Writing from my home office, with my children at the kitchen table learning off their laptops, and after 3 hours of virtual meetings with my team and a few clients, I thought I would take a moment to muse…
There is so much to learn about engagement and movement.
Sea to Sky’s association clients are specialists in their fields – health care and public relations are two examples. Our healthcare clients’ members are impacted by the pandemic in so many ways, from being on the front line to being kept from the line altogether. Our public relations client’s members are so busy managing this crisis on behalf of their organisations that there is likely no end line in sight!
I am sure you know that the conference and event management industry (and the tourism industry with whom we are intrinsically linked) have been dealt a devastating blow by COVID-19. We are unsure when a full in-person conference will be allowed to be scheduled.
That said, we are very familiar with making from small to very large adjustments to the way we support our clients and our industry. Sometimes we see the adjustments coming, other times we don’t.
Meeting and association management professionals are just that – professionals who can direct and respond to the environment, whether it be technology changes (like overnight advances in virtual conference platforms), environmental changes (like more emphasis on sustainability practices) or responding to pandemics (SARS, COVID-19…).
I want to assure you that even though our industry may be in the throes of a setback, our community is looking forwards and working hard behind the scenes to adapt, learn and implement new strategies for delivering meetings – talk about engagement and movement!
Here are just a few examples of efforts being made:
- MPI – BC Chapter recently hosted its second Event Technology Update live virtual event around how to set up a home office with the best quality sound and video equipment in order to create podcasts, radio and TV shows – Sea to Sky and our clients will benefit from these events as we assist presenters with these new technologies
- MPI International just posted its June education calendar, with courses ranging from “Adaptation, The new Competitive Advantage” and “Medical Meetings, Post COVID-19” to “Protecting Your Meetings and Event Budgets in Difficult Times” – Sea to Sky’s team will attend these courses and forward the findings to our client Boards in order to support their decision making around engagement and planning
- Destination Canada is hosting regular webinars, sharing its approach amid the COVID-19 situation and providing information on available federal support initiatives – Destination Canada is conducting market research to support the tourism industry’s next steps – Sea to Sky will tap into these resources in order to advise our clients on how members will be able to ‘move’ to meetings in the future
In addition to information being circulated by professional associations, we are also inserted into streams of information being provided by suppliers (like AV companies and hotels), key partners (like Convention and Visitors Bureaus from around the world), governments and other organizations on how to best position our industry and our clients for future success.
So, while our association clients themselves are learning and adapting to their adjusted professional realities, rest assured that meeting and association management professionals, like Sea to Sky’s team members, are doing the same.
My musing moment is over. Back to work, to being a mom, to assisting my team, to guiding our clients to ensure their organizations thrive no matter what!
Sarah Lowis, CMP, CMM, CAE, BA (French)
President and Founder