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Gardian of the Month: Steven Stout

Our Gardian of the Month is Steven Stout, Executive Director for the Texas Society of Association Executives.

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

Hacking For Good – I once booked a “white hat” hacker to speak at an event once and hearing their discussions on “hacking” for good I found totally fascinating. It completely inspired me to want to save the world from the comfort of an office desk chair.

Network: What's your go-to networking trick or tip? 

I really enjoy listening to people. I try my best not to dominate a conversation knowing networking is a two-way street. I have gained some really great insight just by shutting-up and listening. It is amazing what people will share when they feel very comfortable AND that you are actually listening to them.

Transfer: What resources/tools do you find most helpful in helping you retain knowledge? 

I love research I always have so anything I can get my hands on that has to do with trends or innovations in our space. I will take the time to read I probably subscribe to more industry magazines than I should but I enjoy the varying perspectives on things plus I feel more aware of what is going on in our space the more I read

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

There was a fantastic book that came out in 2018 by Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE called Pivot Point. Despite coming out in 2018 and reading it that year I came across the book again in 2020 during lockdown and in rereading it was shocked how applicable it was during that time. I think so many of us are used to being able to identify a solution to a problem or at the very least have an idea of how to approach a problem but last year definitely helped me understand the power of saying “I don’t know but I’ll figure it out” or being open to changing something that I wouldn’t have dreamed of adjusting in the past.

Just for Fun: If you could live someone else's life for a day, who would it be and why? 

Travel Show Host – getting to travel the world on someone else’s dime is incredible! Getting to experience food and cultures almost every day as part of your paid employment sounds like a DREAM! I have always loved to travel ever since I was little and have done a fair share but I watch those travel shows and think “what a life!”.

Innovating Attendee Experiences Despite the Ongoing Pandemic

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. 

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Should I Sunset My Program?

Dr. Michael Tatonetti walks through a High-Low exercise that your team can use to quickly determine the value of individual member benefits (or any product your association offers) has for your members.

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By: Aaron Wolowiec | Oct, 1 2021

10 Hotel Challenges to Overcome During Your Next Event

Having attended, planned and facilitated a number of in-person meetings over the last couple of months, following are 10 hotel challenges Aaron experienced that you should be aware of and plan to overcome as you work on fall and winter events.

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By: Walt Phillips | Sep, 24 2021

7 Practical Ways to Design a Better Association Strategy

Strategic planning is one of the most important but intimidating parts of association work. The extent to which your association achieves your goals, and how quickly, depends in large part upon the thoroughness of your strategic plan. There are many factors to consider when designing a calculated association strategy that can guide your association in the short, medium and long term. Here’s advice for thoughtfully assembling a better association strategic plan.

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11 Safe Meeting Observations from the Front Line

Having recently planned and facilitated a number of in-person meetings and events for a variety of clients and industries, Aaron Wolowiec shares 11 stand-out observations for keeping your members and attendees both safe and comfortable.

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Gardian of the Month: Steven Stout

Steven Stout, Executive Director for the Texas Society of Association Executives. is our Gardian of the Month.

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