Book a Demo
Start Free Trial

Planner Spotlight Series- Leah Johnson, AHDA

co-calendar
November 1, 2021
reading-time
Reading time: 2 min

This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlight's planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world. 


 

Name: Leah Johnson

Company Name: American Dental Hygienists' Association

Job Title: Director of Meetings and Convetions

Years of Experience: 10+

How were you able to adapt during COVID-19 when the meeting and events industry got disrupted?
 
In 2020, after our organization decided to cancel the in-person conference, I had very little time to pivot to a full virtual event. I mean, about 6 weeks. I gathered resources, signed up for PCMA’s DES certification course so I could learn at the same as I planned our event. It was difficult doing both at the same time, but highly necessary. After our virtual conference ended, I shifted my focus on to 2021, knowing that COVID-19 would still be a factor. I was able to create a few options for our organization to look at and determine which would be the best for the company. Each option had a full plan so that way we were ready to execute by the time the board made the official decision for the event. The pre-planning was crucial as it kept our team on a schedule, so that we didn’t feel this sense of doing last minute work or having to rush. This whole coordinated effort really helped put us in a position for success and we were able to successfully put on a in-person event with an on-demand virtual component with little to no hiccups!
 
As a planner, what was the number one thing you learned over the past year?
 
As a planner, one of our greatest strengths is being adaptable. And over the past 18 months, that skill set was truly a test for not only myself but for the rest of our industry. It’s a matter of being able to problem-solve and make the best out of a crappy situation. In the end, no matter the results, we always come out stronger and better!
 
Is there anything you are changing in your planning process moving forward as a result of the pandemic?
 
Like everyone else, just taking a closer look at our contracts and our clauses, room block adjustments, etc. But also, now is the time to make all the changes we’ve wanted to make to our programs. Get rid of things that have been done year-after-year that no longer make sense or are too costly. Use this time revamp and bring in new fresh ideas! 
 

This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlight's planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world. 

Like the post?  Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed on the latest news and trends in the meetings and events world.
Sign up

You may be interested