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Planners Moving Forward Series- Jodie Couture, One Tree Planted

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June 10, 2022
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Reading time: 3 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: Jodie Couture

Company Name: One Tree Planted

Job Title: Event Manager

Years of Experience: 2.5

How do you think you are positioned, after months of persevering with the pandemic, to take advantage of our new and disrupted meetings/events landscape?
 
I’ve learned a lot about events through the Covid era. I mean, my career started only months before March 2020, so it’s all I’ve really known. We work very closely with on-the-ground planting partners to facilitate tree planting events. To learn in this landscape has really been an opportunity to assess the deeper needs of communities we have partners in. With environmental justice being brought to light so clearly through the pandemic, we’ve had further conversations with our planting partners in terms of how we can make the most impact not only environmentally, but socially as well. These conversations have allowed us to really increase the level of support we can offer communities where we have a presence. 
 
As our community moves forward with planning in-person meetings, what new technologies or processes are you implementing that you may have not looked at before?
Our Community Forestry team built out a survey in 2021 to send to all of our partners with the goal of getting a better sense of how we can best support them. We’re still actively using this information to increase the impact that our funding can have. Not only that, we’re now using tools to assess areas within communities and cities that are lacking tree canopy coverage and targeting them in our urban projects and events. Last year we also hired an Urban Forest Specialist, Tanner Haid, to join our Community Forestry Team. His knowledge of the urban forestry space has been so impactful in understanding how we can really make a difference to communities and individuals through planting trees! :)
 
As we see virtual meetings transition back to face to face, hybrid meetings are beginning to be the vehicle to return to normalcy. What are your thoughts on hybrid meetings versus traditional fully in-person meetings?
 
There are definitely cities that we haven’t been able to engage in for some time now due to a high number of cases and mandates, but otherwise our tree planting events are safe activities to take part in. We’ve had many events through the COVID-era, all while ensuring all mandates and guidelines are followed of course. We’ve also had some virtual options for folks to take part in. For instance, we partnered with WeHero to develop tree kits that can be sent to people’s homes. They have a virtual lunch and learn component included, making it a totally remote but hands-on engagement. I know our general One Tree Planted lunch and learns have also become very popular for corporations to have their employees to take part in as well. I believe hybrid models are important as they offer a lot of accessibility to people who may not necessarily be able to leave their homes or have a harder time doing so. 
 
In your opinion, what do you think the biggest value for your attendees is in regards to returning to live events?
 
It might sound a little cliché, but my life motto is “think global, act local”. I can’t emphasize enough how much I believe in the value of community on an individual level and in the bigger picture as well. I think amazing things can happen in the virtual world and technology is such a powerful tool to connect and foster change. I also think that getting together in person with the common goal of improving a neighborhood through environmental stewardship offers a huge sense of hope and connection between those involved. It’s always really special to hear the feedback of our donors, our partners and the volunteers who attend these events, and they often lead to people wanting to do even more which is one of the best parts! 
 
 

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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