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Planner Spotlight Series- Mas Tadesse, CMP, American Dental Education Association

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August 23, 2021
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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: Mas Tadesse, CMP

Company Name: American Dental Education Association

Job Title: Senior Manager of Governance and Special Projects

Years of Experience: 15+ years

How were you able to adapt during COVID-19 when the meeting and events industry got disrupted?
 
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined a career in television news would prepare me for how adaptable we would have to be during the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 12, 2020 (coincidentally my birthday), we were sent home, laptops in tow. Our company worked in the Microsoft Teams platform, so we all had a working knowledge. I didn't have an office in my home. I knew I needed lights placed in front of me to be seen on screen during videoconference calls. In the months that followed, planning virtual meetings paralleled my news broadcasts. We had to pre-produce scripts identify teleprompter software, record board members' testimonies, and make sure the "takes" were perfect. Over time, the expectation grew of our membership grew, so we had to elevate the game. With ongoing learning programs, we continue to adapt the delivery of our content. For example, like many others, we replaced our sizeable in-person event with multiple small-group videoconferencing sessions. We recognize the limits of what can be addressed using virtual live sessions, such as the length of time we can be online and retain information in a virtual classroom setting and start times based on your time zone.
 
As a planner, what was the number one thing you learned over the past year?
 
I learned keeping a routine works best for me. I set my mobile phone alarm to help with my accountability. First alarm, be seated at my desk, second alarm break for lunch, last alarm, wrap up and start shutting off the computer and try again the next business day.
 
Is there anything you are changing in your planning process moving forward as a result of the pandemic?
 
There's nothing I can think of at this time.
 

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. 

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