COVID-19 and the Need to Pivot to a Hybrid Space of Connecting

COVID-19 and the Need to Pivot to a
Hybrid Space of Connecting

Social distancing guidelines, as it appears, will be happening for a long time to come. And as we continue to follow these rules, we must
proactively think of ways to work, learn, and grow our connections, without any obstacles.

ATSI follows these guidelines and regulations and, as such, has switched to a hybrid model combined with virtual and socially distanced meetings and conferences to support and guide our members to the new reality that COVID-19 brought.

All of this means that our work hasn't been interrupted – instead, just pivoted into a new type of connectivity. As you know, our ATSI 2020 Annual Conference was canceled due to COVID-19, but that hasn't stopped us from connecting with our members.

Why We've Embraced the New Virtual Norm as the Way to Go Forward
Just like the rest of the world, at ATSI we decided that more tablets and computer screens will replace all the mass gatherings, carpeted floors, and chair rows for 2020. Even as some of the restrictions are lifted, we had to reinvent ourselves and move forward.

The decision to cancel our ATSI Annual 2020 Conference was tough, but we are committed to prioritizing the health and safety of all our members, partners, employees, and everyone involved with us. We are aware that our annual conference gives us an unprecedented opportunity to connect with our community; therefore, we are doing the best we can to make that happen with a virtual event.

On July 30, 2020, we hosted our very first online awards ceremony via Zoom. We had over 100 attendees who dialed in to experience our awards ceremony  in a new way. The Award of Excellence winners were announced, and we congratulate all of them and wish them continued success using this extremely valuable program. For more information, about the AOE program and the value it can deliver to your TAS, click here.

Moving forward, we are considering blending in-person and virtual meetings, mainly because of the ease of hosting online conferences and the ability to connect with even more current  and potential members.

From an environmental standpoint, virtual conferences are very promising. They are easy to attend and will potentially inspire more participation. However, planning and implementing a virtual meeting can be a daunting task, especially if you want to replace large conferences and move them to a digital world. As such, you can most likely expect a blend of online and in-person events creating a choice of hybrid options.

We'll Get Through This Together
While the COVID-19 pandemic altered the world and brought a lot of challenging consequences for many, it also exposed opportunities for meaningful and useful change. At ATSI, we are leveraging the benefits of videoconferencing. We are here to promote attendance, collaboration, and engagement between our members — because we will continue to Learn by Association.

On the surface, a virtual event for us seems ideal. It is far less expensive to produce, eliminates the need to lease a large venue, and reduces the cost of putting on significant events. It is also a better option for our attendees – they won't have to worry about taking time off from work or spending a lot of money on travel and feel comfortable about being able to still connect with each other without the stress of social distancing.

As an association, we don’t want our members to miss out on the many benefits ATSI has to offer — especially in-person meetings, collaboration opportunities with peers, and of course, sharing and learning by association. 

In an effort to bridge this gap, we are anticipating great response and attendance to our future hybrid events. This is the best of both worlds for now.

For more information about going virtual with ATSI, contact us today or visit our blog to read the latest updates!

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