Have you ever logged out of your last Zoom meeting for the day and found yourself completely drained?
Does the thought of another virtual conference make you groan internally? Even though we’ve already spent the past few years being plugged into a modern environment filled with digital communications, the COVID-19 pandemic brought living in a digital world to a new level. While Zoom happy hours, webinars, and virtual shows have been an integral part of keeping us going, there’s something to be said for a very real phenomenon called “Zoom Fatigue”. Don’t feel bad, even Eric Yuan, the CEO of Zoom, admitted during the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit that he’s experiencing it.
To combat this, many organizations stepped up to innovate and continue to add value to the industry, even when in-person events were on hold. Printspiration is never in short supply within Deborah Corn’s The Printerverse, and Project Peacock is a shining star in the world of virtual events. A resource center available to the print industry 24/7, Project Peacock is a search engine for all things print – from paper to professional resources, if it’s related to print, it’s in Project Peacock. The information available in Project Peacock truly comes to life through its seamless integration of live webinars and virtual networking events to bring vendors, suppliers, and marketing professionals together.
The National Postal Forum also pivoted their approach to virtual events. The NPF Spring Virtual Event, In Tune With The Times, added resources and accessibility that elevated the event experience. Not only did this year’s event feature highly-anticipated panel presentations by USPS leadership and educational workshops from industry thought leaders, but attendees now have full access to recordings and vendor booths for 30 days after the event. How many times have we been enthralled by a speaker or thought “this vendor is the solution I’ve been desperately looking for” and then we get home and can’t retrieve what was once top of mind? With the success of these additional accessibility features it begs the question, will we move to a world where hybrid events become the norm?
As the country slowly reopens, we are finding ourselves navigating a post-pandemic environment and with that comes the return of, wait for it… IN-PERSON events. When planning these events we’re now asking ourselves “When is it acceptable to host an in-person event?” “What activities are safe?” “How big can the event be?” and arguably the most important (and scariest question to ask) “Will anybody even show up?”
Masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizer stations will be part of events for the time being, and right now those are things that people expect to see when they are in a public venue. As COVID numbers decline and vaccines are becoming more widely available, the general comfort level of attending in-person events is increasing drastically. Dare I say, many of us are waiting to jump on the first in-person event that we can attend. While digital options and hybrid events are the way of the future, for many of us, these events are the one time each year we can interact in person with colleagues and cohorts that we’ve known for years and that won’t go away.
The NPSOA was one of the first associations to break through digital fatigue and offer a real face-to- face event in St. Petersburg, FL. The NPSOA Annual Spring Conference is an exceptional example of what a post-pandemic industry event should look like.
The event slogan Renew. Rebuild. Restore. perfectly exemplifies what we face as an industry and the forward-thinking nature of our colleagues. Out of necessity we found ourselves changing business models and structures, diversifying, and finding new and novel ways to do business. The content at NPSOA is proving to be invaluable as we see the long-term effects of COVID on the industry; and with the return of this highly-anticipated event, attendees were able to find a sense of much-needed normalcy. Creative logistic workarounds, appointment-only activities, and safety protocols made the NPSOA Spring Conference feel as normal as possible while ensuring the health and comfort of attendees. Coming off of the success of the Spring Conference, we’re very excited for the upcoming NPSOA event planned for March 2022 in San Antonio.
When talking about print industry events, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the annual Printing United Expo! Hosted in Orlando, FL, Printing United has some impressive stats. Living up to this year’s theme of Bigger. Better. Together. is no small feat but with one million square feet of vendors offering a full range of printing solutions, there’s bound to be invaluable information and takeaways for everyone in the print industry.
At DirectMail2.0 we’re looking forward to hosting our annual event, MarketEdge, in person again.
Located in Clearwater Beach, Florida, MarketEdge is perfect for business owners, leaders, marketers, and sales professionals in the print industry. Mark your calendars for October 27th – 29th and get ready for three days focused on integrating omnichannel marketing technologies and advanced sales strategies to grow your business’s portfolio and deliver measurable results for clients, all while having plenty of Florida-style fun along the way. Early bird pricing is good through June 30th and tickets are available now at MarketEdgeShow.com
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