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Business by the bay.

Mark your calendars--ASAE's third Western Educational Forum promises more of the same good programming of years past, plus some.

Responding to West Coast members who expressed a need for more professional programming offered closer to home, ASAE created and held its first Western Educational Forum in January 1991. Though still young, this meeting is gaining ground in a region not traditionally recognized as an association hub.

The third meeting--to be held at the San Francisco Marriott, Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 1993--offers six one-day and three two-day seminars, six concurrent sessions, and a closing general session guaranteed to keep the creative juices flowing far beyond the ride home.

Dewitt Jones, author, motion picture director, and award-winning professional photographer, will speak on the fundamentals of creativity--what they are and how to gain access to them from where they reside within each one of us. "Creativity is the ability to look at what everyone else has seen and see something different--the ability to perceive the ordinary in an extraordinary way," says Jones. "To compete, today's professional must do just that." To help bring his creative vision into focus, Jones will share photographs from his 15 years with National Geographic.

According to Bob Elsner, CAE, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the California Medical Association, San Francisco, the meeting gets better each year. Elsner believes the conference is essential in that it provides association executives in the West the opportunity to improve their knowledge and professionalism.

Claudia Tessier, CAE, executive director of the American Association for Medical Transcription, Modesto, California, attended the first year's program and planned to return last year, but a board meeting conflicted. This year she hopes to schedule her association's board meeting around the forum dates. For her, the meeting's value is its mix of volunteer board and staff participation that "promotes working alongside of and communicating with" each other.

"The best benefit is that it's in our own backyard," says Jon Bednerik, executive vice president of the Western Association of Equipment Lessors, Oakland, California, and board president of the San Francisco Bay Area Society of Association Executives.

But don't just take a colleague's word for it. Go west and experience for yourself why ASAE's Western Educational Forum is a favorite among more than the locals. Here's a summary of what's in store.

Excellence in Customer Service: Exceeding Members' Expectations. "The message is clear for associations in the 1990s: Satisfy your members and customers or take great risk with your organization," says Jack Schlegel, CAE, president of Schlegel & Associates, Chevy Chase, Maryland. Schlegel, who has 17 years of experience as chief staff executive with three national associations, copresents this session with John Schuster, president of Schuster, Knuth & Kane, Kansas City, Missouri. Together they'll help you define your membership and determine how to best serve your members' needs, or how to implement a customer service program if you don't already have one in place.

Schlegel says the "roll up your sleeves and participate" session will use minilectures, case studies, and group discussion to help you answer these questions:

* Who are your members and customers, and are they the same?

* What do they want?

* Are different components of your association working at cross purposes in serving your members?

* How strongly is excellence in customer service reinforced throughout your entire association?

* And how do you know the answers to these questions?

Strategies for Membership Development and Retention. Richard McAdoo, CAE, president of Capital Association Consultants, Washington, D.C., will discuss how to target and market to maintain and build your membership base. The current economic situation is a "belt-tightening reality" for associations--requiring them to "do more with the same or the same with less." The crux, says McAdoo, is knowing your customers' needs. Instead of marketing to an "all-encompassing list," McAdoo will focus on how to cull and target "the 20 percent who are actually qualifying prospects" for your organization and will explain ways to keep the members you already have.

"Associations |also~ need to communicate the value issues of membership," says McAdoo, who is convinced that most people will pay higher membership fees if they believe in the worth of the return benefits. The session will also cover generational issues involved in recruiting--including the traditional, baby boomer, and baby bust generations--and how marketing messages should be different for each group.

The Hottest Legislative Issues Facing Today's Association. Because of the keen interest displayed at ASAE's second western conference, the legislative update that was consumed over a continental breakfast last year has surfaced as a full-day seminar at this meeting.

The programming--to feature seasoned ASAE Government Relations Section members--will consist of a mixture of presentation, panel discussion, and question and answer. According to Bob Boege, ASAE vice president of government affairs, this year's list of hot topics will include political action committee abolition, unrelated business income tax, and what to expect from the 103rd U.S. Congress. Attention will also focus on state-oriented issues such as volunteer protection, state service taxation of associations, and hotel bed taxes.

Total Quality Management for Associations: How to Get Started. TQ-what? TQM is a major shift in management thinking that focuses on member satisfaction; requires analysis of how your organization is run; strives to make products and services more responsive to member demand; and in return builds member loyalty.

"It takes time and teamwork," says Jim Dalton, CAE, deputy executive director of the National Society of Professional Engineers, Alexandria, Virginia. Dalton will lead this two-day training session designed for chief staff officers and key staff who would like to implement a total quality management program within their associations.

"Many associations represent industries that already incorporate TQM," says Dalton. "Association managers should be leading the pack, but at this point we're probably a bit behind the curve."

The information you gather from this workshop will help you

* become customer driven, internally and externally;

* improve the quality of association programs, services, products, and activities;

* exceed members' expectations;

* strengthen and foster teamwork within your association;

* streamline your association's internal processes; and

* decrease costs while increasing quality.

Symposium for Chief Elected Officers and Chief Staff Executives. A strong team is one in which each player knows the role of his or her position and plays accordingly. Designed for team attendance and developed specifically for the association chief staff executive, chair, and chair-elect, this two-day symposium will help participants develop a clear understanding of their respective roles and responsibilities and assess ways to operate in the best interests of the association, industry, or professional constituency served.

You'll want to sign up early for this session, which has been limited to 125 registrants. Copresenters are Glenn Tecker, president and chief executive officer, Tecker Consultants, Trenton, New Jersey, and Los Angeles-based senior partner Marybeth Fidler.

Emphasis will be on coordinating efforts and developing a strong board-staff partnership as well as building trust between volunteer leaders and staff, motivating volunteers, recognizing warning signals of potential problems, and facilitating communication between staff and elected leadership.

Executive Negotiation Skills: How to Get What You Want. "Negotiating sounds easy until you do it," says Jack Kaine, president of J. W. Kaine, Ltd., Kansas City, Missouri, and leader of this two-day program. Through case studies and role playing, participants will smooth out wrinkles in volunteer-staff conflicts, secure fair compromises with suppliers, and wade through salary and contract disputes. "Practice is a good deal of the learning," says Kaine.

"For executives, the challenge is to lead while appearing to follow--this requires excellent negotiating skills." Attend this session and learn the three elements of all negotiations and how to control them so that all parties win.

How to Communicate and Market Intangible Membership Benefits. What you see isn't all you get. Association executives know that much of what is delivered to members can't be held in their hands--legislative clout, image, member service, or networking and educational opportunities.

Workshop leader Joan Patricia "J. P." O'Connor is executive director of the University of Southern California Alumni Association, Los Angeles. Through this interactive session designed for the novice and seasoned professional alike, you'll brainstorm ways to ensure member recognition of the benefits your organization offers. The seminar will help you

* identify intangible member benefits, products, and services;

* learn special characteristics of intangible products and services;

* discuss the differences between products and packaging;

* explore the need for making your intangibles measurable; and

* develop strategies for selling and communicating intangibles.

Growth Strategies for Association Publications. "Associations depend upon their publications not only to provide a critical communication link with members, but also to contribute to the association's revenues," says program leader Debra Stratton, president of Stratton Publishing & Marketing, Inc., Arlington, Virginia.

The workshop will offer publication managers, publishers, editors, and advertising directors strategies to maximize editorial, graphic, and financial potential for their publications. The focus on strengthening editorial product will emphasize conducting readership research and repositioning and redesigning a publication based on research results. Stratton will also discuss ways to expand your publication's revenue:

* positioning to sell the association advantage;

* creating marketing strategies for peak performance;

* developing sales tools;

* setting rates; and

* identifying and building spinoff publications.

Boards That Make a Difference. Workshop leader John Carver, president of Carver Governance & Design, Inc., Carmel, Indiana, calls for a revolution--in the board room. "The potential leadership of boards and executives can be fulfilled only with a radical redesign of governance as we have known it."

In this interactive, problem-solving seminar, Carver will challenge participants to rethink board leadership and the "real business of governance--making policy, articulating the mission of the organization, and sustaining a vision." Carver's comprehensive approach to board-staff relations, policy development, accountability, evaluation, and monitoring will generate ideas on how to restructure boards to provide effective leadership. Among the gems you will carry home are how to distinguish board leadership from executive leadership and how to create a board and staff that can be strong simultaneously.

Concurrent sessions. Subjects of discussion for concurrent sessions, held Wednesday morning, February 3, include these topics:

* "Marketing Seminars and Conventions";

* "Why Good Execs Get Fired";

* "Leading Edge Strategies to Strengthen Your Organization's Competitiveness";

* "Strategic Membership Marketing: Seven Key Steps";

* "How to Deal With Difficult Staff and Members"; and

* "Contemporary Governance Models: Will They Work in Your Association?"

And Don't Miss This ...

Sunday afternoon is the traditional Western Educational Forum Super Bowl kickoff party. Come early and stay late to share the exciting large screen play-by-play of your favorite team. But don't stay too late to meet your other colleagues at the evening welcoming reception hosted by the San Francisco Marriott.

Pick your pleasure Monday night with theme dinners hosted by four area hotels: the San Francisco Marriott, Sheraton Palace, Westin St. Francis, and Parc Fifty-Five.

The more the merrier. On Tuesday, the San Francisco Bay Area Society of Association Executives again welcomes all conference participants to join its monthly luncheon. Then after the day's sessions, you can take the night off. Although San Francisco offers more than enough activity to fill an unstructured evening, ASAE will offer suggestions if you need help deciding.

Plan to attend one of six two-hour concurrent sessions Wednesday morning. And for the big finale, don your creative thinking caps for the closing general session with national lecturer Dewitt Jones, an expert in putting good ideas to work.


Full conference, Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 1993:

First person from an organization, $375; additional members from the same organization, $275. Volunteer members, $375.

Single-day registration: $195.

To register, call (202) 626-2725; TDD/TT (202) 626-2803; or fax (202) 371-8315. Send your registration form to ASAE Western Educational Forum, 1575 Eye St., N.W., Washington, DC 20005.

Karla Boyers is editorial secretary of ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society of Association Executives
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:includes related article; American Society of Association Executives' third Western Educational Forum
Author:Boyers, Karla
Publication:Association Management
Date:Nov 1, 1992
Previous Article:Achieving international excellence.
Next Article:Selling a dues increase.

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