Conference Connection Tools

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.

2018-10-25T13:52:13+00:00October 25th, 2018|


By: Rheanna Bernard

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.


2018-10-25T13:53:00+00:00October 25th, 2018|

New Powerhouse Team Member

Julia Clark is the daughter of an Army veteran, the wife of a fireman, the mother of three, and a self-employed freelancer since 2008. She’s located on Florida’s sunny space coast, where it’s quite literally summer year-round. Freelancing has allowed her the work-life balance and flexibility she so enjoys, and she’s excited to join Powerhouse Planning’s freelance team.

Julia prides herself on being a versatile member of any client’s team and has years of experience as a social media manager, blogger, influencer, content curator, marketer, graphic designer, and virtual assistant. She has knack for networking and developing creative marketing strategies, and she truly feels she’s a valuable asset on any team, regardless of their niche.

2018-10-02T23:35:43+00:00October 2nd, 2018|

New Powerhouse Team Member

Ariana Detrez is a freelance graphic designer with a background in art education. She received her bachelor’s in art education from the University of Central Florida. She taught high school art 2-D and digital photography for a year until she realized she wanted to get back to her creative roots. She has always been drawn to the arts, and graphic design allows her to tap into her creativity while helping businesses. Ariana is constantly branching out in her design work, testing out trends, and exploring her skills. When Ariana is not expressing her artistic perspective through design, she is exploring other creative fields such as photography, drawing, and paper-crafting.

Ariana is new to military life and being a military spouse; however, she is enjoying the refreshing change. It has been quite an adjustment, but a positive one nonetheless. Learning about the Air Force and the military, along with participating in the community, has really helped her grow and connect with others.

2018-09-26T14:56:59+00:00September 26th, 2018|

Guardsman Uses Minimalist Style to Accessorize Military Uniforms

By: Bianca Strzalkowski

Amy Slinker understands the sacrifices attached to military service, but her entrepreneurial spirit didn’t think fashion sense had to be one of them.

The longtime serving citizen-soldier launched an entrepreneurial venture in 2014 to give her fellow service members accessories with military regulations in mind. WILCO LIFE’s namesake combines the military jargon of “will comply” with inspiration from the unique military lifestyle. Now Slinker is setting her sights on growing her brand to include a larger national customer base.

Her military connection

Slinker, originally from the Midwest, moved to Alaska in 2005 when her husband Dustin received orders there with the Army. Today, Slinker is attached to the Alaska National Guard, but has traveled much of the world in her two-decades-long career.

“I spent most of my Guard career in public affairs and have had the opportunity to travel to South Korea, Romania, Mongolia, and Australia for missions with the Guard. I also responded to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster,” she shared.

Like many military spouses, Slinker faced the daunting task of finding employment when the couple first relocated to Alaska. She started temp work that eventually led her to a present-day job with Pfeffer Development, a multidisciplinary commercial real estate development firm.

“My career before moving to Alaska was in photojournalism. When we PCSed to Alaska, I struggled to find a job. I understand firsthand how difficult it can be as a military spouse to maintain a career while following a military service member’s career,” she said. “I realized I needed to look for other opportunities outside of photojournalism. I started temping at Anchorage business offices to network and broaden my search for job opportunities where I could apply my marketing and public relations skills. That’s how I started at Pfeffer Development—I was a temp for the receptionist and eventually was hired as the Director of Marketing.”


2018-08-06T16:22:40+00:00August 6th, 2018|


Happiness at work translates to productive employees. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Wrong. Satisfaction in the workplace doesn’t always happen organically; instead, it is the job of business owners and managers to find the right tools to motivate the team. And what that looks like varies company to company.

In fact, over 250,000 people stated happiness leads to many outcomes, like improved working relationships and higher output. One way to inject these results into your workforce is through strategic planning of your company’s culture, and the Powerhouse team can help with that. Among our services is company development—including team building and talent management. We work hand in hand with the decision makers on how to create professional development plans to set up your employees for success before they are even hired. Learn more here: Powerhouse Planning.

2018-08-08T01:58:56+00:00August 6th, 2018|

How to Use Team-Building Activities to Engage Your Team

By: Angela Caban, MHRM

A recent report reveals business owners are losing trillions of dollars due to lost productivity among team members.

Eighty-five percent of employees are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work, according to the Gallup study. Some team members may say they are just punching a time clock and have no need for work engagement, but research shows that employees who are engaged are more productive.

Team building may be the answer to this current issue facing companies. These types of activities are a great way to develop workplace camaraderie so that employees have a better understanding of each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests. It is also a surefire method to improve projects that involve teamwork, resulting in coworkers operating better together. The outcome of team building can be extremely vital to a company’s success and to employee retention.

Some benefits of team-building activities are

  1. Increased workplace engagement,
  2. Improved creativity, and
  3. Enhanced communication skills.

However, many leaders seem to have the wrong idea about what constitutes a fun activity. The common result ends up being that employees feel like they have to get through yet another task, rather than enjoying their time and making proper use of a valuable opportunity. Avoiding this pitfall is as simple as picking ideas that are fun and engaging to the team, while also offering good opportunities to show off some skills.


2018-08-06T16:22:57+00:00August 6th, 2018|

Radical Generosity & Volunteering Across Local Communities

By: Rebecca Alwine

Be the good and do goodness in the world.

Companies, large and small, are finding value in giving back through team philanthropy. And it isn’t restricted to any one type of industry. From service professionals to virtual teams, businesses are using their niche as a means to encourage teamwork, improve communities, and just do their part overall.

Jessica Bertsch, founder and president of Powerhouse Planning, feels she was called to give back to others through her business and her team. Prior to launching her small business, her career spanned higher education and government contracting. It was there that she learned to appreciate the immense possibilities attached to a dollar.

“I’ve worked at multi-million dollar companies and was always in awe of how much money came in to leadership, but how very little was done companywide to make a difference in our world. I committed that if I ever had my own company I would build it on maintaining a healthy work/life balance and on being the good in our world,” she said.

And she has kept that promise. Powerhouse is committed to doing its part through “Sharing the Goodness,” devoting 10% of earnings each month to those in need. From supporting nonprofit organizations to providing student scholarships, Bertsch invests a portion of her profits in improving future possibilities for others. As her business grows, her philanthropy expands.


2018-08-08T02:00:01+00:00August 6th, 2018|

Client Profile: Rescued Whines

Powerhouse Service Provided: External Communications

“What initially attracted me to Powerhouse for my new business was its employment of military spouses and veterans. Then, as we worked together I became impressed with what a professional and effective company it was. Jessica and her team provided me with my initial startup needs and lots of advice! Communication was timely and results were just what I wanted. I plan to use Powerhouse for my continued marketing and business planning needs. Thanks, Powerhouse!” – Karen Segal, co-owner, Rescued Whines

Interested in learning how we can help your company grow? Email us at We’d love to be on your team!

2018-08-06T16:23:13+00:00August 6th, 2018|

Staying Connected to Your Team

Remember when the best way to stay connected to your team was in-person meetings or conference calls? Well, the speed of technology has taken off and these tools are starting to seem archaic. With over 46% of employees working remotely, there is also a need for communication methods that keep up with the pace of today’s digital world.

Discussion forums – Have you ever had a question go unanswered or waited prolonged times to hear back from superiors? Information sharing between peers in a workplace can be extremely vital. New employees can be guided by veteran workers on learning what’s new or by answering a question they have experience in. A company discussion forum could also allow employees to discuss issues in the workplace as well as collaborate on current projects.

Company intranet – An intranet is a private hub that can only be accessed by those users with access. This should be a key form of communication with employees internally. Establishing an intranet lets employees stay up to date with company announcements and news, void of the burden all-hands emails create. Plus, supervisors can break down by department, making it easier to get to your designated area but also allowing the opportunity to learn about other areas.

Skype for Business – As painful as some meetings can be, we must admit that they are necessary. Those who work from home have no other choice then to use video conferencing when it comes to checking in. Skype for Business changes the way you gather with your team. You can present a meeting over your desktop video conference using the traditional IM feature to communicate quickly with team members and even to allow coworkers to control your desktop during presentations if needed.

2018-08-06T16:23:20+00:00August 6th, 2018|