Welcome to the new era of virtual events! It is certainly a turbulent time, but an exciting one filled with so much potential. While we all pivot into this “new normal,” here are three key thoughts to keep in mind while planning and executing virtual events or conferences.
Right now, we are in uncharted territory and there is no prior course to follow. We are storytellers attempting to continue to tell stories through a situation that none of us have ever experienced before. This means that we can redefine “normal” regarding our events and experiment with new ideas that have the potential to last far beyond our current virtual state. Be creative! Even though we have fewer opportunities to be in person together, there are still so many virtual ways to connect and form those relationships. Many of these resources have existed for quite some time, but we are now beginning to rethink how we use these avenues. These could look like anything from Zoom breakout rooms to Slack channels to Facebook groups and so much more!
I have noticed—and I’m sure that you have too—that virtual conferences and events allow people all across the states, or even the world, to access our communities and benefit from the knowledge our events provide. This type of connection allows for greater insight, participation, and overall connection. Each of our Chapters has unique knowledge to share with our community and location is less a boundary than ever before.
Like I mentioned, we are in uncharted territory attempting to recreate some sense of normalcy and continue to provide the experiences that inspire, motivate, and connect one another. Let me say again: we are all figuring this out. Take this time to reach out to other PRSSA members and learn from each other. I am personally so proud to be a member of this community because of the level of support the members of this organization offer each other. Give yourself grace, and I promise others will too.
There are so many resources available to Chapters and their members to help guide through these changing times. I, along with the rest of National Committee, am here to aide our Chapters and members in any way I can. Please feel free to reach out and let us know how we can help you.
Rachel Meltzer is a junior at the University of Oklahoma studying public relations and stage management. She additionally serves as the vice president of events and fundraising on the PRSSA National Committee. Connect with Rachel on LinkedIn.