Hello eventprofs and friends,
I want to wish you and your families good health during this really troubling time. This, of course, includes your mental health, something we’ve not taken so seriously until this new world. Look after you!
We are seeing the green shoots of some sort of ease of lockdown in many places around the world, plus huge amounts of speculation of what the world will look like after this pandemic releases its grip on humanity and of course, to many people who are reading this, what will the world of meetings and events look like post Covid-19?
We are also getting plenty of crystal ball readers who are more than happy to provide their wisdom to us via the various social media platforms. Of course, whether any of their futuristic opinions come true remains to be seen.
So, instead of pretending I know what the future holds for you, what you should or should not invest in, when you should “return to normal” or what the event industry looks like now and next, I am going to swim the other direction and create a new poll, a new angle, focusing on:-
My Top 5 Post Lockdown Goals – Personal
Whereas a few short weeks ago, I was thinking about how cruel it was that I couldn’t get on a plane and go to Miami, these past few months have changed my priorities so instead of my work goals, which pre Covid-19 would come first, I’m sharing my personal list of post lockdown things I cannot wait to do.
- Seeing & hugging my family: Top of most people’s list I would imagine right? As many families have experienced, our family has had some tough times including bereavements during this crisis. We have also had wonderful news (a new baby due!) Both these life events merit those all-encompassing hugs, tears and laughter. The feeling of total helplessness during dark days has been quite simply cruel. Lookout family, it won’t be long until we will reunite, and it will be wonderful!
- Seeing my friends – Zoom quizzes, “virtual” wine nights, zoom, zoom, zoom. We haven’t “seen” our friends so much but without that real joy that comes from a summer BBQ, meal out or night at the pub. Whilst it may be some time until we do the last 2, I cannot wait to be in the same room (physical distancing obviously) as my besties, enjoying their company and glass of something fizzy.
- Having a pint of cider at the pub – Speaking of fizzy. I live in a semi-rural part of the UK where we still have the traditional local pub. It’s the hub of local news and community and advice of all the good and so good in the area. Yes, we have the best FB groups and Nextdoor, but it just isn’t the same as getting the gossip from the landlord, with a delicious cold and crisp pint of cider. (I am salivating writing this and it is only 9.30am)
- Getting my hair done – How many people have this in their top 5? I should think a few! The day I can book a cut and colour in our wonderful local hair salon and look like Samme Allen, Emcee and Moderator cannot come quick enough. However, I will miss the regular conversations with friends about our “natural” hair colour and the curse of no hairdressers 😊
- Getting nails done – For the past 7 years, every 2-3 weeks I have had my nails “done”. A gift to me, from me when I stopped smoking, this has been my non-negotiable during times of financial hardship (of which there have been plenty in this world of being an entrepreneur) It may seem small and insignificant to many, but for me, this has always been my go to confidence booster, my statement to the world, my brand. What colour you ask? They will be the brightest red I can find in the nail salon. 😊
My Top 5 Post Lockdown Goals – Work
As all of us have had some time to think, reflect, worry and muse about the future of our jobs and careers. A learning for me is that this list will definitely be slightly different to the list I would have prepared pre Covid-19.
As you read this, I am completing my certification in online meeting design and moderation, preparing for a 12-hour marathon of online moderation including IMEX Edu Monday followed by the re-imagineering of a traditional dinner and networking event. I’ll let you know how it all goes! But in the meantime, here are my top 5 post lockdown work goals.
- Continuing to build my skills of online and hybrid moderation to help support my clients in terms of great design and facilitation – Thanks to the great course I’ve completed, the experience I’ve build in online over the past couple of months and the faith of my existing clients, this new world has become a hive of opportunity. It is great to learn new skills and work out how to bring your experience onto a different platform.
- Supporting client’s transition into the world of online, hybrid and multi hub meetings – This is new and a challenging path for many meeting and event planners. You are not alone! I am in a fortunate position that I work with many great clients and have a network of some of the best of the best when it comes to delivering exceptional online, hybrid and multi-hub events. Let’s have a “zoomoffee” and chat. A problem shared is a problem halved.
- Driving engagement that creates values and supports revenue streams whichever the platform of event delivery – Firstly, if we remove the world VIRTUAL and replace with ONLINE, we immediately change the value proposition. These events are LIVE, and they are FACE TO FACE. There just happens to be a screen and a lot of physical distancing to overcome. There are many elements of an onsite meeting that can work, if designed well. By careful planning, using the right methodology, whilst you cannot currently replace the physical, you can create excitement, engagement, empathy whilst sharing knowledge and motivating. Don’t give up! Be curious and see what we can do!
- Collaborate with businesses around the world in order to provide complete meeting and event solutions for clients looking to create a more diverse event portfolio – Having a track record in collaborating for success, I see no reason why this shouldn’t be on the top of everyone’s to do list. Don’t try to be everything to everyone, work with the best to provide the best. It enhances your value, strengthens your proposition and will lead to you building a greater client relationship and of course revenue.
- Moderate online and onsite sustainably, safely and successfully – Always been in the list and see no reason to change. This new world allows me to really drive opportunities to achieve these goals. Teaser Alert: More to follow on this and it is very exciting!
Taking a bit of time to look at the glass half full is usually my thing. I’ve let that bottle become half empty at times these past few weeks. Reflecting on some of the positive changes in my life has been a real asset. Why not give it a go?
My Top 5 Things I am grateful for.
- Appreciating nature more – With a busy life travelling, working, housekeeping, seeing family etc. it has always been easy to let the seasons pass without truly seeing how incredible nature is. As lockdown has been in the most precious of seasons in the UK, Spring, it has been an absolute joy watching the miracle of nature unfold in front of my eyes, day by day. It has kept me sane and made me realise in times of darkness that the world is still turning, growing, building and nurturing.
- The joy of supporting local community – Default Samme Allen excuse, there is no time to be part of the community when you have the life of a professional onsite Emcee. Now, I’m supporting my local community in as many purchasing decisions as I can. I am appreciating local produce, local people and most importantly volunteering and supporting those less able than me. And it feels wonderful to be a part of. This will now be non-negotiable from now on. The sense of community is what keeps your heart beating and if you haven’t tried it, find some time (even a few minutes) to be part of your local community if you have one.
- Learning something new – With imposter syndrome as my constant friend/enemy, the world of online moderation filled me with trepidation. But “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” I have jumped into this learning and I will hopefully have a certification to prove that learning is beneficial soon. I’ve met some great people in “class” and have a new toolbox to share with my clients. Keep learning!
- New (and old) friendships – I have a big smile on my face writing this now. Out of strange circumstances, special bonds have been created with new friends. People who, due to our “busy” lives we rarely connect with, now have become my rocks, my go to advisors and most importantly support when things have been dark. In addition to my wonderful friends who’ve stuck with me through thick and thin, I feel I’ve got an army of love to march into this new world with, and I couldn’t feel more grateful.
- Understanding Emotional bandwidth – This remains a tricky goal to achieve. Checking in on family, watching the news, reading and WhatsApp messaging, Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, Twitter, Zoom x 4 hours a day. Added to this, we are coping with the ups and downs of the actual crisis and this means that emotional bandwidth is almost always stretched. Time off the screen, time being alone and time being present, and carving self-care time must be a non-negotiable moving forward. Without a strong foundation, how can you help others. The old adage must be at the forefront of our minds and is especially poignant in these times. “Secure your own mask before helping others”
Now it’s over to you. Flood these social media channels or private message me with your Top 5. Let’s start putting out these goals to the universe and see what we can achieve. together!
Make sure that mask (or face covering 😊) is secured friends. Keep safe, keep sane and keep positive.