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Voices and Views: April

Event Garde is committed to professional development, for ourselves and for our industry. As such, we’re avid readers of industry news. We’d like to share these must-reads with you.


We know learning on the job is important for employee engagement and retention, as well as the bottom line.

But surveys consistently reveal employees don’t feel they’re receiving necessary training.

In today’s technological world, it’s challenging to hold learners’ attention. But virtual reality may help, according to Association for Talent Development.

A study by the National Training Laboratory found the retention rate for VR learning is 75%, compared to just 10% for reading.


“VR imparts the ability to efficiently and affordably train in ‘spurts,’” ATD says. “Brain science shows that learning is more efficient when short training sessions are spaced out rather than crammed in back-to-back sessions. VR enables the ideal training cadence because it can be used on demand.”


While networking is an effective tool for job searching and advancement, many women aren’t taking advantage of such opportunities, writes Nancy Ham in Entrepreneur.

Although women are seen as more social than men, they’re often victims of their own self-barriers – such as humbleness and modesty, according to a recent study.  

“Done right, networking lets women identify role models, find mentors and sponsors and expand their business opportunities,” Ham says. “As they rise in their careers, they can also pay it forward by helping others coming up behind them.”

Tips: Make networking a priority and change your mindset. Think of networking as a learning opportunity.


People are living longer, and this means the workforce is growing older.

Unfortunately, that also means ageism is rearing its head in companies, especially as many organizations employ multigenerational staffs.

So, how should employers foster the older generation?

One way: knowledge transfer.

Lexology says employers should prioritize knowledge transfer among generations. 

“One of the biggest issues resulting from the absence of older workers is the loss of their knowledge and skills when they leave the workforce,” Lexology says. “Given this, employers should use older workers as mentors to capitalize on their experience and organizational knowledge.”

Mentoring programs can be an effective vehicle for knowledge transfer, as can encouraging regular communication and interactions.

Listening to Lead

​Most of us are familiar with a traditional leadership model, a bureaucratic one that leads from the top down. Decisions are made from the leaders and passed down the line to be implemented. While this leadership style has its place and purpose, in facilitation work we often challenge people to embrace a different leadership style. One that’s purpose is to seek input from all and decisions owned by the group.

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By: Savannah Phillips | Feb, 26 2020

Top 5 Ideas to Make Conferences More Fun for Attendees

​Your association’s annual conference is likely one of the most anticipated events of the year for your members. The opportunities for networking and learning at these events seem endless… If you can keep your attendees engaged with fun, unique activities.

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By: Lindsay Gross | Feb, 21 2020

Am I there yet?

​One’s journey to become an “expert” in the field can be a long and winding one. It requires years of experience, training and confidence. Early in my career as I worked hard to become more skilled in my field. I looked forward to achieving that goal of being an experienced professional in the field. Somewhere along the way, I realized we never really arrive. The work and the growth always continue.

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By: Ashley Uhl | Feb, 14 2020

5 Tips for Better Focus Groups

While many think focus groups are an easy way to get feedback from members, it’s more than meets the eye (like most things in Associations!) Here are five quick tips to make your next focus groups the best they can be.

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Gardian of the Month: Brian Vigna

​​Brian Vigna, Instructional Designer for Event Garde, is our Gardian of the Month.

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Accounting for 5 types of unconscious bias in facilitation

​Unconscious bias can sneak into the meetings and events we facilitate. Unfortunately, this can have a damaging effect on not only participation, but on the outcomes of the facilitated experience, as well. How can we draw greater awareness to unconscious bias and counteract its negative consequences?

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