Meghan Traynor is excited to join Powerhouse Planning as a Social Media Specialist. She is a proud Coast Guard spouse currently residing in Alameda, California with her husband and their newborn son! Meghan graduated in 2015 with a degree in early childhood education. She started out as a teaching assistant and worked her way up to be the assistant director of a preschool. While Meghan loves teaching and all the rewards that come with it, she has decided to start down a new path as a freelancer so she can stay at home with her son and still be able to help support her family and her husband’s career.
Katlin Neese is joining the Powerhouse Planning team as a graphic designer. She is a fellow entrepreneur, and her creative endeavors include product design, product placement, social media marketing, and fine art mediums. Katlin is the founder of Guac & Soul, a social media platform and lifestyle blog that supports small businesses and facilitates her passion for bringing ideas to life. On her platform she shares her artwork, nutrition tips, and nuggets from life with her two daughters, and she has collaborated with companies and various organizations to help spread the word about their products, services, and causes.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Katlin has lived abroad, attended school for fine art in Tennessee, and received her bachelor’s degree in marketing while building her own small business. She now works at a nonprofit called CEED, The Center for Economic Empowerment & Development, outside of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The military brought Katlin to North Carolina, but the rapidly growing city and potential are what made her put down roots.
Katlin loves to celebrate the success of others and support businesses through her art and marketing skills. From drawing portraits to designing store displays, she can be seen bouncing around lending a helping hand.
I caught myself this morning putting on makeup with one hand, the other occupied with a toddler whining because she can’t wear red lipstick to school, all the while remaining fully engrossed in a foreign conversation about anime with my STEM-loving 13-year-old daughter. I’m a work-from-home-mom, author, speaker, and retail entrepreneur. These post-military days, I raise my kids in Tampa, Florida and run businesses in North Carolina and Virginia. Are you exhausted yet?
Moms everywhere are making it happen and “having it all,” concurrently starting and nurturing small businesses and small humans—both of which are never-ending jobs.
Meet Tiffany Eve Lawrence, mommy and founder of Covered Cubs. She’s a Marine spouse and mom to twin 6-year-old daughters, Lyla and Ava. She’s known among her friends as the outgoing and outspoken one who makes friends easily. Her interpersonal skills suited her well for military life and led her to start her own business. Tiffany is hands down one of the most genuine and inspiring examples of mom entrepreneur success I could share with you today.
It’s our anniversary! Powerhouse Planning turned six years young in 2018, and CEO Jessica Bertsch has big plans on the horizon. When she launched her entrepreneurial vision in 2012, she did so with a plan to lean on the skills of an untapped resource: military spouses. As Powerhouse experienced upward mobility, Jessica’s team expanded to reflect a unique talent pool transcending geographic barriers. And that means delivering more services to small business owners at a budget-friendly cost. Whether you’re looking to plan a large-scale event or revise branding in 2019, Powerhouse’s suite of services covers it all.
Learn more about how Powerhouse Planning is giving opportunities to freelancers around the U.S. while also helping entrepreneurs grow: Powerhouse CEO Reflects on Company’s Growth, Defining Moment.
The key to a successful event is to get people talking about it before it even happens. Orchestrating a good buzz for the venue, conference, gala, or whatever type of event you are hosting will increase ticket sales and attendance while also helping you anticipate the success. But where do you start?
Here are five steps for making your event the talk of the town—or the internet:
Put a hashtag on it.
Social media is your first stop when it comes to getting people to talk about your event. Create an event page on Facebook and LinkedIn, then promote on your own Instagram and Twitter accounts. You will also want to create an event-specific hashtag and include it on any social media promotion, including graphics.
This is where your team will come in handy, too. Assign specific tasks to your marketing team so that a strategy can be implemented. For example, acknowledge any posts or comments that are made in relation to the event. Someone should be responsible for monitoring feedback and questions. The better customer service you display on social media, the more interested those who see it will be in attending your event.
There is nothing quite like the opportunity to get away from the everyday routine of your office and attend a conference to build up your career. The learning, networking, and professional lunches may have you feeling amped up, energized, and ready to share with the world everything you have learned.
However, conferences can also have a crazy period of nonstop meet and greets, to the point where your head is spinning from all the overwhelming connections being made. Plus, you are probably thinking about getting settled back into your office, tackling the emails waiting for you, and attending the meetings that will follow. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose the momentum built within a few hours of returning home.
How will you remember everything you learned, and, most importantly, how will you preserve the post-conference glow and maintain your revived energy?
Before heading home, there are a few must-do items that will help keep the momentum going and get you organized before you dive back into the mayhem of the office.
- Brain dump.
Have you ever arrived home to read over your notes and not understood one word you wrote? Somewhere between the overload of conference information and the hastiness with which you wrote down the ideas you wanted to remember, you may realize that this would be the perfect time to know shorthand. Two things to do before heading home, when everything is still fresh in your brain, are to review and to rewrite important notes. I typically carry two notepads with me—one for housing the scribbly day of notes and the other for rewriting any important ideas I want to remember and share with others. Here’s another tip: Search the conference hashtag online. Oftentimes, on the day I travel, I will dive down the hashtag rabbit hole and jot down anything I may have missed from other attendees and sometimes even the speakers.
“The Powerhouse team has been essential in helping us scale our venture in a way that has the potential to help so many more military families than we’d ever dreamed. Jessica’s rock-star team of military spouse talent was a key element in our choosing to partner with them. Organized, professional, precise, and punctual are just a few of the ways I would describe Powerhouse and their work, and I would recommend them 1,000 times over for anyone looking for a strategic content or marketing assist.” – Kellie Artis, COO of MILLIE
Powerhouse Service Provided: External Communications
Moving is a part of military life that will always be a constant. Whether you’re on the go every two to three years, or you get to homestead at a duty station a little longer, at some point there will be orders in hand. And even though this component of the lifestyle has been around forever, families have been facing increasing hardships in recent years. That’s where MILLIE comes in.
MILLIE was created to ease relocation burdens by helping service members and their loved ones feel at home before they even get there. Through a mix of current intel about a duty station and boots-on-the-ground professionals, the company creates peace of mind for every stage of a PCS. Scouts, for example, are scattered around the U.S. and serve as eyes and ears for all of the questions a military family may have. Gone are the days where a military spouse in California has to choose a house sight unseen in North Carolina. Instead, MILLIE’s Scouts will gather information, complete tasks, take photos, and help clients make informed decisions.
Powerhouse Planning recently worked with MILLIE to help launch a new project called Agent Intel, which connects real estate agents to an exclusive subscription-based portal with tools to communicate effectively with military consumers. The goal is to streamline the PCS move for families who have anything but time to waste while also educating real estate professionals on matters important to a military client—like navigating the VA Home Loan process.
Kellie Artis, COO of MILLIE, says her team’s overall focus is to help military families feel more in control of what can be an overwhelming process by giving them tools they can trust. And that trust stems from the fact that each resource is created by someone who is familiar with the military because MILLIE is built on a philosophy of “keeping it in the family.” Artis works directly with veterans and military spouses to craft each of MILLIE’s offerings.
There are so many moving parts when planning a professional conference, and keeping it all organized can be the difference between a success and a dud. As technology continues to advance the more traditional ways of event planning, software tools are simplifying the process of spreading the word about events, both big and small. Below are just a few of our favorite resources that transform the conference experience for both the planner and the attendee.
Whova – This award-winning event planning app allows organizers to connect attendees all in one place. It is the ultimate networking tool for before, during, and after an event, and conference planners can use it to distribute agenda updates, session information, and any last-minute details. Whether you anticipate a few dozen or hundreds of registrants, this management software brings you the latest technology in an easy-to-navigate way.
Eventbrite – The world’s largest event technology platform allows users to create an event-listing page that reflects the appropriate theme and vision. Plus, the use of the page is free if the tickets are free, and then pricing increases depending on what you are charging. Some of the features include a built-in payment processing, sales tracking, automated communication tools to update attendees, and support. And if you make your event public, more eyes are likely to land on it because visitors to the site can search by interests and location.
Social Wall – If you want to create buzz and excitement about your event, you need to let your attendees spread your message. A Social Wall (or Twitter Wall if you prefer to focus on one platform) encourages attendees to be social while sitting in your sessions. It is a display screen that gathers all social posts in one spot so that onlookers can watch the conversations live. Plus, after the event you can pull all of that goodness together for post-conference promotion. Taggbox is a social media aggregator that offers plans starting for free as well as options based on the size of your business.
When you think of the YMCA, you likely picture the 1970s hit song with its infamous dance move that is still popular at weddings. But the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) is actually a long-standing organization with an incredibly rich history that is surprisingly intertwined with our nation’s military. In fact, that relationship dates back as far as 1861 and has continued to present day.
Soon after the ASYMCA made its initial appearance in the U.S. during the Civil War, the organization inspired volunteers to focus on helping those fighting. During WWII, the YMCA joined with other organizations to create the USO, and when the USO deactivated for a brief period in 1947, the YMCA filled the gap. Later that year, ASYMCA was officially created, with 26 branches and overseas locations.
And its team knows what it’s doing when it comes to serving our military community. The nonprofit organization’s work has continued with a focus on programming for active duty junior enlisted military members and their families. More recently, ASYMCA held the “Angels of the Battlefield” Gala, honoring medical professionals from each branch for actions in and out of the line of duty. The ASYMCA focuses on three primary ways of positively affecting the lives of military families: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.