Aaron Wolowiec

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Listen: Don’t just hear

Aaron Wolowiec

The International Listening Association defines listening as “the process of receiving, constructing meaning from and responding to spoken and or nonverbal messages.” As Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.” As part of the conference registration process, get people thinking about their listening goals. Jennifer Grau, president, Grau Interpersonal Communication.

Listen: Don’t just hear

Aaron Wolowiec

The International Listening Association defines listening as “the process of receiving, constructing meaning from and responding to spoken and or nonverbal messages.” As Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.” As part of the conference registration process, get people thinking about their listening goals. Jennifer Grau, president, Grau Interpersonal Communication.

5 Cool Things Associations Are Doing at Meetings and Events

Aaron Wolowiec

In an effort to get members more involved in the meeting-planning process, the National Association of Plan Advisors — a sister organization of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries — let members select session topics for its NAPA 401(k) Summit , which took place in March in New Orleans. ASPPA used the free, open-source platform All Our Ideas for the voting process.

Bonus content – Event Garde e-news – July edition

Aaron Wolowiec

think it’s because I like to retain my dignity during the learning process, so I want to retreat and make sure I know the material – and then, let me loose and get out of the way! Carla Kalogeridis. Q & A with Carla Kalogeridis , president, Arion Media Services. Follow her on Twitter at @CarlaKalo. Q: Learn: Let’s say you’re studying for a big exam.

4 Event Metrics You Should Be Calculating

Aaron Wolowiec

Another crucial element to measure is your attendees’ registration process. This month’s guest post is by Courtenay Allen, a marketing specialist at Attend.com , which produces event management software. It was originally posted on the attend.com blog. Courtenay Allen, marketing specialist for Attend.com. Event Surveys. Most likely, not all your attendees will complete the survey.

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The great proposal debate: Why consultants eschew RFPs

Aaron Wolowiec

One of my MBA students this summer was asked to write a marketing piece to replace existing (and terrible) website copy as part of her job interview process. The call comes in. prospective client needs you – immediately! – to help with an urgent project. They’re unclear how to resolve the issue, but they believe you can help. Simply draft a proposal describing you’re recommended course of action and be sure to include your proposed fees. Days – sometimes weeks – later, they’ve curiously decided to complete the project themselves. I was recently faced with this dilemma. Never again!

Technology truths for meetings and events

Aaron Wolowiec

Understanding the expectations of your meeting attendees as it relates to technology is an important step in the meeting planning process.”. I’ve admitted it before, and I’ll do it again: I’m a social media and technology addict. So when I’m choosing conferences to attend, I look for technology use. Is there a hashtag? If something comes up, will the organizer provide content virtually?

Straight from an intern’s mouth

Aaron Wolowiec

RFP processes. As a 1½-year-old planner I have many responsibilities that are solely my own and I work directly with my supervisor on all other meeting logistics. I am responsible for our sponsorship program, registration process, evening events for ABA committee meetings and special events and many other day-to-day operations. What can associations offer interns? She explains.

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Associations play an important role in higher education

Aaron Wolowiec

You are just at the beginning of an exciting and accelerating lifelong learning process. When I graduated college 16 years ago, times were different. I had a job before graduation and I never questioned the value of my degree. While I had an internship, the focus then on skills (vs. education) wasn’t nearly as strong. Today, students need internships before entering the workforce.

For Better or Worse: Business Relationships Built to Last

Aaron Wolowiec

The first thing she told me is: “A wise consultant friend once told me if the proposal/contracting process is painful, the engagement will be worse. Some additional insights from our conversation follow: Prospective clients should be open to setting aside time to meet and talk as needed; and the process to do so should be relatively easy. Yeah, me neither. Colleague Advice. Walk away.”

Call for Presentations: Dead or Alive?

Aaron Wolowiec

The new normal” is shifting to a process whereby a cross section of the association’s membership comes together as a conference task force or education committee and: Brainstorms what topics the members should be hearing at XYZ meeting (based upon the anticipated audience and conference goals/objectives). Best of luck as you dig into this crowdsourcing process. wants). Just the Facts.

Celebrating two years

Aaron Wolowiec

In the process, I’ve formed invaluable networks, and our blog has gained quite the following. Two years ago, Aaron Wolowiec had a vision. Strategic planning. Instructional design. Meeting management. They were all in his wheelhouse. But it was time for something new. And so, on Dec. 8, 2011, Grand Rapids-based Event Garde was born. Event Garde:  A clever play on words?

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Improving knowledge transfer in your organization in 3 stages

Aaron Wolowiec

You can facilitate a glitch-free learning and transfer process by adopting these measures even before the training program starts. Managers, meanwhile, should realize the significance of the learning and understand how they can facilitate the learning process for their team members and create opportunities for them to apply the knowledge. During the training. After the training.

Volunteer management: I gotta feeling

Aaron Wolowiec

Following I’ve compiled just 10 simple ways we can take ownership of the volunteer management process (both as staff and as volunteers): Identify a strong staff partner to support volunteer success – continuously refining his/her skills. Who am I kidding? When’s the last time I was able to get away with working an eight-hour day?). Emphasis here on the word “effectively.”.

Speaker coaching: The key to unlocking top-rated conference sessions

Aaron Wolowiec

Growth in the delivery of conference presentations is an iterative process. When’s the last time your organization’s education committee was asked to identify the three to five greatest challenges currently inhibiting its industry speakers from reaching their fullest potential during the annual conference? PowerPoint slides are overwhelmed by too much content. Do these sound familiar?

The key to successful CSM/planner collaboration is communication

Aaron Wolowiec

For starters, there’s the venue’s approval process. Kelly Van Dyke, CMP. This post is authored by guest blogger Kelly Van Dyke, CMP. Kelly is a convention service manager at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Email: kvandyke@amwaygrand.com. Email: kvandyke@amwaygrand.com. This person wants a successful conference just as much as you do. First, share information – and share it early and often.

Association Hunger Games: Victory or Defeat?

Aaron Wolowiec

Ask questions about process, workflow and unexpected issues. I had the pleasure of presenting this year at the ASAE Annual Meeting and Exposition in Nashville. And, believe it or not, I didn’t talk about meetings or learning. The Case for Execution. Here you can easily replace the word “companies” with any functional area or department within your organization. Implement.

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6 Simple Ways to Turbocharge Learning and Retention at Meetings

Aaron Wolowiec

Discovery Learning simply means having students actively participate in the teaching process through verbal and tactile exercises. Being engaged is imperative to the learning process. This month’s guest blog post is by Jenny Stanfield , lead event producer for Engagement Unlimited. It was originally published on the Event Manager blog. Follow her on Twitter at @thejenstanfield.

Instructional Design: The New Normal

Aaron Wolowiec

That is, they’re not familiar with adult learning, cognitive processing, learning styles and learning objectives – all of which are just the tip of the iceberg. I fled this week from the blustery temperatures of Grand Rapids, MI to a warmer climate in Dallas, TX. It all started at Gerald R. For some reason, my flights through Chicago are always delayed – or, in this case, canceled.

If companies build (capability), greatness will come

Aaron Wolowiec

Institutional capabilities are all skills, processes, tools and systems that an organization uses as a whole to drive meaningful business results. Objective assessments are an important tool in this process — and few respondents say their companies use such assessments now. We all know professional development is important. So the WHY is covered. But the HOW….that’s McKinsey and Co.

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Bonus Content – Event Garde e-news – February edition

Aaron Wolowiec

What I am enjoying most about this process is finding opportunities to apply what I am learning as I go. So, if you could pick a special valentine, who would it be and why? A: My children fill my life with love, sweetness and excitement. In a coffee shop with lots of noise or in a quiet, library-like setting? A: To learn, take in new information and consider its impact I need to have both.

The makings of marketing mavens

Aaron Wolowiec

Any use of marketing metrics and an analytics process is good, but even better is when that process uses metrics that do more than just report on activity levels. Two years after graduating college, I entered the association world. served as director of communications for an association for four years – and I loved every minute of it. But marketing? Not so much. Embrace content.

Time for a MOOC-like makeover

Aaron Wolowiec

Associations need three things: people (SMEs, instructional designers, LMS administrators), processes (course development, marketing) and technology (video, left-navigation layout). Massive Open Online Courses. The public seems to embrace them, while higher education remains skeptical of their educational value. So what’s a MOOC? Of course, all of this is moot if learners aren’t motivated.

Stop spamming your members

Aaron Wolowiec

That’s a lot to read and process. I’ve had the good fortune to work for and with associations my entire professional career. So it’s fair to say I understand and value association membership. That’s why I’m a card-carrying member of several professional societies. The language that was used to describe sponsor ROI was both vague and unremarkable. Some of the benefits (e.g.,

Feel the love

Aaron Wolowiec

Keeping your association’s referrals growing relies on your commitment to continually improve your relationships with your members,” WebLink writes. “A good referral program is easy to understand, lets the member know what kind of people to refer, is worth the member’s time and makes the referral process quick and easy to complete.”. So the first thing I did? And it’s often overlooked.

Time to cut the fat

Aaron Wolowiec

From the whitepaper: “Is there a process that can help associations achieve our missions, stay in business, find problems worth solving and make a real and meaningful difference for our members, achieving the sustainable, dynamic impact we seek? Like most businesses, associations have a lot of bulk. Maybe that’s because it’s hard to trim the fat. This isn’t for us.”. Next, you measure.

Want to boost attendance? Just ask.

Aaron Wolowiec

Self-reflection is never easy, but this week, Kevin Whorton, principal of Whorton Marketing and Research , will help make the process a bit less painful. Kevin Whorton, principal of Whorton Marketing and Research. Last week, Jeff De Cagna explained that in order to thrive, associations must think differently. Simply put: They should accept change rather than shun it.

Don’t be an Association Hoarder: Use Professional Organizer Techniques to Revamp Your Programs

Aaron Wolowiec

The process is basic but complex at the same time. We are in the process of identifying: The “MUST haves” (What products do the members absolutely need for their businesses to succeed?). John Ricco, vice president, Partners in Association Management. This month’s guest blog post is by John Ricco, vice president, Partners in Association Management. Boxes. How do you go about it?

Plan, attack, conquer: A conference strategy

Aaron Wolowiec

So I developed a process I now use for every conference, including ASAE.  It goes as follows: 1) Prior to arriving at the conference, determine the two biggest issues for which you need to find an idea or a solution. Tom Morrison, CEO, MTI Management. With the ASAE Annual Meeting and Expo quickly approaching Aug. This month’s guest blog post is from Tom Morrison, CEO of MTI Management.

Just two little words

Aaron Wolowiec

According to Wikipedia, CSR is “a process with the aim to embrace responsibility for the company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere who may also be considered as stakeholders.”. Throughout the last couple weeks, my kids have been making cute turkeys.

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Mission possible: Finding and keeping volunteers

Aaron Wolowiec

What types of decisions in your association would benefit from a deliberative decision-making process? Which would benefit from a more rapid decide-experiment-learn-iterate process? It’s the first board meeting of the year and the room is packed with enthusiastic volunteer board members. But slowly, throughout the year, people stop coming. Projects hit roadblocks. Sound familiar?

Selecting and coaching speakers to deliver quality digital presentations

Aaron Wolowiec

In a content curation process, a committee comprised of a cross-section of the organization’s key constituents first identifies the topics of greatest interest or concern to the industry. This post was originally written by Aaron Wolowiec for the CommPartners blog. Content curation. Ultimately, constituent submissions are returned to the committee for review, scoring and selection.

Good data, good decisions

Aaron Wolowiec

These are your Key Performance Indicators, the process-related metrics that determine how well your association is doing. Big data equal big opportunity. It sounds simple, but for most associations, it’s not. Think about all the data your association has at its fingertips: demographics of your members, conference registrations, product sales, vendor buying habits. It’s a goldmine, right?

Nonprofits and associations are hiring…even in a candidate’s market

Aaron Wolowiec

Avoid a lengthy hiring process so “the good ones” don’t get away. We’re nearing college commencement season. In about six to eight weeks, excited college graduates around the country will don their caps and gowns, ready to hit the workforce with enthusiasm and a bit of trepidation. And so, once again, we’re reading a lot about hiring – and in some cases, lack thereof. The second reason?

Associations play an important role in higher education

Aaron Wolowiec

You are just at the beginning of an exciting and accelerating lifelong learning process. When I graduated college 16 years ago, times were different. I had a job before graduation and I never questioned the value of my degree. While I had an internship, the focus then on skills (vs. education) wasn’t nearly as strong. Today, students need internships before entering the workforce.

7 secrets of thinking like an entrepreneur

Aaron Wolowiec

How will we ensure key stakeholders become a part of the process (e.g., What is our preferred process/procedure and frequency for check-ins/progress reporting? In this case, if the standard audit tools and processes aren’t a good match for your organization you might consider these additional audit formats recommended by consultant and researcher Will Thalheimer. taskforce)?

Rolling out the ORGPRO 2013 welcome mat

Aaron Wolowiec

Participants who request a mentor during the registration process will be paired with a volunteer mentor prior to arrival. Shana Killips, sales manager for the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development at Michigan State University, and Aaron Wolowiec, founder and president of Event Garde. So why should you attend? Help new and less experienced participants feel welcome. 2. on June 27.

18 tips for negotiating with speakers

Aaron Wolowiec

Opportunity to videotape his/her sessions for resale (this is a subject of its own and requires some processes to work well). It’s the age-old dilemma: You’re looking for a quality speaker with a good message and a dynamic stage presence who will be well-received by your members. And, by the way, could this person present for free – or, at the very least, for a significantly reduced honorarium? In my experience, there are generally two types of speakers: Those who recycle the same three to five presentations from conference to conference with little (if any) customization; and. Expenses.

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A Tuesday ‘thank you’

Aaron Wolowiec

Communicating impact to partnership stakeholders is a vital piece of that process. Editor’s Note: As Thanksgiving approaches, we all start thinking about our blessings. So it seemed appropriate to dedicate this week’s blog post – and probably next week’s – to the topic of saying “thank you.” So please drop me a quick note at Kristen@eventgarde.com ! GivingTuesday occurs on Dec.

And the survey says…we’re scared

Aaron Wolowiec

The visa process will change, as will destinations of choice, MPI says. It was a Friday night and it had been a long week. I was just starting to unwind when my iPhone’s email notifications starting coming full blast. And then the mindless show on TV was interrupted by horrific images of blown up Paris buildings; streets littered with debris; people scrambling for safety. percent.