And in a blink of an eye… or rather with a cough and a sneeze… the world came to a shuddering halt. The past felt immediately distant. The present was clouded with uncertainty and anxiety. And the future? Well, it’s clouded. Hard to see. Hard to even imagine.

For years, our team has brought people together to meet, learn, celebrate, and to empower them with the knowledge they need to succeed. And most importantly, to culture build. To solidify a team with a hug or a handshake (which is the intangible part of these meetings) and now, the part that feels the most challenging.

So what now? 

For now we all pivot. We #SkypeZoomWebEx to literally traverse the virtual miles between us. We lean on technology for connections. We put up with stuttering internet connections and glitchy media playback. We smile at small victories: getting your voice heard above the cacophony of a 12-person happy hour Zoom; experiencing a two-hour meeting with no freezing visuals or robotic audio. We get creative and adapt. We deal with the now. But tomorrow is coming…

So what next?

As doors start to slowly swing open, small victories will look different. Imagine smiling at your neighbor without feeling wary. Giving your order to a waiter and enjoying a meal that you neither have prepared nor will be cleaning up. Hugging those you love by actually putting your arms around them. They will be small, but glorious victories.

And at the workplace? Actually meeting in person! Maybe without an actual handshake, but a big smile. Ridesharing. Subways. Soaring above the clouds. Gathering. Learning, motivating and celebrating. And of course, experiencing those intangibles that can only come from actually being together. But of course differently and gradually. And likely easing in under a hybrid solution.

It needs re-thinking and re-imagining. And at FLIRT, that’s what we’re doing. While we are spending this time executing virtual events across many different platforms, we’re also preparing for tomorrow. Here are some things we’re thinking about:

  • Recognize that about 25% of your attendees may not feel comfortable attending meetings due to continuing health concerns. And that’s ok.
  • For those that can’t be there – broadcast the general session and have webcast monitors in breakouts. There are so many incredible virtual options out there, and we can help you find the one that best suits your needs.
  • Focus on charitable events that will help local organizations that will still be suffering from the economic impact of this pandemic.
  • Embrace the grit, tenacity, creativity and gratitude it will take for you and your attendees to join together once more.

We are continuing to develop creative ideas and strategies for your messaging and communication needs for today and tomorrow. We have tangible tips for planners who are thinking through the reality of future live events. Give us a call or send us a note – we’d love to share our ideas with you.

 

Post by: Leslie Fenton