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By: Aaron Wolowiec | Jan, 21 2022

5 Recommendations in Honor of Healthy by Association Milestone Anniversary

In 2017, I established Healthy by Association (HBA) for people in the stress-riddled association and hospitality industries to connect around a shared lifestyle, commiserate over the frustrating obstacles it presents when trying to embrace self-care, and ultimately, inspire each other to not only set the bar high and invest in their health, but to actually enjoy the journey along the way.

It's hard to believe that was five years ago. At the time, it helped me to consistently get back into the gym after a bad breakup. My friends and family were positively responding to my consistent Facebook posts (as well as adamantly arguing the superiority of outdoor running to indoor running!), so I transitioned them from my personal account to a dedicated Facebook group.

Over the years, a rotating roster of GoalGetters-turned-moderators have helped to curate and offer an extensive list of services:

All these years later, the community still motivates me to regularly move, eat (decently) well, prioritize self-care, and honestly talk about my mental health. And as I 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:

  1. You can’t show up for others if you don’t first show up for yourself. It’s the reason your flight attendant urges you to put your Oxygen mask on before assisting others. So consider how you might prioritize this year the various dimensions that comprise wellness, including emotional, physical, occupational, social, spiritual, intellectual, environmental, and financial.
  2. A support network is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. On the days you’d rather stay in bed than hit the pavement or make the trek to the gym, it’s incredibly motivating to have the support and encouragement of others who can empathize with you. Identify your circle of friends and family that are best positioned to support and motivate you. (The good news is: “feeling like it” isn’t a requirement.)
  3. Don’t underestimate the benefits of a healthy team. Healthy employees improve company health and culture through greater productivity, energy, engagement, and morale, as well as improved job performance and greater self-confidence. Whether your team is fully remote, fully in-person, or somewhere in between, consider the small changes you can introduce to more intentionally support the wellbeing of your team.
  4. Prioritize health and wellness for your members in-person. As your organization returns to in-person meetings and events, remember to plan healthier snack and meal options. Provide water infusion stations to promote better hydration. Incorporate more white space for self-care, stretching, and reflection. And offer group workout options such as yoga, swimming, and running.
  5. Continue to support the unique needs of members joining remotely. This includes, among other things, shorter video calls, frequent breaks, opportunities to stand and stretch, and reminders to stay hydrated. It also means creating reasonable expectations around connection, gratitude, and the permission to step away, as needed.

While it can all seem a bit overwhelming, it’s important to remember that “baby steps” in one or more of these areas will still move us forward. So, to start, maybe pick just one of these recommendations to focus on, identify a couple of action items, and set a realistic timeline for completion. 

In honor of Healthy by Association’s five-year anniversary, please share with us what the community has meant to you using the comments below or by emailing us at 

Likewise, should you be interested in spending an hour or two a month helping others on their health and wellness journeys, please take just three minutes to complete this brief volunteer survey and we'll work hard to match you with the right opportunity. Our goal is to find you a short- or long-term volunteer position you'll love without overcommitting you.

In the meantime, I raise my green smoothie in celebration of all we’ve accomplished and in anticipation of what the next five years has in store. Cheers!

By: Kara Nacarato | Jun, 2 2023

Tackling Your Food and Beverage Challenges

Wouldn't it be nice to have a secret formula that would magically select the perfect F&B that would accommodate all attendees and ensure everyone was happy with every meal? Unfortunately, we haven't found that quite yet, but here are a few tips and considerations you may find helpful while planning your next meeting or conference.

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Seamlessly Transitioning Presentations with Pre/Post Slideshows 

Kate shares some solutions to the challenge of having “pre-session” rotating slides to show before a presentation and having to swap slideshows for the presentation itself - which often looks and feels clunky. Here's her solution to this big little issue!

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Gardian of the Month: Katie Gadulka

Katie Gadulka is our Gardian of the Month! Find out something she'd like to learn more about, if she considers herself a natural networker, how she makes her industry better, that one things she can't live without and what food she would choose if she could only eat one for a week! 

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By: Yesenia Murillo | May, 12 2023

Prioritizing The Tender Parts of You

Why is it that we often have reservations about sharing the tender parts of our soul, heart, and mind? Tenderness and vulnerability are not foreign to the human experience, they’re in fact universal core characteristics. Yesenia shares some promising ways to prioritize the tender parts of you.

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(Re) Committing to Our Values

The Event Garde team is committed to holding ourselves accountable to our core values. These values serve as the foundation for how we work with one another, our partners, and our clients and it’s important that they continue to be an accurate reflection of who we aim to be. Here's what happened from the intentional revisiting of these values. 

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By: Aaron Wolowiec | Apr, 28 2023

Stop Boring Your Meeting Attendees: 10 Recommendations for a Better First Impression

I recently attended an industry conference. I sat in the opening general session patiently awaiting the keynote speaker to take the stage, but what followed was a 15-minute laundry list of announcements and appreciations that very few people were interested in. As I sit in the audience on this particular day, not as a planner but as an attendee, I realize how this opening has landed – and it’s not a great first impression. So, what’s the resolution? Following are 10 recommendations that you can mix and match to stop boring your meeting attendees and set a better first impression.

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