In June I wrote a post about returning to work — whether companies should stay remote, hybrid or HQ based. This was against a background of tailing COVID-19 numbers, when it looked like life would (or could) be back to normal for the foreseeable future. We, and many others, calendared in-person events — and even got to enjoy a few!
With numbers now increasing — even in Chicago, a highly vaxxed geo — we recognized a few weeks ago that our in-person annual meeting in September might have some headwinds. Unlike during COVID’s original onset in 2020 when most Chicagoans became cautious quickly, it was unclear to us how others felt about this onset. We serve our investors and our entrepreneurs, who would attend, and we wanted to know how they felt. So we did a survey, and it turns out there was overwhelming consensus that we should revert to virtual. Survey results below.
Now it could just be that our annual meetings are boring and that people would rather get the info dished out quickly via Zoom. Let’s assume not. In years past, we’ve had both good attendance and feedback, and we had a lot of registrations running up to this live event... before COVID resurged.
I’m sharing these numbers because I see a slate of live events calendared for the next few months, and these data shed some light. Since this survey, Chicago has implemented an indoor mask mandate again, so a fully “normal” event isn’t possible anyway. We are truly back to not normal.
Bonus/pro-tip: For our virtual annual meeting, we will be recording our “presentation” in advance so that people can listen (and watch) when convenient for them. For the live Zoom event we’re going over abbreviated highlights from that longer presentation, Q&A and then hearing from several of our entrepreneurs. Point being, the most interesting parts are saved for the live event while reporting/updating/info sharing is done asynchronously. We’ve seen this being used for virtual board meetings more and more. It's efficient and allows for shorter but more rich synchronous programming.