Sector and AuSAE News

  • 21 Jun 2022 2:19 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    Congratulations to ADAVB President Dr Warren Shnider and the new ADAVB Branch Council following our recent branch elections. Dr Warren Shnider is a registered specialist in special needs dentistry. He is Head of the Integrated Special Needs Dentistry Unit at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne and is in specialist private practice in Hawthorn. Dr Shnider is also Academic Lead, Special Needs Dentistry at La Trobe University and a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons. Dr Shnider is an examiner and an accreditation assessor for the Australian Dental Council and a specialist advisor for the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency.

    We also welcome our new Branch Executive team: Dr Jonathan Teoh (Vice President), Dr Jeremy Sternson, Dr Andrew Heredia and Dr Carolyn Ng and congratulate newly elected first time council member Dr Conny Qian (2019 La Trobe University graduate). Stay tuned for more information in July’s Victorian Dentist.

  • 10 Jun 2022 6:06 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    The How do your views on association staffing, meetings, and membership compare to those of fellow executives? 

    Marketing General released the 3rd Edition of its Association Economic Outlook Report the other week, which includes the perspectives of roughly 500 association professionals and consultants. Association professionals also shared assessments of their associations' responses to the pandemic in 2020. The report is helpful to association professionals looking to benchmark their 2022 forecasting and plans against others in the association sector. This week's blog features ten quick stats:


    • 92% of association executives believe their association responded and adapted quickly to the events unfolding in 2020
    • Factors supporting the quick adjustments were attributed to:
      • The rapid pace of senior executive decision-making (81%) 
      • Staff expertise in launching new initiatives and programs (79%)


    • 71% of associations saw an increase in member engagement in 2021
    • 85% of associations expect an increase in member engagement in 2022
    • 44% of associations plan to increase their 2022 membership marketing budget


    • 71% of associations plan to keep the distributed workforce model as an option for employees moving forward
    • 54% are concerned about the deterioration of morale and company culture from a remote workforce
    • 66% worry about having fewer opportunities to develop communication and relationships among co-workers


    • 44% plan to host a hybrid event
    • 39% plan to host an in-person only event
    (Editor's note: This survey was in the field in October and November of 2021 - more current feedback on plans for association meetings indicates a higher trend towards in-person meetings due to member preference and the added cost of producing hybrid events.) 

    Access your copy of the Association Economic Outlook Report to see how the outcomes and trends of other associations compare with your experiences.

    The full report is available at

    first published MSAE 2022

  • 31 May 2022 1:32 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) has announced the appointment of four board members with John Winter, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association (ARITA); Craig Young, Chief Executive of the Telecommunications Users Association New Zealand (TUANZ); and Paul Nicolaou, Executive Director of Business Sydney, joining the board for the first time. We are delighted to welcome back continuing and re-elected board member, Holly Morchat Stanko, General Manager, Association of Consultants & Engineers New Zealand.

    These Board members will serve with Lyn McMorran, Executive Director of the Financial Services Federation, Peter Saffin, Chief Executive Officer of the Mathematical Association of Victoria, and Elise Adams, Chief Executive Officer of the NZ School Trustees Association.

    Damian Mitsch, National Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Dental Association, will be stepping off the board after completing his full term of service. We are thankful for his commitment, contributions, and support over his six years of service.

    Fellow directors Paula Rowntree, Head of Events & Experience, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and Leigh Catley, General Manager, Communications of Federated Farmers of New Zealand will also be stepping off the board after two years of service. We are grateful for their service and support.

    “It has been yet another extraordinary year for us all, but it is an exciting time for the association sector with a bright future ahead of us,” said McMorran.

    “We will continue to be challenged with unexpected circumstances; however, we have adapted and continued moving forward. The borders are opening, people are reconnecting and beginning to enjoy the business benefits of meeting face-to-face at in-person events. We are looking forward to getting back to the real trans-Tasman sharing of ideas that AuSAE has been so good at in the past.”

    Lyn McMorran, AuSAE’s President, thanked the organisation’s partners for their contribution and commitment to our members and the association sector.

    “We have a great network of organisations who share our passion for the association sector and have been providing such excellent value to our members.”

    McMorran said, “Finally, I wish to thank our members for their continued support of AuSAE. Without our members, there isn’t an “Association of Associations”. We look forward to continuing to work with our members and partners over the next year; together, we can create a better, brighter future for Associations and their Executives.”

  • 13 May 2022 6:29 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    To encourage better respect towards people’s boundaries, event hosts are using colored accessories to help people communicate their comfort around physical touch

    Lanyard system

    While organising the conference, provide a green, yellow, or red lanyard to participants so they can indicate their level of engagement comfort to others.

    The green means, ‘I’m fine. I’m comfortable. Come give me a hug,’

    The yellow means, ‘I’m not so comfortable. Maybe give me a fist bump and stay 1 to 3 metres away from me. I’ll have a mask on maybe.’

    The red means, ‘If you can keep 6 feet from me, I’d appreciate it. I will have on a mask.’”

    People can display their own comfort level—and most importantly, you can see it from a distance. Creating a safe environment for you to feel comfortable and still network and make connections and do all those kinds of things that you do when you attend a conference.

    Attendees will choose their lanyards when they get to the conference. Attendees, if they change their mind while at the event and begin to feel more or less comfortable, can ask staff to swap out their lanyard.

    In addition to the lanyard system, the organization is considering using color coding for other things, like Reception tables.

    • Green table, they may have 10 chairs,
    • Red table, they may have four chairs.

    So, people can perceptually feel comfortable and see what that looks like before they join.”

    Send out an email every other week to discuss updates and safety protocols.

    The hardest thing about planning for this aspect of the conference is the changing regulations, which Shanklin and meeting staff are following closely. Right now, the Fort Worth Convention Center does not require masks, so the lanyard system makes sense. If anything changes, the organisation will reflect that in their final plans and language used to describe the system.

    Make the event be safe. And make sure you are also giving people the opportunity to be as comfortable as possible.

  • 26 Apr 2022 11:00 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    When was the last time you scrolled social media or the news and saw the word ‘community’? We’re willing to bet it was within the last hour.

    As big believers in the power of community, we’re loving the attention communities are getting. It seems everyone is busy building, joining, promoting or celebrating communities and it’s just what the world needs in the aftermath of the isolation and distance we’ve experienced over the past two years.

    Conferences have always played an important role in community-building, especially among professional associations, and here we unpack how this has become more relevant than ever.

    For many associations, in-person conferences used to be a keystone, annual touch point. But beyond a handful of folks making a conscious effort to stay in touch and perhaps a survey, post-event ‘engagement’ was virtually non-existent. If you were really savvy, you’d create an online forum for participants to “continue the conversation”, but this rarely worked to build and maintain a true sense of community.


    Because community building is not something you “set and forget”. It requires leadership and stewardship, and most important of all, your members need a compelling reason to keep in touch.

    -> Enter virtual

    Who would’ve thought the very format we used to shun would not only bring us closer than we could’ve imagined, but has taught us to stay close.

    It’s safe to say most of us have mastered and now consider virtual meetings to be the norm so that’s a big barrier removed. Sure, Zoom fatigue is real – but now it’s reserved for poorly designed online experiences.

    As your members seek meaningful connections with others in their industry, it’s time for your association to show how much you’ve learnt through the pandemic about why and how your members will gather, how often, and where.

    Interweaving in-person gatherings with regular, purposeful, virtual touchpoints will show your prowess in community-building and care for your members.

    Our tips for simple but effective virtual community gatherings:

    • Take the time to design a program, better yet a roster, that delivers value to your members
    • Create a schedule to prime participants and set expectations
    • Focus on quality over quantity in the r(Z)oom – smaller groups of members online will work much better for meaningful connections over vast numbers of anonymous black boxes
    • Keep the infrastructure simple and lean in to familiar tools - Zoom, Google docs etc. will suffice
    • Share ground rules in advance and at the start of the session so participants have plenty of warning and can opt in: e.g. mics on, cameras on, energy ON

    Perhaps you’ve already built a community, but struggling to maintain it – or you’re in the early days of building a community of and for your members; whichever camp you fall into, a properly researched, designed and implemented calendar of online and offline events will go a long way to achieving those goals. 

  • 22 Apr 2022 6:35 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    Organising an event in Wellington has become even easier with two premium venues combining under one umbrella – Tākina Events.

    As of April 1, Te Papa Venues and Tākina, Wellington’s new convention and exhibition centre opening in mid-2023, officially began operating under the new brand.

    The partnership enables business events planners to access and book the spaces and services of two of Wellington’s premium conference venues together.

    And situated just across the road from each other in the heart of the vibrant, walkable capital, it’s also ideal for delegates.

    Te Papa is one of the capital’s leading conference and events venues hosting more than 900 events each year.

    Meanwhile, bookings are flowing in for Tākina, which offers 10,000sqm of flexible meeting and events space over two floors, catering for up to 1,600 delegates in the main plenary space.

    The new combination means Tākina Events will not only attract and deliver a wider range of conferences, exhibitions and events, but it will also ensure events are delivered at an international standard with a distinctly Wellington flavour.

    “What is already an exciting new asset for Wellington, combined with the venue spaces at Te Papa under one operation, now gives us an opportunity to deliver unique events on a scale the capital hasn’t seen before,” says Tākina Events general manager Andrew Dorrington.

    “And joining forces will help to support the promotion of the capital as a vibrant destination for hosting local and international events,” he says.

    “With flexible spaces, built-in technology and celebrating local cuisine in the heart of Wellington, and one dedicated team to run the operation means clients – and delegates - benefit from a more efficient service across both buildings.”

    Conference & Events Ltd managing director Janet Matheson is excited about the Tākina Events team coming together under one brand.

    “We’ve worked closely with the team over several years and we appreciate the experience they bring to the operation.

    “Not only are they a well-oiled machine, already having a great relationship with them means we can hit the ground running once the new build opens.”

    CTA: Visit

  • 15 Apr 2022 12:52 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    Voting is now open for the Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) 2022 Board Election; and will close on Monday, 30 May at 12pm AEST.

    Board nominees
    As an AuSAE Member, your vote counts in our 2022 Board elections.

    You will find the fifteen (15) candidates below with further information about the voting process, which runs from 16 May to 30 May 2022.

    • Anita Campbell, CEO Nusery and Garden Industry NSW and ACT
    • Craig Young, CEO of TUANZ
    • Greg Harford, Chief Executive of Retail New Zealand
    • Hilary Beaton, Executive Director of the Public Libraries of New Zealand
    • Holly Morchat Stanko, General Manager for the Association of Consulting and Engineering New Zealand
    • Jane O’Dwyer, CEO Cooperative Research Australia (CRA)
    • Jodie Long, CEO of the Australasian Sonographers Association
    • John Winter, CEO of the Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association (ARITA)
    • Kerry L’Anson, General Manager, Member & Community Engagement at Optometry Australia (OA)
    • Leigh Catley, General Manager of Communications at Federated Farmers of New Zealand.
    • Lindsay McGrath, CEO at Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Australia
    • Michelle Bilcavs, CEO of the Association of Consulting Surveyors National
    • Osman Mewett, CEO of Australian Seed Federation
    • Paul Cargill, Head of Growth and Development at Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
    • Paul Nicolaou, Executive Director of Business Sydney

    Board positions

    Members will vote to elect:

    • Four (4) Directors.

    The successful candidates will take office following the AuSAE Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 31 May 2022 and serve on the Board for two years.

    They will be part of a seven-member Board comprising the President and six (6) Directors.  The Board will appoint one of their members to serve as the Vice President.

    What does being a Director involve?

    As a Board member, you will help shape AuSAE's future direction. You will bring your knowledge, skills, and experience and provide strategic guidance to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Association. You will be responsible for setting the core activities of AuSAE, reflecting the views of Members and for strong governance, risk, and financial management.

    Being a Director provides an opportunity to contribute to the association sector and ensure that AuSAE is an association that you will continue to be proud of.

    Skills and attributes

    AuSAE seeks Directors with skills, attributes, and experience to support the CEO and lead the Association. These include:

    • Corporate governance
    • Finance and risk management
    • Strategic planning, implementation, and review processes
    • Communication and marketing
    • Networking and leveraging networks
    • Association industry and issues affecting the sector

    Ideally, the Board will comprise individuals with these skills and experience.

    Election Process

    AuSAE elections are governed by AuSAE By-Laws and an independent election specialist is appointed to manage the voting process.

    The following table provides details of the election timeline.

    Nominations open

    22 April 2022

    Nominations close

    April 2022

    Voting opens  

    16 May 2022

    Voting closes

    30 May 2022, 12pm AEST

    Directors take office

    31 May 2022, AuSAE Annual General Meeting

    Want to know more?

    Information about the 2022-2023 Board of Directors can be found on the Board of Directors webpage

    To find out more about the election process or the work of the AuSAE Board, please contact the AuSAE Board of Directors

  • 25 Mar 2022 10:38 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    Shorter and simpler Australian domain names launch on 24 March 2022.

    .au direct (e.g. represents Australia’s first new .au namespace since 2004 andwill provide Australians with greater choice when building their online presence. For Australian businesses, .au direct will provide short, simple and uniquely Australian domain names, a greater choice of website or email address ending in .au, as well as addresses that are easier to type into mobile devices.

    Registering new .au direct names

    From 24 March 2022, Australian businesses will be able to register new .au direct names. These are names that are available to the public on a first come, first served basis as they are not already registered in any other .au namespace e.g., or New names can be registered via any participating .au accredited registrar.

    Registering the exact match of an existing .au domain you hold

    If you already hold a .au name in another namespace e.g., etc. you will have six months from 24 March until 20 September 2022 to apply for its exact .au direct match. For example, if you are the registrant of you will have until 20 September 2022 to apply for via a participating .au accredited registrar. In most cases you’ll be able to register and begin using your matching .au direct domain name soon after you apply for it.

    In some cases, there may be more than one applicant for the same .au direct domain name as there are different registrants that hold the same domain name licence in different namespaces.

    For example:

    • Tina is the registrant of
    • Gene is the registrant of

    Both are registrants eligible to apply for

    In these cases, the .au direct exact match will be allocated according to the Priority Allocation Process. If you are an existing registrant, you can expect to hear from your existing .au registrar about the launch of .au direct and how you can apply for the exact match of any .au names you already hold licences for.

    Applying to register your matching .au direct name is optional and has no effect on your existing .au domain names. Your existing name in the .au domain will continue to operate as it does today, provided you maintain your registration.

    More information

    For more information about .au direct and how it may impact your business, we’ve developed detailed factsheets on .au direct and the Priority Allocation Process.

    If you want to hear the latest news about .au direct and important updates about the .au domain, you can become a .au member. It’s free to join and there are a range of member benefits, including invitations to regular events and webinars. Become a .au member today!

  • 25 Mar 2022 4:23 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    Lots of companies realized that customer service wasn’t cutting it anymore, so the focus shifted to customer experience to respond to changes in customer demands. Lessons from the shift can pave the way for associations to improve the member experience.

    By Lisa Boylan Mar 15, 2022

    There has been an evolution from customer service to customer experience in recent years. It makes sense because, if you think about it, service is a pretty one-sided proposition. You are providing something to someone based on what you think they want. But what if you had a really good idea of what members want because you actually figured it out—and applied it?

    “Everybody thinks about the member experience,” said Kurt Heikkinen, CEO of Forj, a member experience and virtual events platform. “And there are parallels to customer experience with member experience.”

    A More Personal Experience

    By adapting lessons from customer experience to member experience, association professionals have an opportunity to improve the member experience by establishing relationships that are more meaningful and less transactional. Doing that will help boost member growthretention, and engagement, Heikkinen said.

    Understanding what members want and realizing that it probably goes beyond just a resource, course, or certification means looking at other customer-focused businesses that are responding to consumers on a more personal level and meeting their needs in the moment, without glitches, complications, or delays.

    For example, during the pandemic, consumers became accustomed to easily accessing streaming services and products from online vendors. And those expectations carried over into their experience with associations. If consumers can have straightforward interactions daily with their service providers, they are going to expect the same convenience from associations. Notably, 73 percent of customers said that one extraordinary experience raised their expectations of other companies, according to customer engagement research done by Salesforce.

    Measurable Outcomes

    Added to the mix, association CEOs are contending with multiple challenges, including competing priorities, a lack of resources, and reduced budgets. “Some of that comes from a lack of strategic alignment,” Heikkinen said.

    To help address that gap, Forj recently launched its MX Maturity Model [registration required], a framework to help leaders identify where their association is on the continuum of excellence in member experience. Providing members with a better experience starts with understanding why they join an association. It is usually for many reasons, including to learn, grow, contribute, and be part of a community. They want to connect and have an experience that meets their needs in a proactive and personalized way, which will reinforce their connection to the community.

    Having a positive experience increases members’ desire to not only sign up once, but also to come back to the community, renew their membership, and make an investment to advance their career, body of knowledge, and impact in their field of work and industry.

    It’s clear that consumers’ expectations have changed dramatically. “It’s moved from reactionary to predictive and personalized,” said Heikkinen. “We expect our service providers to know us. We expect them to understand who we are already and to tailor, personalize, and predict what our needs are before we have to ask for them,” he said.

    Taking a page from customer experience trends and applying it to the member experience will be a useful roadmap for associations to follow as they proactively seek to meet members’ evolving needs and expectations. “It’s what today’s members—and tomorrow’s members—will expect,” Heikkinen said.

    By Lisa Boylan

    Lisa Boylan is a senior editor of Associations Now.

    Originally posted here

    How Customer Experience Trends Can Improve the Member Experience | Associations Now

  • 25 Mar 2022 4:19 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    The Great Resignation is only a small part of the employment story. We’re in the midst of The Great Reshuffle too. People aren’t just leaving jobs; they’re finding new ones. 

    In this reshuffle, your association is in a prime position to offer certification programs to professionals working in and entering your industry. So if you haven’t yet, now is the time to get your team and technology ready to take advantage of this massive market growth potential.

    Why Certifications Are More in Demand Than Ever

    I find it really interesting that during the pandemic, enrollment in short-term credential classes increased by 70%.  That makes sense, in an uncertain economy, career security means reskilling and upskilling. Jobseekers see certifications as a differentiator in the talent marketplace. Those who lost dead-end jobs during the pandemic know certifications will open up better opportunities for them. Professionals switching careers or looking for advancement understand the value of having industry credentials on their resumes.

    But, don’t forget that the demand for certifications is driven by employers too. In industries undergoing change, employers need staff who have the skills to keep their businesses profitable. Companies can’t do all this training themselves. They naturally look to your association to help them stay competitive as a business and as an employer.

    What It Takes to Be the Premier Provider of Certifications in Your Industry

    We all know that during the pandemic, habits and routines changed. Working, shopping, entertainment, education, socializing, you name it—everyone had their own digital transformation. Your association had to shift gears and speed up its digital transformation too, starting with the mindsets of staff and leaders. 

    Think and Work Agilely 

    I know one thing for sure, agile isn’t just for software developers. Debra BenAvram, FASAE, CAE, CEO of the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies, spoke to Associations Now about a new certification program: “Now, if I don’t get that to market in an eight-month period, I may as well not even bother trying. We’re competing with the Amazons, Googles, and other groups like that, and we’ve got to compete. That’s what our members are expecting from us.” 

    How long does it take for a program idea to go from conception to launch at your association? If you want to remain relevant in your market, you can’t afford to take months or years to launch new programs. Associations that pivoted quickly during the pandemic and experimented with new practices were rewarded with larger audiences, more engagement, and increased revenue. 

    Agility requires having ideation and decision-making processes that allow you to act quickly despite not having all the answers. You also need configurable SaaS technology, like an AMS, that allows you to adapt to new scenarios. (Bonus points if the AMS has a built-in Certifications Management solution.)

    Become the Professional Development Partner for Industry Employers

    Who’s educating your industry’s workforce now? How much business do your competitors have? What’s preventing you from taking that market share back? 

    When you make it easy for employers to do business with you, they will rely on your certification programs to help them fill skills gaps and retain employees. Establish an employer advisory council to help you identify in-demand competencies and compliance training needs, develop career pathways, and ensure your certificate and certification programs are teaching and validating the right skills and experience.

    Develop credentialing programs for early-career professionals so they can quickly acquire the skills they need, prove their mastery of those competencies, and show prospective employers their commitment to ongoing growth. 

    Differentiate Your Programs from the Competition by Focusing on the Learner Experience

    With all the online competition, education is a commodity— too often, the lowest price wins. To rise above the rest, you must focus on the learning experience. What can you provide customers that they can’t get anywhere else? What need do they have that is going unfulfilled? 

    Do market research to find information. Talk with people and watch what they do. Are they looking for more opportunities to connect and have conversations with others? Then build that into your programs. Experiment with ways to bring learners together more often. 

    Tune-up Your Smart Marketing Machine 

    There’s a lot of noise in your audience’s inboxes and social platforms, so your marketing campaigns must grab and hold their attention. Earn your audience’s attention by telling them what they need to hear in a way that makes them want to take action. What emotions can you activate? What will also appeal to their logical mind?

    I recommend starting with the basics. Know what you want (goals), how you’re going to measure progress toward those goals (metrics), and then come up with persuasive, relevant, and helpful messages targeted at different audience segments. See which tactics meet your metrics and which don’t, then tweak and test again. 

    If you don’t understand your target audience’s behavior, interests, and aspirations, none of this will work. Siloed data is of no use here. You need the full picture of a member or customer—one you can get if your AMS’ API makes it easy to integrate with other systems. 

    Tap into the Experience and Network of Your Technology Partners

    You usually only think about going to your technology partners when you have questions about your software, but your partners are focused on people and practices too. When thinking about experiments and new directions, your Customer Success Manager can help you figure out how to leverage your AMS to make these visions happen. 

    Your tech partners have seen all kinds of programs at associations facing the same challenges and using the same technology. They can introduce you to counterparts in other organizations. I recommend starting a peer network to discuss challenges, share what’s working, and inspire each other to elevate your certification programs to the top of the market.

    Don’t miss the window on establishing your association as a trusted provider of certification programs that stand out from the rest of the competition. If your AMS is not up to the job, it’s time for a technology reshuffle. 

    Val Brotherton

    originally posted here

The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE)

Australian Office:
Address: Unit 6, 26 Navigator Place, Hendra QLD 4011 Australia
Free Call: +61 1300 764 576
Phone: +61 7 3268 7955

New Zealand Office:
Address: 159 Otonga Rd, Rotorua 3015 New Zealand
Phone: +64 27 249 8677

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