Aaron Wolowiec

In Event Planning…We’re All on the Same Team

Aaron Wolowiec

In basketball, you win as a team, and you lose as a team. It doesn’t matter if you personally play your best game, if you aren’t supporting each other and working together as a team, you won’t be successful. This is true of events too

Aligning Your Venue Space, Content, and Experience Goals

Aaron Wolowiec

You’ve just begun digging into the planning process for your organization’s next event. The venue contract was signed months (or even years!) ago, and you’re beginning to align the existing components of your event within the contracted space grid.

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Getting Smart About Research

Aaron Wolowiec

Association execs are often tasked with choosing or even creating research on which our organizations will base important decisions, but many of us lack formal research training, which can be a little daunting!

Breaking Down the Many Faces of Meeting Software (in VR)

Aaron Wolowiec

Pandemic accelerated the adoption of virtual tools for business communication. Now we live in a remote-first society that demands better ways of connecting online. Here we explore what Virtual Reality is, and the many forms that it comes in to help us connect with others remotely

Here's How to Write an Effective New-Member Welcome Email

Welcome emails have an incredibly high open rate (50-60%). Read here to learn tips for taking full advantage of your valuable, one-time opportunity to reach new members.

Gardian of the Month: Ahliba Toffa

Aaron Wolowiec

Ahliba Toffa is our Gardian of the Month! Find out her favorite thing about learning something new, her go-to networking tip, the resource she can't live without and a little-known fact about her

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Designing impactful instructor-led learning experiences with the millennial in mind

Aaron Wolowiec

When it comes to offering face-to-face learning experiences, such as a day-long interactive workshop or a 75-minute breakout session at a conference, associations must carefully consider the millennial learner’s needs and expectations

Forces Impacting Our Success: MSAE Members Complete PESTLE Analysis

Aaron Wolowiec

During the Michigan Society of Association Executives, members and attendees had the opportunity to participate in a facilitated exercise to identify and explore current forces at play that are affecting them and their organizations.

Findings of 2022 Non-Profit Survey on Value Proposition

Aaron Wolowiec

Halmyre has released their latest report: Growing Value: Findings of Halmyre's Non-Profit Value Proposition Survey. This is based on the 2022 survey of Non-Profit Executives about value proposition, member engagement, pricing strategy, and data intelligence. Here are two highlights from the learnin

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Why a Contractor Arrangement Works for Me

Aaron Wolowiec

Kate Pojeta is convinced that if she had a typical "9-5" job, she would have been fired by now, multiple times over. Her colleagues would despise her. She would be unemployable in most work places.

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How to Get Young Professionals to Engage In Your Association

GrowthZone’s guide, The Power of Young Professionals, tackles the challenges of engaging, recruiting, and retaining Gen Z and Millennial members, including: • Why they do or don’t join. • Communication strategies. • Myths and facts

15 Best Practices for Virtual Site Visits

Aaron Wolowiec

In partnership with ConferenceDirect, I recently began exploring and conducting virtual site visits. Based upon our recent experiences sourcing a number of venues for national events, following are 15 best practices for making the most of your virtual site visits

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How the Questions We Ask Effect Our Work

Aaron Wolowiec

Often as facilitators we create questions to get to a particular outcome, to the extent that it guides the conversation in a narrow direction.

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Gardian of the Month: Jannah Bierens

Aaron Wolowiec

Jannah Bierens is our Gardian of the Month! She shares her favorite part of learning something new, one of her favorite professional networks, her tip to help retain knowledge as well as her favorite summer activities

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Getting Ready for 2023…Already?

Aaron Wolowiec

The reality that the second quarter is almost over means it is time for a mid-year check-in and the ramping up for 2023. Specifically, as it relates to sales planning and business development, here are a few things you may want to prioritize in the coming weeks as we reach the mid-year mark

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How to Sell Your Board on Better Technology

Use this helpful blueprint when you need to convince your board to invest in better software. It includes talking points and tips for your presentation, including quantifying ROI, outlining indirect benefits, and selling the potential of the purchase.

Gardian of the Month: Luke Whalin

Aaron Wolowiec

Luke Whalin is our Gardian of the Month! He shares his favorite part of learning something new, his go-to networking tip, the tools that help him retain knowledge and shares which animal's life he would like to live

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Strategies for Improving Your Culture Quickly

Aaron Wolowiec

A lot of organizations have already suffered from the great resignation, but there’s an even larger number that are about to. Your top people who are thinking about leaving are more likely to stay when they see that your existing culture is actually pretty great.

Navigating Difficult Conversations Using Nonviolent Communication

Aaron Wolowiec

During a recent strategic planning session, participants were working in small groups when Aaron overheard a participant make a comment that didn't sit well with their colleague. Aaron and his co-facilitator brainstormed a course of action and turned to nonviolent communication. This is how it went

Gardian of the Month: Rachel Kuntzsch

Aaron Wolowiec

Our Gardian of the Month is Rachel Kuntzsch! Check out her tip for balancing work and studying with family time, why the New York Times is her go-to resources and why she feels Spring truly represents her

How to Select an Association Credit Card Processing Company

Right now, every penny counts. It’s an ideal time to check if your association’s credit card processing provider is offering competitive terms. However, there are many important factors to consider if when researching options.

Applying Our Understanding of Personal & Social Identities Within Associations

Aaron Wolowiec

During the pandemic, I was introduced by my colleague to the University of Michigan Inclusive Campus Collaborative which seeks to foster a campus climate in which all community members feel respected, valued, and empowered to engage in the life of the university.

The Effects of Omicron on Facilitated Meetings

Aaron Wolowiec

As a result of the Omicron variant, we’ve seen a number of clients this year move trainings, facilitations, and strategic planning sessions from scheduled January and February dates to early spring.

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10 Practical Ideas for Overcoming the Implementation Gap

Aaron Wolowiec

You’ve completed the strategic planning process. Now what? How do you ensure the plan doesn’t collect dust on a shelf or get filed away on your computer never to be viewed again? The first step is recognizing the implementation gap is a very real phenomenon.

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11 Trends Impacting Association Events Right Now

Aaron Wolowiec

Here are 11 trends Event Garde has found to be impacting association events right now, including both an overview of the challenges we’ve experienced first-hand and a recommended solution for you and your team to consider

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The Ultimate Guide to Amazing Association Websites

Your association’s website needs to engage members AND deliver a great user experience so everyone who visits it leaves with a positive impression. But how? Get the free guide to optimizing your website “under-the-hood” (great for "non-techy" people).

Event Garde Celebrates 10 Years of Client Success

Aaron Wolowiec

In December 2011, with the goal of planning large association conferences for multiple concurrent clients, I launched Event Garde.

Braving Trust at Work

Aaron Wolowiec

We often think of trust as something that is important in establishing healthy personal relationships, but trust is important in our professional relationships as well. But how do we build this professional trust

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Are Too Many Meetings Wreaking Havoc on Your Employees’ Mental Health?

Aaron Wolowiec

Are you have too many meetings and it's causing you (and your team) mental health issues? Find out here

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Spring Cleaning: 11 Technologies I Can’t Live Without

Aaron Wolowiec

Out with the old and in with the new (or reimagined, repurposed, and recalibrated). Here are 11 technologies Aaron relies on heavily right now to support him, his work, his team, and his clients

5 PIllars of Community

Today’s business communities are facing a period of transition to become digital first, which increases the need for people to feel belonging. Implementing the 5 Pillars of Community is a key component to organizational growth.

5 Recommendations in Honor of Healthy by Association Milestone Anniversary

Aaron Wolowiec

As I reflect on the past five years of Healthy by Association and plan for the year ahead, following are five ways each of us can easily integrate more intentional health and wellness practices into our personal and professional lives

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The Last Relationship-building Activity You’ll Ever Need

Aaron Wolowiec

As more and more groups begin to meet again in-person, the need for some sort of relationship-building activity at the start of sessions, meetings, or conferences has become less a luxury and more a necessity. Here's the last relationship-building activity you'll ever need

10 Days of Holiday Baking with Event Garde - Day 1: Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips

Aaron Wolowiec

On the first day of holiday baking Event Garde team member Kara Nacarato shares with us a delicious, sweet pumpkin treat

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Gardian of the Month: Shannon Lockwood

Aaron Wolowiec

Our Gardian of the Month, Shannon Lockwood, shares her favorite part of learning something new, whether she's a natural networker or more of a wallflower and she shares the three adjectives she's use to describe herself

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The 20 Do’s & Don’ts for Associations in Email Marketing

The biggest question that many Associations have when it comes to email marketing is, “what are the best practices I should adopt?” This whitepaper is written from 21 years of email experience on the client, agency, and vendor side of email. It is also wr

The Delta Variant Isn’t The Only Reason to Rethink Your Return to the Office

Aaron Wolowiec

A lot of leaders spent the last few months putting in a place a plan to reopen the office (in one form or another) after Labor Day.

Innovating Attendee Experiences Despite the Ongoing Pandemic

Aaron Wolowiec

To ignite some creative thinking among your team, here are just some innovation bright spots to elevate the attendee experience that Aaron has experienced first-hand that you might consider adapting and adopting for those in-person meetings and events on your horizon

How to Design an Educational Event That Encourages Actual Learning

Aaron Wolowiec

Hosting an education-based conference or meeting can be tricky. Attendees come with multiple learning styles, diverse educational goals, and wildly different attention spans. But it’s possible to host an educational event that satisfies everyone’s checklists

The Quick Way To Price Your Hybrid Events

Aaron Wolowiec

After running virtual events for free or very low cost, the first thing that you want to focus on is raising the price of any virtual components that you're going to offer, whether hybrid components or purely virtual events. Here are some thoughts to help guide you

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The Guide to Accessible Learning for Associations

Speaker: Dan Streeter, Vice President of Learning Strategy & Development at Blue Sky eLearn

In this 45-minute webinar, we’ll share real-world accessibility solutions and hidden tools in the applications you use every day such as Zoom, Microsoft Suite, Adobe Acrobat (PDF), Articulate Storyline 360, and Articulate Rise 360. This webinar will help you evaluate the accessibility of your current learning efforts and learn about the tools needed to ensure your eLearning is in alignment with the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (proposed WCAG 2.2).