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Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Facilitation

Brainstorming is about quantity and creativity. Ben Markens shares some tips on being an effective facilitator.

    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

      Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Getting More Out of Q & A

      At your meetings, do you have problems getting people to participate during the Q&A portion? Here’s a tip that we often use.

        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.

          Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Gobble Gobble

          As Thanksgiving approaches we think about how thankful we are for our customers and members. Ben Markens talks about the personal touch we put on sending our appreciation to them.

            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

              Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Competitor’s Website

              “The first place people go to learn about our organization is our website.” Ben Markens shares tips on making sure your website makes the best first impression.

                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

                          Know Your Members, Retain Your Members

                          Members are key to the success of any association. Without their support, associations simply can’t accomplish their goals. Though attracting new members is certainly important, engaging and retaining existing members is just as crucial, if not more so. In my years leading TMG’s member services team, I’ve found that a personal touch truly goes aMembers … Read More

                            Networking – A Real Value of Membership

                              At a recent association meeting, I met a first-time attendee whose goal was to bring one really good idea back to his company. Towards the end of the conference, after he had connected with other members, he told me he had five great ideas to bring back! This is the true value of networking, … Read More

                              Thank Your Volunteers this Holiday Season

                              As you make your gift list this holiday season, don’t forget to spread some cheer to your association’s Board members and volunteers. Even the simplest token of gratitude will make them feel appreciated—and encourage them to continue their service into the new year.

                                Keep Tech Hiccups from Turning Into Showstopping Snafus With 3 Easy Tips

                                At one point or another, we’ve all lived through an unexpected technical snag that threatened to derail a conference: the sound system blows out, a screen suddenly goes blank, or a speaker’s mic mysteriously goes silent. Frustrating as it may be, the lesson here is that technology is fallible. Although there may be little youAt one … Read More

                                  Effective Association Board Development: The 4th “W”

                                  If you’re in association management, you’ve likely heard of the “Three Ws” of an effective Board. According to this popular view, your Board should include a balanced mix of wisdom (knowledge and expertise in the industry or field), wealth (access to capital resources), and work ethic (dedication and consistent ability to complete tasks). While theseIf … Read More

                                    Association Insights from Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak

                                    Although we are all fans of Apple products here at The Markens Group, none of us is more passionate about the brand than President Ben Markens himself. So given the opportunity to sponsor Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to speak on May 1, we jumped on it. Although “Woz” didn’t disappoint with his candid and sometimesAlthough … Read More

                                      Harness Sponsor Expertise To Generate Member ROI

                                      With the growing importance of non-dues revenue to an organization’s bottom line, association managers must work harder than ever before to maximize sponsorship dollars. Yet keeping sponsors satisfied can be a tall task when generating member value is a top priority. The solution? Harness your sponsors’ expertise by inviting them to provide valuable, noncommercial programmingWith the … Read More

                                        Drive Results by Recognizing your Employees

                                        Although your employees likely come from a wide range of professional and personal backgrounds, perform varying duties, and have differing levels of authority, they all want to be recognized for the contributions they make to your organization. As a manager or executive, you should make an effort to recognize employees for their good work, notAlthough … Read More

                                          Don’t Lose Market Share to Your Competitors

                                          When and at what frequency do your customers seek out your products or services, and when do they seek out the same products or services from your competitors? While it’s okay to have less than 100% of a customer’s business, you can better your organization, and increase your customer share by identifying the reasons whyWhen and … Read More

                                            How to Make an Uncomfortable Call

                                            Here’s a tip that’s sure to take you out of your comfort zone: call up a former customer—one who moved on despite your quality work—and ask them what you did wrong.