AMPED President and Owner Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE has been invited to serve on Visit Indy’s Customer Advisory Board. Among her directives as a member of the Indianapolis-focused group will be reviewing the city’s regional tourism plan which includes such topics as convention center expansion, future hotel and attraction needs, and other topics of interest to Indianapolis convention customers.
For every one of our client meetings, staff pre-plan, re-plan, adjust, pack, ship and prepare for the unexpected —and the expected.
In preparing for the “big show,” however large or small, I reiterate to both our client and property staff the important aspects of the meeting, my expectations — and some of my pet peeves.
- Remember why we’re here. It is a privilege to be working with our members. Treat them like royalty.
- Best foot forward. For sure!
- First impressions count. Hotel, meeting space room sets should be in tip-top shape. The meeting room is the living room for your attendees. Are you proud to have them over?
- No garbage. No boxes, scraps of paper, used coffee cups or plates anywhere that attendees can see them.
- No eating at registration. It’s important for staff to keep up their energy in order to be on the top of their game, but eating should be done in the staff office or with attendees. One of my pet peeves when attending meetings as a registrant is “interrupting” staff from their breakfasts at the registration counter. Drinks are OK.
- Communication is essential. I schedule daily, or twice daily debriefs with client and venue staff. It’s just a few minutes to plan for the day’s events, make adjustments, set expectations, etc.
Case in point
We just finished another record-breaker, world-class event for AMPED client, www.controlsys.org. Upon arrival at the CSIA conference and following the pre-con, my meeting planner and I were not pleased with the physical condition of the property and expected the hotel to be more proactive with us in communicating some deficiencies we discovered on our own. This is where communication comes in. We swiftly requested a meeting with the general manager and heads of key departments to express our concerns and expectations. I was extremely impressed with their ability to respond, make changes and quickly adjust – a true sign of professionalism and value.
The real-time, back-stage adjustments that take place at an annual meeting are a very tangible example of those that association managers make each day as we respond to members’ needs, requests from leaders and new opportunities – all while focusing on the proactive work of retaining members, growing the associations, advancing the strategic plan and improving governance. It is a pleasure to have industry partners who share the same values and can turn things around quickly!
Communication is typically the key. And starts at the top!
The missions of most AMPED clients focus on education, networking and advancing their industries or professions. For some associations, the mission is carried out, in part, through a strong government relations program. Carefully managed and planned, legislative days are an important and tangible way to provide members the chance to meet in person with their representatives face-to-face and share real life examples of how policy decisions affect them and, often, the public.
Recently, AMPED staff co-coordinated a “Day on the Hill” for one of our state association clients, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors of Wisconsin. For the first time, we planned the event in partnership with another state-wide insurance association. After a morning of presentations by the governor of Wisconsin, the commissioner of insurance and several senators and representatives, members were briefed on industry issues and mobilized to meet at the Capitol where appointments were scheduled with their state representatives. It was an incredibly successful and insightful event for all involved and was further enhanced by the relationships built by the two partnering associations. The results were increased attendance and a bigger “voice” at the Capitol.
In March, association professionals from all over the U.S. will be meeting in Washington, DC for their own legislative event. My colleagues and I will connect with Congressional offices and share our stories on important association issues like tax reform and nonprofit governance. Continued Federal Government employee attendance at meetings is also still in danger – this issue affects many associations, including our own clients.
Not all associations have missions that require legislative monitoring or action. But for those that do, the ability to come together as a group or partner with related organizations can deliver greater impact and desired outcomes.
Lynda Patterson, FASAE, CAE, president and owner of Association Management Partners & Executive Directors (AMPED) has been named a Guiding Light advisor to the Association Transformation Organizers (ATO). Patterson is one of an esteemed group of sector advisors who deliver energy, wisdom and affirmation to the principal visionaries of ATO, who are themselves leaders in private, public and association sectors. The group strives to guide transformative change that is actionable and builds sustainable success.
ATO is convening a thought leadership think tank of association leaders to develop the agenda for succeeding in the next 5-10 years. The focus will be on the CEO/ED role and what it will take to successfully lead their organization through the changing landscape.
Their research to date has identified several priority issues including:
- Membership – creating more viable models and benefits
- Businification – the adoption of private sector practices
- Talent – the identification, recruiting and development of staff
- Member business disruptions – members themselves are experiencing challenges
- Value generation – understanding how value is created and received in the new market
Read more about Association Transformation Organizers.
Lynda Patterson featured in InBusiness Madison magazine
The Great Recession and the tepid economy that followed left many companies and organizations looking for any financial edge they could find. That’s no less true among nonprofits and professional and trade associations, which often need to leverage small budgets while staying focused on big missions.
While it’s tempting to say that the recent recession sunk all boats, some associations hoped to gain an edge by calling on association management companies (AMCs) to handle their day-to-day operations.
Indeed, according to a study conducted by LoBlue & Majdalany Management Group, standalone organizations (industry speak for associations that manage their own operations) fared significantly worse than AMC-managed organizations during the recession. According to the study, 66% of AMC-managed organizations operated in the black during 2008, at the height of the recession, while only 47% of standalone organizations did.
Association Management Partners, LLC announces that the firm recently became accredited by the AMC Institute. The accreditation was granted following an in-depth, third-party audit of the firm’s management and operations.
AMP, owned by Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, provides association leadership, event planning and management, member communications, public relations, financial management and other management services to multiple national and international trade associations and professional societies from its headquarters in Madison, Wis. Founded in 2008, the firm employs 10 people.
Of the more than 500 association management companies (AMCs) worldwide, AMP is one of just 70 firms that have achieved this prestigious accreditation, demonstrating that they operate with the highest level of professionalism and responsibility, and consistently meet or exceed industry standards.
Lynda Patterson and AMP featured in Wisconsin State Journal business column
Lynda Patterson runs her home the same way she runs her businesses. “We have a household manual,” said Patterson, executive director of the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives and owner of Association Management Partners. “We’ve had au pairs living with us up until last fall, so the household manual goes over the philosophy of our family: what things are important to us, what things aren’t as important to us, the values we live by.”
She and her husband, TJ, have four young children. “There are a few things that are very important to us: reading every night, getting enough sleep, eating a relatively healthy diet, going to church, being respectful of one another.”
Lynda J. Patterson, MS, CAE, president and owner of Association Management Partners, LLC, has been named a 2010 Fellow to the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and The Center for Association Leadership. Patterson is one of only five association executives nationwide to be honored in 2010.
"Fellows are identified by their demonstration of continual leadership, emotional intelligence and visionary and strategic thinking, as well as having earned certification in our industry. The selection committee agrees that these new Fellows exemplify these attributes," said R. Norris Orms, FACHE, CAE, chair of ASAE and The Center's Fellows Selection Committee.