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Gabrielle Wathen

Gabrielle is a Content Specialist at Higher Logic with a background in journalism, film, and marketing. When she's not writing about online communities or marketing automation, you can find her cuddling her cats Harvey and Wilbur, traveling the world, or storytelling in any way she can. Favorite food: All things cheese. Favorite place: Black Rock City, NV.
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Recent Posts

What Burning Man's 10 Principles Can Teach You About Building Community

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on November 29, 2018 at 8:55 AM | 26 minute read

 

Some people might be nervous to tell their employer that they’re jet-setting to the desert for Burning Man — because, wait, what is Burning Man anyway? The answer is not a simple one.  

A festival? Nope. A Mad Max-esque utopia? I’d say so. A party in the desert? Sure, but I’ll get back to that. The largest Leave No Trace (LNT) event in the world? You betcha. A new trend? Nope, this all began (on a much smaller scale) back in 1986 when friends Larry Harvey and Jerry James built an 8-foot tall human effigy and burned it on Baker Beach in San Francisco (population: 35).

The Burning Man organization has been an active community for 32 years and counting, and it’s a community unlike any other I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of.

Whether you’re a community builder or a community member, online or in person, I truly believe we could all stand to learn a thing (or ten) from how the Burning Man community operates. But I won’t lie – it’s incredibly daunting to write about. I don’t know a single soul who can confidently capture its essence with mere words, because it’s very much a “you had to be there” kind of place to understand. Alas, as your resident ‘Burner,’ I vow to do my best.

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Topics: Online Community, Member Experience, Member Engagement

What’s In It For Me? 5 Life-Changing Benefits of Volunteering

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on November 6, 2018 at 8:20 AM | 9 minute read

“I would love to volunteer…but I just don’t have the time!” Sound familiar?

Life is busy, no doubt. But isn’t it funny how you can hear someone say this, and then in the very next breath they’ll ask you if you’re caught up on the 10-hour Netflix series they just binge-watched? (Okay, I’m guilty too.) In a perfect world, we would all have the time and energy to volunteer our help to the causes in our community that we care most about (be it animal care, homelessness, continuing education, you name it).

So why is it that many people don’t prioritize volunteerism? Perhaps carving out that time would be more enticing if we knew there was something in it for us…well, there is.

Interested in living a longer, happier, more fulfilling life? Read on and consider volunteering!

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Topics: Online Community, Associations, Nonprofits and Charities, Volunteer Management

5 Questions to Ask Before Jumping Ship on Your AMS

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on October 25, 2018 at 2:00 PM | 10 minute read

An effective association management system (AMS) helps your association improve functionality, streamline operations, empower your members, and increase growth rate. In short, a great AMS is essential.

But, what happens when your AMS isn’t meeting all the needs that you think it should meet? Do you switch? When faced with this decision, there are two common misconceptions many associations fall victim to:

  1. The assumption that their AMS should be an all-in-one solution for every business objective.
  2. If their AMS isn't the all-in-one-solution they thought it would be, they think switching AMS providers is the best solution to fill those gaps.

If this sounds familiar, trust us, your association is not alone in contemplating a switch. However, we’ve seen far too many associations waste valuable time and resources on a switch, only to run into similar dissatisfaction with their new database down the road.

Help us help you avoid this.

We know, we know… you have your reasons for wanting to switch your AMS, but what are they? Our experience tells us you can save your association from months of costly deliberation and implementation woes.

Address these five questions before jumping ship.

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Topics: Online Community, Online Community Software, Community Platforms & Updates, Associations, Marketing Automation, Integration

[New eBook] The Community Module Guide: How to Support Your Organization’s Business Objectives

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on October 8, 2018 at 8:00 AM | 4 minute read

Have you ever heard someone say “there’s an app for that!” when you complain about your smartphone? Well, if you want to elevate the success and business impact of your online community, trust us –  there’s a module for that.

Customizing your online community is a great way to maximize its impact, propelling your capabilities from basic to extraordinary. But selecting the right add-on modules to invest in can be tricky if you aren’t familiar with their functionality.

Even trickier is this often overlooked fact: what’s our community for in the first place?

There is no one-size-fits-all package of tools on the road to success. When you’re ready to further enhance your community, that’s when the fun of “shopping around” for new modules starts - because your core objectives are already front and center. When that time comes, The Community Module Guide will map you in the direction of the right tools to support your goals.

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Topics: Online Community, Marketing Automation, Member Experience, Associations, Online Community Management, Engagement, Member Retention, Collaboration Tools, Volunteer Management, Member Engagement

SNMMI Rekindles and Sparks Recruitment Among Their Lapsed Member Base [Case Study]

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on August 9, 2018 at 7:55 AM | 4 minute read

With nuclear medicine and molecular imaging rapidly expanding, it’s critical that The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging’s (SNMMI) members stay informed about the new therapies, devices, and drugs that are redefining the way patient care is managed. SNMMI is a dedicated society that proudly represents 17,000 nuclear and molecular imaging professionals worldwide, working to facilitate the knowledge, tools, and resources necessary to strengthen and advance their meaningful careers in the field.

However, when surveyed, members revealed that the most significant professional challenges they face are keeping up-to-date with trends and expanding their level of expertise.

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Topics: Marketing Automation, Member Retention, Associations

Know Before You Buy: What Can Go Wrong With Marketing Automation Implementation

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on July 11, 2018 at 9:30 AM | 6 minute read

When a task takes a complicated turn, it’s not uncommon for people to feel stuck and discouraged. And when people feel stuck, they lose sight of their goals. If this wasn’t the case, my friend’s “easy-to-assemble” IKEA dresser would be housing the clothes that are strewn all over her floor, rather than spending its second month collecting dust in an unassembled pile in the corner of her room.

Even with all of the right tools at her disposal, confusion reared its ugly head during the assembly process and she gave up, never reaping the benefits of her investment.

The point? Having the funds to purchase a new IKEA dresser doesn’t automatically mean you have the capability to assemble it correctly without wasting a ton of valuable time, even if it comes with a “handy” instruction manual. On the same note, having the budget available to invest in a marketing automation platform doesn’t always mean you have an inherent understanding of the implementation process to follow.

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Topics: Marketing Automation

[ROUNDUP] 2018 State of Marketing Automation: Association Benchmark Report

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on June 21, 2018 at 11:31 AM | 3 minute read

British author James Burke once said, “You can only know where you're going if you know where you've been.” Here at Higher Logic, we’ve been working hard to analyze how associations have approached marketing automation in the past and how current strategies are evolving in an effort to best utilize new opportunities for improved efficiency and growth.

We know that it can be challenging for associations to keep up in this ever-evolving space, so don’t fret – we’re here to help you make sense of it all. The wait is over. The results are in.

Our new 2018 benchmark report, the first of its kind strictly for associations, combines our traditional email benchmarking report with a new industry survey focused on marketing automation (MA). Our findings include beneficial data to help both our own clients and the larger association market gain a better understanding of industry efforts and how we can better leverage current challenges for future success.     

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Topics: Marketing Automation, Associations, Email Marketing

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