New Normal for In-Person Meetings – Association Field Report (November 6, 2020)



Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending my first in-person meeting since March of this year and here is what I learned from the experience.
1. It was great! I was so excited to be there and I tipped my hat to my hopes.
2. COVID-19 precautions were taken with limited number of attendees, social distancing, and masks were required. Social and networking events were held outside, we got lucky with great weather. I felt safe and I think most of the attendees felt the same.
3. The appetite for content was over the top. I felt like it was the first meeting I ever been to. I was taking notes and I was very engaged with the content delivery.
4. Networking looked a bit different. Although we were in person, it was difficult. I gravitated to speaking with people that I knew because I knew what their face looked like; it felt more familiar.
When in-person meetings begin to come back, the networking component – which we know was always a priority and what people valued the most – will still be challenging. I wonder if we’re going to get the same value out of networking for the foreseeable future at safely distanced events.
Regardless of the hurdles, your audience is going to be very engaged, they’re going to be excited and enthusiastic. Networking is going to look different for a very long time and be continue to be socially distanced. There will be long-term challenges as we put on in-person events.
The event that I attended this week was fantastic. It was excellent. I feel great. I thought it was an excellent – and safe – meeting.
Hope these observations are helpful as you make your plans for future events.
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