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Jun 30 2014

Partnering in China – Podcast Interview with Maria Tong

Partnering in China podcast

Earlier this year, our GrowGlobally readers responded to a survey on the topics of most importance to them.  Our first response to GrowGlobally reader  survey preferences will be on partnering in China.

As the results from the recent ASAE Foundation Study sponsored by MCI has shown, it isn’t that associations are not partnering.   The vast majority are.   Unfortunately, not all partnership deals are good ones for various reasons from over expectation to poor partner selection due diligence to a lack of appreciation of the different types of partnerships.

One such example is the over reliance on local national societies to carry the weight to help US associations expand their business interests.  It is unwise to depend on such local societies especially those located in emerging markets or less developed countries.  Many of these associations struggle to manage their own activities with smaller budgets, smaller volunteer networks, fewer staff, and do not possess the core competencies to support the growth of business commercially.

However, local societies do act well as “multipliers” in their ability to connect you to end users (customers, member prospects, local subject matter experts).

MCI would like to offer some suggestions as you evaluate local national societies in your efforts to partner locally around the world.   Use the following criteria to determine a potential client’s capabilities to serve your interests.

  1. Market Knowledge – ability to see changes in the local perception of industry or academia resulting in better participation, interest in your brand or to identify and remedy dissent?
  2. Management – possibility of leadership changes in their ranks that could weaken or hinder your activities?
  3. Infrastructure – strength of its local network to provide needed expertise at the point of need?
  4. Competency – business expertise to perform required responsibilities?
  5. Commitment –interest of the existing political and administration leaders to provide ongoing infrastructure and financial support?
  6. Politics – changing attitudes among core local leadership that could retard or undermine support or relations?
  7. Culture – degree to which bureaucratic culture stifles performance?
  8. Scalability – ability to transfer your success to other markets within the country?

MCI China’s Maria Tong was recently in Washington DC and we took the opportunity to interview her on the role of partnerships in China.

This interview is the first of three podcasts which will appear this summer on GrowGlobally.


To view Maria’s interview, please click on the image above.




Jun 27 2014

New ASAE Study Shows Commitment to Global Returns 10x the Value

ASAE Global Study Series Logo










In June, the ASAE Foundation and MCI released the results of the first year of a five year study to examine how associations are operating internationally at the ASAE Global Symposium in Washington, D.C.

As the initial data were analyzed, it was determined that certain strategies led to greater success in implementation of global operations. The associations that demonstrate growth in this report are stimulating and meeting demand for service from international customers and members in significantly different ways than those who have experienced stagnation or decline in membership and/or revenue from abroad.

Working together, The ASAE Foundation and MCI will deliver further reports during this multi-year, multi-phase research initiative to study these strategies and gain a better understanding of U.S. associations’ global strategic approach and operating environment.  A  white paper, the first report in the study series, is available from ASAE Foundation website and presents a detailed conversation about what growing U.S. associations are doing abroad to implement and sustain global operation.

The goal of the project is to provide the association community with the tools and resources needed to effectively explore and cultivate business ventures in emerging markets around the world. Specifically, it will enable association executives to use data-based information to maximize their decisions about effective strategies and tactics for enhancing their associations’ international growth and brand awareness in key regional markets.

In this podcast interview, Nikki Walker, MCI’s vice president, association management and consulting, offers insights into the findings.


Nikki ASAE Study Interview

 To view the podcast, click on the image.



Jun 25 2014

@CESSE Optimizing Sales Results for Certification, Certificate & Training Businesses

CESSE 2014

Whether you are selling certification in the United States or around the world, learn proven lessons on capturing potential candidates, how to motivate candidate behavior, and mixing education “prep products” to motivate and drive sales. We shall share a “two-pronged” approach to sales, build employer and employee demand and learn how to leverage strategic alliances. Two case studies of two successful programs (one small and one large) will be included. A “reaction panel” will provide reactions and insights from their own experience selling domestically and globally.

Join us in Room 201C at the CESSE Annual Meeting in Spokane Washington for this terrific program.

Marc ThompsonMarc Thompson, Global Business Development Leader, EVP ITPG – Marc oversees the Global Training Division of (ISC)2, which delivers the very popular CISSP review course.  The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc., (ISC)²®, is the global, not-for-profit leader in educating and certifying information security professionals throughout their careers.  Based in Tampa, (ISC)2 is recognized for Gold Standard certifications and world class education programs.  (ISC)2 provide vendor-neutral education products, career services, and Gold Standard credentials to professionals in more than 135 countries. The membership represents an elite network of nearly 90,000 certified industry professionals worldwide.




Murat DoguMurat Dogru, Community and Corporate Relations Manager / EMEA Business Developer, MCI Group – Murat Dogru is responsible for building and managing a sustainable membership/volunteer, subject matter expert and customer community in the ASME European region.  Murat manages the development and implementation of a community management strategy that aims to enhance the involvement, growth and interchange of both stakeholder groups.  This includes managing, driving and developing ASME European Conferences, topical activities to raise the awareness of ASME’s products and services, and conducting business development to grow the European training business.




Jim WarrenJim Warren, CAE, Director, Member Services and Education, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl. -  Jim is a 25 year veteran in developing, marketing and selling technical and management educational products on behalf of associations, private companies and universities. He is responsible for $1.6 million in program revenue across three units — Education, Membership and Foundation.






  Here is the full line up of sessions in the education and training track

Wednesday, July 16

Solutions Swap – Round Tables

9:50 AM - 11:00 AM

Room 201C

High energy fast paced learning! What are your top education and training concerns/challenges of the day? What happens when you have one question, many different solutions and not a lot of time to gain consensus for the best answer to your team’s question? Come and find out! A revamped version of “What’s Your Problem?” We promise at the end, you will have answers!

Effective Needs Assessment: How it Can Make or Break the Success of your Training Programs

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Room 201C

  • Bill Draves, President, Learning Resources Network (LERN) ;
  • Kevin Perry, Global Manager, Professional Development, SAE International
How do you determine what courses or training programs to develop for your association audience? Conducting a needs analysis before proceeding with program development has become much more critical in the association industry in order to minimize risk and avoid wasting valuable resources. Also, the nature of a program development initiative often drives how sophisticated the needs assessment process should be. This session begins with LERN’s President Bill Draves presenting (via virtual connection) their multi-faceted assessment model. Kevin Perry from SAE International will follow with data he gathered from a sampling of CESSE associations that reveals how they assess member/customer training needs. Ample time will be left for discussion and information sharing so come prepared to talk about your needs assessment techniques and to learn from others.

Social Media Trends: Kool Tools that you Can Use

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Room 206C

  • Chris Posey, Online Marketing Lead, Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Social media is no longer a corporate pastime or marketing afterthought. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like have moved from intern-burden to budget item. While some organizations have taken the plunge by investing in full-time Community Managers, others opt either to share the load across staff or to hand the baton off to a single IT or Marketing representative or group to juggle along with other responsibilities. This session is designed for those whose plates include a demanding social media schedule as well as…everything else! In this session, we’ll look at creating efficiencies by sharpening social media strategies to a fine, focused point by using some of the Top Tech Tools in Social Media. We’ll also touch on SEO for busy people, so come prepared to share your favorite SEO tech tricks with the audience.

Thursday, July 17

Mega Session: Engaging the 5 Generations in the Workplace

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Room 111BC

  • Elsa Velasco, University and Student Programs Manager, Society of Exploration Geophysicists ;
  • Norina Columbaro, Senior Manager of Education, ASM International
Is your association as valuable and relevant to a retired member as to a young professional? If you don’t know, join us to learn about the five generations and their value drivers. Come and discover the myths versus the facts within their workplace environment.

Marketing Disruption: Interruption to Inbound/Content Marketing

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Room 206C

  • Andy Steggles, President & Chief Customer Officer, Higher Logic
Learn about the new age of marketing and how the regular “interruption” marketing is being transformed by the onslaught of “inbound” marketing. The convergence of cloud and social technologies have created the perfect platform for intelligent inbound marketing.  Hear how two associations have moved away from traditional interruption marketing by leveraging their member volunteers to generate online engagement to produce a viable inbound marketing hub.  Discuss some of the more known platforms out there i.e. Hubspot, Eloqua, Marketo etc. and some of the pros and cons to each. Learn what Inbound marketing really is and some of the best practices to how it should tie into your AMS/CRM.

Learning When you Need it, Where you Need it: Education in a Mobile World

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Room 201C

  • Dan Richards, VP of Professional Services, Interactive Advantage ;
  • Ron Wincek, CEO & Founder, Interactive Advantage
Presenters will demonstrate examples running on mobile devices and discuss the challenges and benefits associated with various production methodologies and tools. Topics will include: Responsive interface and functional design, Tracking data from multiple devices and browsers, Optimizing the learning experience, Adaptive assessment, Opening up opportunities for social interaction. The digital landscape is constantly evolving with new web browsers and devices hitting the market every day. Users expect to be able to consume online content on multiple devices how and when they desire. Users also want to interact with instructors and other users in the online environment. Meanwhile, the business needs to be able to control and track who is seeing and accomplishing what. From a technical perspective this creates a challenge. How do we account for the wide variety of screen sizes, resolutions, interaction models, and functional limitations these devices present? It also creates an instructional challenge. How do we optimize the experience per device to make learning easy, personalized and social? Join us to explore these challenges and the opportunities the challenges present.

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