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Planner Spotlight Series- Kara Ferguson, AOA

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November 8, 2021
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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: Kara Ferguson

Company Name: American Orthopaedic Association

Job Title: Meetings and Fellowships Manager

Years of Experience: 10+

How were you able to adapt during COVID-19 when the meeting and events industry got disrupted?
 
I was able to adapt during COVID-19 by accepting the fact that this crisis is simultaneously forcing and presenting the best opportunity for our industry to reaffirm continuous learning is a top priority. As the digital world fully emerged itself in the event/meeting space, I knew my team and I had to fully get on board because technology was a must have and a need to know. Therefore, we quickly put on our creative and innovative thinking caps to ensure we could thrive in this new environment to create a captivating experience for participants. With support coming from every which way, we were able to do so.
 
As a planner, what was the number one thing you learned over the past year?
 
As a planner, I learned that my team and I can be resilient. We experienced many challenges and changes over time and evolved from those. We made major adjustments in our daily lives, routines and habits. The past year has shown us that life throws learning curves to allow us to be more present and in the moment. Overall, it has made us become more aware of ourselves and the community around us.
 
Is there anything you are changing in your planning process moving forward as a result of the pandemic?
 
As a result of the pandemic, I am changing my approach to meeting/event design. It is essential that when planning all options, especially hybrid/virtual are included moving forward. The pandemic provided many opportunities for people across the globe to attend meetings and events that they possibly would have never been able to or would have never thought to attend. It is amazing the amount of attendees we were able to reach, speakers that were able to present, and sponsors that were able to engage with attendees in a more personalized real-time format. Adding this component seems to create a win-win for all.
 

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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