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Where Did the Road Go?

Things have certainly changed around us. The pandemic blew carefully-planned and beautifully-modelled roadmaps, and almost all the roads we knew vanished. Business events just disappeared, and many businesses plunged into the abyss, and we all did what we could to help our customers. Somehow, we have all suffered wounds and scars while fighting for the survival of our businesses in various markets and sectors.

Suddenly governments controlled our destiny and economies ground to a halt everywhere. Lockdowns forced us into virtual lives, and new channels emerged. There is a new road being built, but it looks different. Today we are hacking our way to a new and more virtual road. We are living in an era-defining shift, and the future of work is nomadic. Who needs to be anchored to a location, let alone an office? Emotional connections are hard to replicate virtually. Eyes are more powerful than screens, but at the moment, face-to-face (F2F) is replaced by screen-to-screen (S2S).

At the same time, we are learning new words and expressions, for example, workcations instead of vacations or staycations. Hybrid is here to stay. Engagement strategy. How to build new ecosystems. Key passion indicators. Pivot. Redesigning and redefining space. Time for repositioning. A new reality. Reskill. Rethink. Change behaviours. Make learning as a superpower. Zoom. Engagement strategy. Virtual meeting designer. And the topic in many boardrooms: Agile and customers. Monetise analytics and exclusive content.

Community building is also on the top of the agenda. It is interesting to listen to the rise of engagement strategies. Some of the proposals: Think about how to create chance encounters and unexpected discoveries, especially online. Use live-streaming which is kicking into high gear cross, for example, in Asia. Create community groups on social platforms like Facebook; their power is coming to the fore during the pandemic. Also, produce entertainment-type of content and use TV-production techniques. And a question I have heard often the past months is “How can we build a community pre- and postevent?”

There are several new skills we need to learn today, and many new opportunities and professions are emerging when the map is redrawn. As the Berber nomad Said Zaki says: “Everything is an opportunity.”

During the year, I have experienced a lot of webinar fatigue. It is certainly something that will be improved in the future. On the other hand, accessing engaging webinars from different continents, countries, regions and cities has never been easier. It has been rewarding to take part in a diversity of perspectives on how the pandemic is handled in various sectors of business events.

In one of all the webinars I have attended stated a young man: “Covid-19 is no longer a disruptor. It is an accelerator helping organisations and businesses to make a sustainable paradigm shift.” Do you agree?

Photo: Magnus Malmberg