Event Garde Top


Event Garde’s clients are on the move. Meet up with Aaron and the team at one or more of these upcoming events.

Great Ideas Conference

03/17/2019 - 03/20/2019

​Colorado Springs, CO

Organization: ASAE


ASAE’s Great Ideas Conference is a flagship innovation conference for association professionals to gather from around the globe to connect, learn, and collaborate.

Designed to advance new ideas by working together in a retreat-like setting, the Great Ideas Conference features a diverse range of learning content such as Keynotes, Sessions, Leadership Intensives, Learning Circles and Executive Leadership Workshops, covering topics that will build core competencies for achieving innovation. You’ll get exposure to thought leaders from inside and outside the association community, surface new concepts, and leave inspired.

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ToP Facilitation Methods

03/28/2019 - 03/29/2019

Okemos, MI

Organization: MIchigan Public Health Institue


Aaron and Lindsay will be leading a two day session on Focused Conversation Method Consensus Workshop Method and Action Planning Method for the staff of Michigan Public Health Institute.

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FacilitateMI: Utilizing the ToP Methods for the First Time


9:00-10:30 AM EST

MSAE Office - East Lansing, MI​

Description: Susanna will discuss her initial experiences using the methodology with internal and external partners, including special considerations for first time facilitators, evaluating workshop impact, improving the process, and ways in which the methodology supports her work with diverse, and sometimes competing, stakeholder priorities.

Facilitator: Susanna Joy is a public health professional specializing in maternal and child health. She has worked in public health surveillance and program management for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, where she was exposed to the ToP methods as a workshop participant. Recently trained in the ToP methodology, she uses the methods in her current role at the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention, a project of the Michigan Public Health Institute. She holds a masters in health and risk communication from Michigan State University and moonlights as a cheuffer for her three active children who inspire her work in fetal, infant, and child fatality prevention.

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FacilitateMI: Demystifying the National Charrette Institute


9:00-10:30 AM EST

Join via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/696544595

Description: Holly will provide an overview of the National Charrette Institute (NCI) Charrette System approach, a tool newly associated with MSU and MSUE. This tool is most used to break down barriers in complicated and heated community settings. This method uses collaborative design-thinking to activate the creative potential of all stakeholders by embedding them in the design process to co-create a transformative plan or policy. This unique public engagement approach is highly adaptable to many public situations involving large diverse groups and is suitable for all ages.

Facilitator: Holly Madill is the director of the National Charrette Institute at Michigan State University. Over the course of the last 20 years, Madill has developed a diverse set of skills, while coordinating and leading projects around a wide range of topics for the private, nonprofit, institutional and public sectors. She specializes in community engagement, placemaking, transportation and walkability, as well as development of trainings, surveys and analysis. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Alabama and a Master’s degree in Urban & Regional Planning from Michigan State University.

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FSAE19: Ignite Your Inspiration

07/10/2019 - 07/12/2019

​Jacksonville, FL

Organization: Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE)


The FSAE 2019 Annual Conference is designed to ensure association executives are prepared to move their organizations forward through education, interactive discussions and attendee engagement. It’s crucial that all levels of association management are primed for success in the next decade. Keep yourself and your organization relevant in this fast-changing world with professional growth and functional development, no matter your career stage or experience. Aaron will be presenting.

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FacilitateMI: Diversity & Inclusion Monitoring Tool


9:00-10:30 AM EST

MSAE Office - East Lansing, MI

Description: Krista Rowe and Aaron Wolowiec set out to crate a diversity and inclusion monitoring tool that would allow facilitators to: set goals to improve likelihood and quality of participation; tally the manner and frequency of participation among various social identities and marginalized groups; identify the successes and opportunities for improvement; and inform future design and implementation. During this session, they’ll unveil the current draft of their work, explore uses within your work with groups and solicit feedback for further refinement.

Facilitator: Our facilitator will be Krista Rowe. Krista is a Health Equity Consultant for the Center for Health Equity Practice (CHEP) at Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI). She is experienced in developing, implementing and facilitating dialogue with community based organizations and public health professionals. Her area of focus is the application of Health Equity and Social Justice. She co-facilitates workshops, provides technical assistance and consultation on this content area. Krista holds her degree in Community Advocacy and Governance from Michigan State University (MSU). She is a certified Technology of Participation (ToP) facilitator through the Institute for Cultural affairs (ICA) in Chicago.

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TSAE Lab: Diving Deep Into the Theory & Practice of Design Thinking


​Rockwall, TX

Organization: Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE)


In an association world of ever-increasing competition, of customers who seem to have less time and read fewer communications, of generational and societal shifts that are quickly impacting organizational structure, our associations have to stand out in order to grow. In fact, our associations have to produce the right solutions for the right members in the right format, all while generating experiences and interactions that are easy, positive and, where possible, fun. And we can’t rely on the long-standing premise that what we create will be an evergreen solution - instead, we must continually experiment, prototype, learn and grow.

So, how can we keep up?

Design thinking may provide the answer. In this deep dive, you will come to understand the basic tenants of the design thinking approach. Each participant will bring their own member-focused experience that they are looking to workshop. Through a facilitated series of exercises, you will re-define and refine your approach, placing the customer and their experience at the core of what you create. You will walk away with tangible next steps in hand - with your own efforts and focus determining the path those steps take. Aaron is presenting with Lowell Applebaum.

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IHS 68th Annual Convention & Expo

09/19/2019 - 09/21/2019

Nashville, TN

Organization: International Hearing Society


The International Hearing Society (IHS) is a membership association that represents hearing healthcare professionals worldwide. IHS members are engaged in the practice of testing human hearing and selecting, fitting and dispensing hearing instruments and counseling patients.

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FacilitateMI Digital Meeting


9:00-10:30 AM EST

Join via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/696544595

The mission of FacilitateMI is to create a relaxed and supportive community of practice ideal for learning and networking with fellow Michigan facilitators. Through monthly meetings and a vibrant online community, participants of all experience levels will feel empowered with new resources and greater self-confidence.

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2019 AORE AEE Joint National Conference

11/13/2019 - 11/15/2019

Spokane, WA

Organization: Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education


The AORE Annual Conference has been delivering exceptional education, sparking innovation, and creating unique learning and quality networking opportunities for over three decades. With their collaboration with the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) this year, they aim to raise the bar yet again!

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FacilitateMI: ACTion CARDS (Action Created Together)


9:00-10:30 AM EST

MSAE Office - East Lansing, MI

Descripton: Imagine this: Yet another meeting or conference call is convened to discuss the same topics that have been on the table for months with no decisions and no actionable next steps. This time can be different. About a year ago, Lindsay and Aaron developed a colorful deck of ACTion CARDS. Following the simple instructions, and leveraging the focused conversation approach, lead just about any discussion using the pre-populated questions. What results is: recognition of and participation by all group members; increased diversity of thought; a safe space for all to share their unique perspectives; engagement of untapped team expertise; and fruitful conversation, as well as identification of actionable next steps.

Facilitator: Lindsay Gross s an experienced meeting facilitator with over a decade of experience working with multidisciplinary groups, assisting them with goal setting/action planning, and creating an engaging environment that allows for consensus building. She has worked with professionals from both the public and private sector to help them work towards gaining common vision and achieve their goals. Lindsay is known for working with challenging groups to conduct needs assessments, system’s analysis and work together to co-create actionable recommendations for improvement. Lindsay is also an experienced public speaker and trainer, presenting at national conferences on a variety of topics related to overall system change and how to engage with communities.

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