By Mari-Len De Guzman
One of things that have changed for many of us in the industry over the last year due to the global pandemic is the way we are now interacting with our peers, locally and globally.
The cancellations and postponements of industry events all over the world have caused us to rethink our communication strategies. Just as masks and social distancing have become a social norm, technology-enabled remote work and virtual interactions have emerged as the new productivity model.
Many perhaps have silently hoped that 2021 will be the year that things “go back to normal.” But with vaccine roll-outs across countries still many months – if not years – away from reaching general populations and achieving herd immunity, and with new COVID-19 variants lurking and threatening to wreak havoc if left unchecked, it’s looking like we would have to contend with the new norm for a little while longer.
For the most part, virtual interactions and remote connections have managed to deliver a level of effectiveness. Zoom calls are now a daily occurrence. People are having more face-to-face communications now, albeit digitally, than ever before. Meeting schedules are now paired with Zoom or Skype invitations. I’m not complaining (well, maybe I am, a little) but whatever happened to just picking up the phone?
Perhaps that need for a face-to-face conversation through virtual meetings, rather than a simple voice call, is an indication of our inherent need for connectedness. Human beings are not cut out for isolation. Connectedness and human interaction are essential to psychological and emotional well-being.
Imagine a world with no Internet capability, no way to connect virtually, in the midst of a global pandemic. Isolation and social distancing will be a much challenging feat. The ability to connect and communicate virtually through technology has made this global health crisis just a little bit easier to navigate.
This is also how our team at RAStech is able to put together some pretty amazing virtual events that allow us to provide you with great content, through webinars, virtual roundtables, and yes, virtual conferences. This year, we are putting together a trio of virtual events designed to create a venue for the industry to connect and learn through a content-rich, interactive platform. Check out our news story on page 6 to learn more.
And so we forge ahead and work with the tools we are given. Many, if not all of us, are at this point probably missing the humming and buzzing of a tradeshow or being able to sit in on a presentation and learn something new. I know I do. There’s something quite exciting about the impromptu chats and the chance meetings that lead to great story ideas. For certain, we will be able to get back to that again someday. Hopefully it will be soon. For now, see you at the next Zoom meeting.