soda Ban

Weeks after a controversial ban on large soft drinks was announced, multiple associations sue. Also: One association member's guide for conference newbies, with jokes.

Step away from the cup. That’s the message a number of trade organizations have for New York City, which has set its sights on banning large sodas. That and more in today’s Lunchtime Links:

The soda suit: On Friday, numerous associations and trade groups filed a lawsuit against New York City over an upcoming ban on the sale of sugary soft drinks more than 16 ounces, which is set to take effect in March. It’s not really a surprise the lawsuit happened — NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soft drink ban has been controversial for months, and the National Restaurant Association and American Beverage Association have been among the many groups fighting the law. The beverage industry organization has also worked on public-health initiatives in the wake of the law. Think the NYC soda ban will stick around?

These are spurious concerns based on the mistaken assumption that your presentation is designed to do anything as mundane as actually convey useful information.

Tips, with a wink: The American Anthropological Association has a hoot of an article for you potential meeting newbies. The piece, Kirsten Bell’s “Experienced Meeting Goer Provides Presentation Tips to Newbies,” skewers the culture of anthropological conferences, offering such nuggets as this one: “Sprinkle your paper liberally with non-English words and phrases. This is easiest done if you work in a locale where English is not the lingua franca. But don’t – and this is critical – actually translate what you are saying. Neophytes tend to worry that such tactics might be confusing, and unnecessarily alienate audience members who don’t speak the language. These are spurious concerns based on the mistaken assumption that your presentation is designed to do anything as mundane as actually convey useful information.” Clearly, this is brilliant advice.

Work “after hours”: Are you getting emails at all hours from a certain coworker or colleague? Don’t sweat it, Association Executive Management’s David M. Patt says — they’re not actually working 24/7. Instead, they kind of mix work and free time. “So, if those folk email you ‘after hours,’ it doesn’t mean they expect you to read their messages and respond right away,” he writes. “And they aren’t trying to impress you by showing how they are working when you are not.”

Think Middle East: Are you looking to expand your reach to the Middle East or North Africa? Peter Turner, MCI’s senior adviser of global development strategy, has some ideas for you, in a piece originally published in the European magazine Headquarters. Among the details he offers: “One of the repercussions of the Arab Spring has also been a greater scrutiny of associations in the region. Egypt is passing a new legislation that will involve much more government control in the operations of associations as well as legal hurdles in setting up of not-for-profit associations, especially those headquartered abroad.”

What local hurdles have you encountered in trying to expand globally?

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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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