Thursday Buzz: Recognizing the Association World’s Brightest Minds

Innovators across the association and nonprofit spectrum earn a night in their honor. Plus: The strategy of releasing Super Bowl ads early.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to more accurately describe the innovation program at the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The association world’s best and brightest got a little notice on Wednesday night.

“Washington’s Leading Association and Nonprofit Innovators,” an event in Arlington, Virginia’s, Crystal City neighborhood, recognized 20 association executives for their groundbreaking approaches to technology, revenue, and events. The event was hosted by Bisnow Ventures and ASAE, among others.

Three of ASAE’s Innovation Grant Program recipients received honors Wednesday night:

Cindy Crouse, CAE, of the International Association of Diecutting and Diemaking (IADD) was recognized for her work in helping the industry trim its travel costs through the use of technology. The trade group supplies plants with an internet-connected tablet that assists the factories in giving virtual tours. IADD now shares the videos with its members as part of its educational and recruitment efforts.

Over at the Association of American Medical Colleges, Bill Mallon tackled a common organizational problem: building innovation competencies among staff and improving the association’s mindset for innovation. Among his approaches was an innovation competition. It got fun and competitive as AAMC staff submitted proposals in video, song, or poem form.

Elizabeth Merritt, the founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums, took on the limits in educating members of the American Alliance of Museums. Through the use of online education programs, she expanded teaching sessions beyond just 80 people, to a theoretically unlimited number. Merritt also set up “bite-size” learning programs that used digital badges to show individual progress.

Super Stuff

The other game at the Super Bowl? Commercials. Matt Miller, president and CEO of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), was hosted on NBC’s TODAY show this morning.

There’s already lots of talk ahead of Sunday’s game: Budweiser is in the lead in positive feedback thus far—and GoDaddy’s attempt to parody Budweiser’s puppy commercial fell flat with the public.

Also airing this weekend: Selfies from Kim Kardashian and a 90-second long Nissan bit.

But doesn’t it seem a little early to release these ads? AICP’s Miller explains that this strategy creates pre-Super Bowl buzz, turning active watchers into brand ambassadors.

“It can really be a big win for marketers who get it right,” Miller told Today‘s Natalie Morales.

The cost of a Super Bowl ad this year? It’ll put you back somewhere between $4 million and $4.5 million for a 30-second airing.

The Latest Tips

Pricing a hot topic for your association? Colleen Dilenschneider, chief market engagement officer for IMPACTS, might be able to help you clear up some of the big questions. She offers data to help organizations price events, give affordable access, and use promotions.

The power of experience needs to be embraced at conferences, argues Velvet Chainsaw Consulting‘s Jeff Hurt. He says that organizers’ thinking may be “screwed up.”

One of the best ways to lure people in? Storytelling. That said, going too far in the wrong direction can end up annoying your customers. Over at CMS Wire, David Chiu and Linda Bustos offer suggestions on how to avoid that.


Patrick deHahn

By Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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