Blog FPO

Gardian of the Month: Kate Pojeta

Our Gardian of the Month is Kate Pojeta, Director of Meetings and Technology for Event Garde.

Learn: What's one subject you'd like to learn more about? 

If I think of this from a professional stance, my answer is “facilitation work”. It’s something I did for years without the knowledge that there is so much MORE to how I was trained to perform that work. While the experiences I delivered before being enlightened were adequate for their intended purposes, as I’ve learned more about this work - the process, thinking, methods and strategies - I am more and more intrigued!

Network: How do you help someone not comfortable networking at a professional event loosen up? 

As an introvert and expert at avoiding networking, and at the same time someone that is asked to facilitate networking events, I like to think I help others that are uncomfortable by sharing those honest feelings with people up front, by putting it out there about how awkward networking can be. When facilitating those events, I try to give them an environment and tools for the experience so that it is (hopefully) less awkward.

Transfer: Tell us about an experience in which you learned something new and then applied it to your personal or professional life.

In my work with one particular client, a few years back, I was introduced to the concept of pronouns being used and the importance of that, at a time before it was more widely used. Learning about why those were important helped me both in personal and professional endeavors to provide events and interactions that were inclusive and welcoming. That has catapulted my desire to learn more about gender-based challenges, which has further propelled me to educate myself more on racial, social and educational inequities.

Please share with us a resource and why you can’t live without it.

I love to read and if money was no object, I would buy ALL. THE. BOOKS. However, I don’t tend to re-read books, so it’s not an expense I want to incur nor one that is really necessary, and of course, money is a factor overall, so limitless books is not in my future. I am a frequent visitor to my local library and when their hours were impacted in 2020 by COVID-19, I went in search of inexpensive books. I stumbled upon betterworldbooks.com and it’s like a personal party whenever a box of books arrives! I can save my list of books I want to read, buy most of them at less than $5 per book, and when I buy from them, they donate books on their end of things. When I’m done reading a book, I deposit it in one of the many local “book nooks” or “little library” locations around my city - or I donate back to my library, thus doubling the donation efforts and hopefully introducing someone to a book they might not have found elsewhere!

Just for Fun: Which actor or actress would you most like to meet and why?

Tom Hanks. His breadth of work is so impressive and I’m captivated by so much of what he has produced and acted in. I appreciate his personal sense of humor, his down to earth style, family values, etc.

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

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! 

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

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.

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Gardian of the Month: Ahliba Toffa

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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By: Shannon Lockwood | Sep, 9 2022
Meetings

Aligning Your Venue Space, Content, and Experience Goals

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. And suddenly, a colleague comes in with their next BIG IDEA… and “the plan” goes out the window…

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By: Krista Rowe | Sep, 2 2022
Facilitation

How the Questions We Ask Effect Our Work

Often as facilitators we create questions to get to a particular outcome, to the extent that it guides the conversation in a narrow direction. Being clear about our own agenda for a question - the ways in which all questions are loaded and are directly connected to our own worldview – is super important.

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Forces Impacting Our Success: MSAE Members Complete PESTLE Analysis

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. Following is an overview of those sessions led by Event Garde team members, along with the strategic insights and actionable business intelligence association leaders can apply to their work immediately.

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