WMA Headlines January/February 2021August 18th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs
Finding the Right Mix: The Best Is Yet to Come, As New and Old Norms Come Together
By Rosalie Leone
The year 2020 was one of quarantines, shutdowns, remote work, social distancing, mergers and virtual meetings. There was much to learn and understand about the novel coronavirus, as it swept across the globe, wreaking havoc. For many of us, this also brought us closer to home, family and introspection. For this reason, the year was a game changer in our personal lives and businesses. We learned how to adapt, to be resourceful and innovative. We learned to utilize technology and multimedia platforms in order to remain in touch and connected with family, friends, employees, and customers.
So, what lies ahead for 2021? With cases of COVID-19 resurging in many parts of the country, we try to remain optimistic in a new year. In recent months, the word “Zoom” became one of the most frequented words in our vocabulary and may remain so this year; but one cannot help looking forward again to face-to-face meetings, perhaps in the second half. At some point, for sure, COVID-19 will subside, and life will return to normal. But what will that new normal be and what will industry events and trade shows look like in the not-so-distant future?
Wearing my association hat, we will need to stay flexible and creative in the event planning processes. Networking events and trade shows as we know them may look different as organizations continue to work with hotels and convention centers, establishing health and safety protocols. Hybrid events will present choices for event attendance, as virtual options remain in the mix. No question about it—trade shows will be managed and presented differently.
Why are networking events and face-to-face meetings still important? They’re important for building strong, long-term business relationships, as well as loyalty and trust; they’re more focused and productive; they clearly communicate goals; and they help make focusing easier on matters being discussed. Although virtual meetings are needed now and are here to stay for the foreseeable future, a big emphasis inevitably (hopefully sooner than later) will include seeing customers in person again. The key for making that happen is industry associations, like WMA, which can, will and always have been there to provide members and the millwork industry with opportunities to come together—all in one place—where we can connect and build long lasting relationships.
Rosalie Leone is president and CEO of WMA.
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