Listen to the full podcast episode HERE
What is the most innovative thing you’ve seen done either at your event or an event you’ve attended?
I attended an event that you did at the new African-American museum, and I really loved the use of the space and the hanging appetizers, and there was just a real dynamic feel and good movement of people, and I thought you used the space really well. It’s kind of an industrial space, but you made it feel… I don’t want to say “cozy.” That’s probably not the right word. It felt like community. I really enjoyed that.
What is the best use of technology you’ve utilized at an event or seen at one you’ve attended?
We went to an event in Toronto, Enactus, an international competition of teams that come from all over the world to compete for funding for their different… They had Cirque du Soleil. It was all college students. I had never seen an event so well run, so dynamic. You were literally on the edge of your seat the entire time you were there. The competition was amazing in and of itself, because you had these kids coming from all over the world about these ideas of how they could impact and make the world a better place from their various countries. Then you had entertainment between the different competitions. People came up and they had to memorize in a very finite amount of time to make a proposal to the judges. It was inspiring and fascinating and amazing at the same time. Stimulating! Amazing.
What do you see to be the biggest business advantage to doing or attending events, outside of networking?
For me, I think it’s really just broadening your base a little bit. I’m very curious about things, and I like to think that I explore on my own, but when I come out of my comfort zone and I have the opportunity to go an event or to see something done differently, whether it’s tasting something different, seeing something different, actually understanding the possibility of what you can do, I come back replenished and jazzed about “Wow! We could probably try this! I thought there was a wall, but there isn’t really a wall – it was one in my own mind.”
GUEST: Barbara Polk
Barbara Polk is chief administrative officer for the National Restaurant Association. In this position, she has overall strategic responsibility for information technology, legal, human resources, internal communications, board operations, executive office operations and facilities/office services. In addition to oversight of these key operational functions, she ensures the association has the proper controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems in place to support sustainable enterprise growth in the service of members, customers and partners.
Barbara has more than 20 years of experience in human resources and operations with broad expertise in M&A, global real estate, organizational development, board governance and strategic execution. She has held senior leadership positions at the American Red Cross, Ellucian, XO Communications, and Reading is Fundamental. Barbara received her Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University.