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Quick Clicks: It's beginning to look a lot like #asae11

Believe it or not, the 2011 ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo is less than one month away, and it makes its first appearance in Quick Clicks this week, alongside several other must-read posts. Enjoy.

The yearly cycle. C. David Gammel, CAE, makes no mention of Annual in his post "The Association Cycle," but it hit home for me as we're all busy preparing for our biggest event of the year. I'd never thought of it this way before, but he makes a compelling point: "Associations, more than any other type of organization I've seen, are defined by their annual cycle."

Tips for #asae11. The Annual Meeting-related posts started with Joe Sapp, who will be a first-time attendee to this year's conference. He asked for some tips for a first timer, and he got some good advice both in the comments to his post and in separate posts from Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE, and Shannon Otto at MemberClicks.

Membership increases. Tony Rossell shares some data from the forthcoming 2011 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report that show substantial improvements in total membership, new members acquired, and membership renewals among respondent associations.

Complaining. Do you or your colleagues complain about your association's members? Is that a healthy practice? Eric Lanke, CAE, thinks not: "If [your staff] don't see your members as partners in your mutual success, you probably won't succeed in anything you set out to do," he writes.

Google+. It can be exhausting trying to keep up with every new development in the realm of social media. Fortunately, in the case of last week's roll-out of Google+, you can find some initial reactions from Maddie Grant, CAE, at SocialFish, who shares an introductory video, and Maggie McGary, who explains "Why I'm not Giddy Over Google+."

Presentation formats. Jeffrey Cufaude warns association conference planners to "Be Careful of Format Fetish," arguing that new waves in presentation styles (think Open Space, Pecha Kucha, IGNITE) should be adopted if they match the event's needs, not just because they're the new cool thing to do.

Expo halls. In many ways, they're a lot like shopping malls, Jeff Hurt writes. In "Mall Science: What Your Conference Can Learn From The Mall," he shares six lessons expo planners can learn from the shopping-mall experience.

E-learning. The downside of in-person education is often that space is limited. But starting a waiting list isn't the way to go, says Ellen Behrens. Rather, on-demand online learning can let your members access education on their time, not yours.

Leadership before strategy. Judith Lindenau shares a story about a grantmaking foundation with an interesting approach to ensuring its donations are spent well: it requires its beneficiary organizations to display skill in its leadership—or go through training to develop it—before receiving grants.

Control. Jamie Notter revisits the pitfalls of seeking control over everything we do within our organizations. This time he shares a perspective that says humans are wired to seek control even if they know it's just an illusion of control. No wonder it's so difficult to overcome.

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