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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: 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: How to Get Great Photos of Your Guests

              The right lights and camera angles makes the difference.

                Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Great Tip for Air Travel

                It’s so convenient to charge your devices during an airplane trip, but sometimes the plugs wiggle around and you don’t get a good charge. Fortunately, Ben has come up with a clever solution!

                  Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Stop Doing

                  Ben Markens explains the benefits of using a “Stop Doing” list.

                    Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Planning

                    “Pile up enough tomorrows and you’ll look back to find all you have is a bunch of empty yesterdays.” Ben Markens speaks to the importance of strategic planning with our teams.

                      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.

                        Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Rehiring a Former Employee

                        Ben Markens shares his opinions on rehiring former employees.

                          Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Customer Satisfaction

                          Everything we do for our clients helps them to do something in return.  Sometimes conflict can arise. Ben Markens shares how to work with customers who are not satisfied.

                            Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Planning Ahead

                            Business planning is like driving. You have to sit back and look down the road to avoid hazards. Ben Markens shares his thoughts on planning ahead.

                              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

                                Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Engaging Employees

                                “Our organizations are nothing without the folks who work there.” Ben Markens shares how we use Gallup Q12 to make sure that employees are satisfied in their workplace.

                                  Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: First Time Attendees

                                  Attending a conference for the first time can be daunting for even the most social person. Ben Markens shares 3 things that his group does to make the experience more comfortable for first time attendees.

                                    Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Accreditation

                                    In 2014 our firm became accredited to the Association Management Company Institute. “It was definitely worth our time.” – Ben Markens

                                      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

                                        Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Holidays

                                        Many people take time off at the end of the year. Ben Markens has some food for thought as you reflect on the holidays and the state of your associations and business.

                                          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

                                            Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: The Rocket Book

                                            Ben Markens loves technology, and he found a notebook that allows him to connect his hand written notes to his synced file storage. And it’s reusable.

                                              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

                                                  Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Ways to Engage

                                                  “I’m always interested in new ways or continuing ways to engage the folks who work at The Markens Group.” Ben Markens talks about engagement opportunities he practices with The Markens Group team.

                                                    Ben’s Video Tip of the Week: Bad News First

                                                    “Tell me the bad news first, because the good news will never hurt me.” Ben Markens advises to address problems immediately and non-defensively. Happy customers are willing to wait.

                                                      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.