Guest Column | August 24, 2020

Canceled By COVID-19? Here's How To Pivot Your In-Person Meeting Into A Virtual Success

By Scott Campbell, CompTIA

Remote Meeting WFH

Someday, we’ll all look back at March 2020 as the time when COVID-19 spread so quickly, we moved from rumors and question marks in the U.S. to a full-scale global pandemic in seemingly no time. It also shook our businesses and our lives to the core. We may even demarcate our own lives in two periods: pre-coronavirus and post-coronavirus.

What may not be ingrained so acutely is the fleeting period at the beginning of March, when everything changed, by the day—by the hour even. For CompTIA, that time coincided with the final planning of our annual Communities & Councils Forum (CCF), which was scheduled for March 16-18 in Chicago. For CompTIA, this is an important, annual gathering of our most engaged members. We’d spent months preparing for it; we had a full agenda of working group meetings, speakers, sessions and networking time—even planned for attendees to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day along the dyed-green Chicago River.  Of course, all that changed--quickly.

In the days leading up to CCF, companies started canceling employee travel and further restrictions were starting to take hold as positive coronavirus results started to increase everywhere. Faced with escalating health concerns for both our employees and our members, CompTIA had a difficult decision to make. At the time, that decision was not as simple as it appears now in hindsight. Do we continue with the meeting, scale it down, make it virtual, hybrid, postpone it, or cancel altogether? We didn’t have a lot of time and our choice would have ramifications no matter which way we decided.

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