Daily Buzz: What Freelancers Mean for Your Association

Contractors might be temporary, but treating them like part of the larger team can boost talent and productivity. Also: Improve your facilitation skills.

If your association works with freelancers, it’s not alone: About 60 million Americans make up the freelance economy—and that number is only growing.

But even as freelance workers become more commonplace, more often than not, they aren’t considered part of the larger team. Kevin Ordonez writes on Association Success that such differentiation only stands to hurt teams and productivity. Instead, organizations should learn to embrace freelancers.

“Freelancers are an incredible resource that can add depth of experience and specialized skills to an association’s human capital,” he says. “I view hiring freelancers as smart sourcing—augmenting teams with talent as needed and building your bench in ways that are both intelligent and efficient.”

Among the many benefits of hiring freelance workers is location—or lack thereof.

“If that perfect market analyst lives in Anchorage, and your office is in Dallas—no worries,” Ordonez says. “Videoconferencing and cloud computing have made working across geography almost seamless.”

Just remember to adjust communication styles and culture to ensure that freelancers feel like a part of the larger group.

Become an Effective Meetings Facilitator

Facilitating conferences and events is no easy task. Adrian Segar, a meetings designer and facilitator himself, says that, like anything, improving your facilitation skills starts with practice. But it also requires keen observation skills. Have you noticed that some elements of your meeting are confusing or generate different actions than intended?

If so, Segar suggests taking a step back and brainstorming improvements, be they in your meeting setup, language, and so on.

“Typically, for me, this involves musing over a period of time on what I noticed,” he says. “I’ve found this works best when I don’t immediately fixate on the first idea I get. Coming up with three or more options seems to lead to the best outcomes.”

Other Links of Note

Planning your first conference? Nonprofit Hub explains how to get started.

Event entertainment can make or break a meeting. BizBash shares red flags to look for when booking speakers and other entertainers.

Engage members with technology built with them in mind. Entrepreneur explains the user-experience design trends that are driving the industry.

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Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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