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Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Organized Takeaways

Defining what takeaways you want from a conference or similar event ahead of time can be a great help. By doing so, you can set goals focus in on the topics most relevant to you and get more out of your investment.

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Podcasts

Listening to podcasts during your commute, while walking, or anytime you find the time can have many benefits. Find topics that interest you and learn something new.

3 Reasons Why Members Quit (And What to Do About It)

A robust, engaged membership means a thriving association. But if members are jumping ship, your association might be in trouble. For any association, retaining members is just as important as recruiting new ones. Here are three of the top reasons why members leave and how you can encourage them to stay.

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Quality Control

Having a quality control plan in place is important for any business looking to deliver products that exceed the expectations of their customers.

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Website

A good website should enhance the user experience and be a positive reflection of the company’s brand. A few small but valuable tweaks can make quite the difference. 

Craft a Vision that Inspires Members

Leaders in the association world have to inspire members, staff, and stakeholders to act. Whether that’s promoting a profession or supporting a cause, this work helps the organization move forward. One of the most effective ways to energize, inspire, and activate members is to share a vision statement for your association. A vision statement is … Read More

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Code of the Old West

When making decisions, a leader should consider all of the possible consequences – especially the potential, unintended ones.

Does Your Association Need a New Management Model?

If your association is struggling, you might be thinking about changing the program offering or dues structure. But what if the issue goes deeper, to the very way you run and operate the organization? There are four main models of association management, from volunteer-run all the way to full-service management from an association management companyIf … Read More

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Conflict of Interest

An effective way to eliminate any conflicts of interest is to have transparency. One way to do this is by having board members, or other decision makers, sign disclosures that highlight any potential conflicts. 

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Work ON Your Business

Do you know the difference between working IN your business and working ON your business?

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Leaving a Voicemail

When leaving a voicemail, try including your number at the beginning and end of your message.

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Create a Personal Brand

What’s unique about you? Start with the traits that make you stand and build your personal brand from there.

Offer an Unforgettable Conference Experience—6 Practical Tips

With today’s tech, associations can easily host meetings online. Yet face-to-face conferences continue to be popular. Why? It’s about the experience. A conference can transport attendees to new locations and offer extraordinary activities and opportunities. If you want to host a successful conference, focus on the attendee’s experience. Here are six practical ways to makeWith … Read More

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: The Value of a Small Notepad

Business cards are great but you should also invest in a branded notepad. The extra space to write, in combination with your company’s contact info, can be valuable in the right situations.

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Lose a Client? Try this.

Lose a client? Sometimes what you need to get them back is a bag of nuts .

5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Board’s Decision Making

Association boards of directors face many tough decisions. After all, the direction of the organization rests in their hands. To make things more complicated, board members have to collaborate to make decisions. That can be a challenge in itself! If you serve on a board that struggles with decision-making, try this five-step process. A structured … Read More

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: It’s Good to Have Humor

If you can’t be smart, be funny! A good joke can help lighten the mood and raise everyone’s spirits. Here’s one: What’s brown and sticky? A stick.

How to Boost Conference Attendance—Three Easy Ways

If you run an association, you understand the importance of conferences. Not only do they connect your members, they’re often an important source of revenue. So, if conference attendance is lagging, your association might be in trouble. Let’s fix that. Here are three simple ways to boost attendance at your next conference.

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Give Clients Permission to Say “No”

Recruiting new members for an association is important but not always easy. Being painfully polite and pleasantly persistent can help make the process smoother.

Celebrating 30 Years of Growth, Being a Great Place to Work

2018 marks TMG’s 30th anniversary, and we are so proud of our accomplishments and growth over the years! Our region’s business journal, BusinessWest, recently wrote an excellent story about our milestone.  Check it out below!

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Boost Employee Morale this Summer

Summer Fridays can be a win-win for both employees and employers. Try it out this summer.

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Antitrust Obligations

For an association to be successful, it’s important to follow anti-trust guidelines. If a topic is inappropriate to discuss at a board meeting, then it’s equally inappropriate to discuss at the bar.

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Plant a Tree

To celebrate Earth Week, one of our clients encourages 5th and 6th graders to plant trees while teaching them about the tremendous benefits they give us. Everyone should plant to tree and make our planet better.

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Always Say “Good Morning”

Small things can have a meaningful impact on people and company culture. One of the easiest and worthwhile habits is saying “Good Morning” every morning.

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: The “Feel, Felt, Found” Sales Technique

When selling to a client or prospective member, there may be objections over the cost of their investment. By using the “Feel, Felt, Found” technique, you can empathize, explain the ROI, and reach a mutual understanding.

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Assessing Core Values

Employee productivity is just one half of their contribution to company culture. The other half is how well they buy into your core values.

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Getting Guests to Mix and Mingle

Simple games and activities can be used to help guests start talking and break the ice.

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: A Smile CAN be Heard

Speaking with a smile can raise the spirits of your customers, your team, and yourself. A smile can even be heard through the phone!

Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Valentine’s Day Tip

It’s Valentine’s Day! Make sure to put a personal touch on showing your loved ones that you care.

What you Need to Know Before Hiring an AMC and How to Prepare your Organization

It can be tough to think about opening your doors to an association management company (AMC) for your organization. But when played right, association management companies are a valuable asset to provide solutions and increase revenue. This is particularly helpful if your company is experiencing growth and could use an extra lift to its internalIt can be … Read More

Social Media: Engage!

Does Your Association Need Social Media?  We’ll cut to the chase: the answer is yes! Some of our clients are initially resistant to starting a social media program for their association. Some think their demographic isn’t on social media. Others say that they’ve been fine without social media, so why change? But the truth is,Does … Read More

Find Your Banana Moment

By Laura Spencer Has a unique perspective or enlightening idea ever inspired you to change the way you do things? That kind of insight is as important in business as it is in broader life. Some people refer to those perspective-shifting experiences as “aha moments,” but for me they’re “banana moments.” I know, I know—itBy Laura … Read More

Meet Susan Martins, Controller & Office Manager

Susan Martins joined The Markens Group in October of 2008. Her role as Controller and Office Manager, she manages the accounting, event planning, training, and office for TMG. 1. How long have you been working in your field? 32 years 2. What are you most passionate about professionally? Personally? Professionally: getting the job done rightSusan … Read More

It’s the Most Generous Time of the Year

Many holiday stories center around charity. They call for those with greater means to take in the poor from the cold, feed the hungry, and share prosperity during the long winter months. Just think of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, where Ebenezer Scrooge ultimately changes his miserly ways and opens his heart and pocketbook toMany … Read More

The Markens Group Certified by Great Place to Work®.

The Markens Group has been certified as a great workplace by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work®. We earned this credential based on ratings from anonymous employee surveys. “It’s my personal philosophy, backed by research from Heskett and others, that employee satisfaction directly correlates to business success,” said Ben Markens, our president andThe … Read More

Don’t Rough Up the Mic: Tips for Awesome Presentations

By Laura Spencer, Member Services Coordinator Speaking at association conferences can be daunting—especially for those of us who don’t do it every day. Beyond preparing the material, there are a number of audio, visual, and logistical considerations that can truly make or break a presentation.

Meet Kate Smith, Member Services Coordinator

Kate Smith joined The Markens Group in May of 2017. Her Roll as Member Services Coordinator is to support all client activities, database management & collaborate with staff on different projects. 1. How long have you been working in your field? I’ve been in association management for 3 years, with a background in operations management.Kate … Read More

What’s That Smell?

The opportunity to network with peers is one of the biggest values of association conferences, yet it can be incredibly difficult to start the conversation if you don’t know anyone. Even the most extroverted folks still struggle to break in. Fortunately, there are many ways to start and sustain meaningful conversations. Of course, there areThe … Read More

Getting the Most From Association Conferences: an Attendee’s Perspective

By Stephen Brand, Executive Director of Global Learning and Development at Bay Path University During the past Spring, I attended six conferences back-to-back. What an experience! Those months were both exhilarating and exhausting—but extremely valuable. That’s because I went to each event with a plan. You’ve really got to think ahead, especially considering that theBy … Read More

Personal Relationships Drive Membership Growth

By Jim Sotiropoulos, TMG Association Executive An association’s success, or lack thereof, can be largely measured by how effectively it grows and retains its membership. Those associations that fail either to attract new members or to provide value to existing members will ultimately cease to exist. Therefore, most association managers are in a perpetual struggleBy Jim … Read More

Happy Employees Move your Mission

By Ben Markens, TMG president Whether you’re a trade association, a mission-based nonprofit, or a for-profit, we are all in the business of providing service to others. Outside the walls of the organization, virtual or otherwise, the customer has been and always will be king. But turning our focus inside, there’s another stakeholder group weBy Ben … Read More

Harnessing Data: Benchmarking in your Association

By Brian Chaisson, TMG Director of Industry Benchmarking Members typically join associations to network, learn industry best practices, or identify trends coming down the pipeline. However, a lesser-known but equally valuable reason is benchmarking – the study of comparative data in the industry. Industry benchmarking programs collect and compile member data to produce aggregated results, therebyBy Brian … Read More