Today we recognize the pandemic anniversary by saluting the critical infrastructure community and its commitment and ability to remain connected, even during these unprecedented times. There’s no question that humanity’s ability to remain online and virtually connect for work, learning and entertainment during COVID-19 not only made the stay-at-home orders bearable, but moreso, the key to survival, particularly for many of our businesses, health services, security and economies.
From a marketing perspective, JSA has also witnessed a dramatic shift in the way industry professionals network and conduct business. Necessary quarantine protocols steered many companies to pivot toward fresh ways of thinking about connecting with new and established contacts in the industry, such as targeted and sensitive messaging directly to decision makers. Notably, the industry turned to virtual events to continue to meet and learn from one another, even when face-to-face travel and meetings were no longer an option. The JSA Events Team alone planned and executed over 75 virtual events between Q2-Q4 of 2020.
Looking forward, we predict the end of 2021 will begin a new era of virtual and hybrid events, with innovative ways to network and nurture relationships before, during and after events, leveraging both in-person and virtual meetings and touchpoints. Nevertheless, and as we saw and deployed in 2020, the necessary ingredient is creativity – creativity to be heard above the white noise and to drive engagement. For example, to keep a high-level of company camaraderie, even when working remotely, JSA organized: trivia nights; boardroom breakouts; virtual karaoke parties; cocktail demonstrations; pet therapist sessions; virtual tours of famous barbecue joints; whiskey tasting in association with distilleries; and wine tasting with vineyard professionals. Additionally, JSA increased virtual event participation by utilizing: celebrity guest speakers including professional athletes; giveaways such as tablets and Peloton bikes; and lunch delivered to the first 100 registrants.
“With creative solutions, no matter the distance, our industry proved that we can still connect networks and people and keep moving forward,” states Jaymie Scotto Cutaia, CEO and Founder of JSA. “We look forward to the next months and years ahead – filled with hope, health and creativity.”