A Meeting Planner To Know: Jan Aument
BASF Corporation Building Systems, 889 Valley Park Drive, Shakopee 55379
From a 1,000-attendee VIP event in Las Vegas to service projects with Habitat for Humanity, Jan Aument has helmed the planning and execution of events of all shapes and sizes.
Aument sets herself apart in her acute ability to understand the salient objectives at hand and help develop meaningful ways to create unique experiences in each event she plans.
She is the tradeshow and event coordinator for Shakopee-based BASF Building Systems, a manufacturer of chemicals and building products for the construction industry that employs about 170. She has more than 15 years of experience crafting events that help professionals develop and build ties in their industries.
Aument has been involved in both corporate and association event planning, which includes all aspects of developing objectives and content, site selection, negotiation, logistics, entertainment selection, on-site management, and event surveying.
Her key achievements include planning her company’s national business conference for 350 attendees, two conferences for an executive industry association, and numerous trade shows. She also organizes BASF employee community service projects in conjunction with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, as well as Feed My Starving Children and a national, BASF-created program called Kid’s Lab, in which BASF employees bring science supplies to elementary school classrooms and engage in hands-on experiments with the children.
Although her experience is diverse, Aument cites as her pride and joy a contest she designed called “Crews That Rock,” which was created for a contractor-based trade show called World of Concrete (WOC) in Las Vegas.
WOC attracts original equipment manufacturers from around the world as well as U.S. distributors of tools, products, and services for commercial construction, concrete, and masonry industries. The show draws about 1,300 exhibitors each year.
In an attempt to attract interest from contractors who might otherwise not attend, Aument spawned the Crews That Rock online contest, which calls on contracting companies to nominate their crews to be recognized for outstanding jobs they completed that year. The contest is open to public voting and the three winning crews are given airfare to and hotel accommodations in Las Vegas, plus free entry to the WOC show.
Crews That Rock has now become an integral part of the WOC show and last year attracted Dean and Derek, hosts of DIY network’s Rock Solid, Indoors Out, and PBS’ Victory Garden, to host the award ceremony.
Aument is also a member of the Senior Planner Industry Network (SPIN), an event planning association for senior-level planners, which requires members to have a minimum of 10 years experience in the industry.
She was recently asked to lead the Twin Cities chapter of SPIN’s quarterly think-tank conference with a session on the importance of setting objectives. Her talk was titled “Who Cares About The Chicken?” and it poked fun at how planners can sometimes get lost in the details, like what kind of chicken will be served, and forget about the big picture.
Following her speech, Aument broke the event attendees into “learning mobs” that allowed them to learn from each other’s experiences, gave them the opportunities to toot their own horns (literally, “we had horns,” she said), and asked that everyone connect with a fellow planner on their objectives for an upcoming event and make a vow that they would follow up with their partners to keep each other motivated and on track.
• Certified Trade Show Marketer, Bronze Certification, Northern Illinois University Outreach Program, 2013
• BASF Corporation, trade show and event coordinator (2004-present); marketing assistant (2000–2004); materials information coordinator (1998–2004)
• America's Home Team, office manager (1993-1997)
• Valspar Corporation, marketing coordinator (1987-1993)
• Received the “All-Star Award” from Exhibitor Magazine, 2013
• Three-time winner of BASF’s “President’s Award,” 2012, 2010, and 2000
• Named “Change Maker of the Year” by Meetings.Net Magazine, 2012
Outside activities & interests
Jan loves to go biking, hiking, and kayaking. She says she travels just enough for her job to still enjoy it.