Nothing is the same as it used to be and that includes putting together a magazine. We struggled to make sure the content in this issue would be relevant, even as the coronavirus changes our reality daily. “What Matters Now” — the theme of our cover and CMP Series story — is a reflection of what the Convene editorial team has been paying attention to most recently and what we think will have staying power.
In that collection of stories, you’ll see how we’ve kept sane during lock- down by pursuing hobbies, and I’ve asked our team to expand on that in this column by sharing one thing that won’t go back to normal for them post-COVID-19:
“I miss meeting up with my friends and family in person, but virtual hangouts via FaceTime and Zoom have proven to be excellent ways to keep in touch. I never used these tools in my personal life pre-COVID-19, but virtual hangouts are the perfect way to mimic a coffee date, trivia night, or happy hour, minus the crowd of people. I can’t wait to see my loved ones face-to-face when it’s safe to do so. But through the quarantine experience, I learned that virtual hangouts are a great alternative when schedules don’t allow for a full night out or a long afternoon house visit.”
—Casey Gale, associate editor
“I started having groceries delivered during the height of the COVID transmission in New York City — and I am deeply grateful to the essential workers who kept them coming. I don’t plan to stop, even when all restrictions are lifted from grocery stores. In addition to saving time, the practice has forced me to plan meals further in advance and has cut down dramatically on my impulse purchases of tortilla chips. But — and here I see a parallel with the meetings industry — I’ve started shopping more regularly for fresh produce at open-air local farmers markets. For me, the sights, sounds, and smells make it an experience well worth my time and money — making shopping for groceries both a face-to-face and digital experience.”
— Barbara Palmer, deputy editor
“I got rid of my car at the end of June, about three-and-a-half months into Chicago’s stay-at-home directives to combat the spread of COVID-19. Minus the car, I was saving money, getting exercise walking while learning about my neighborhood and others nearby. And I still feel like I’m helping to save the Earth by not driving. Here I see a parallel to the positive side of the meetings industry’s hopefully enduring shift to virtual events: Sticking with digital and hybrid events not only increases the possibility of growing your audience, but it’s a good way to cut our carbon footprint.”
— Curt Wagner, digital editor
As for me, I’ve been trying harder to find silver linings and I’m going to keep looking whenever this crisis passes. What are you going to keep doing once the pandemic is behind us? We’d love to hear your thoughts.