November is a special month for me because it is my birthday month. Yes my sign is Scorpio, the astrological sign that generates a robust reaction. Not sure I know enough to identify with it however I admit I read my astrology whenever I come across it. It is fun. While it may not be using the logical mind, I know there are truths that are still to be discovered which is the adventure. So when a coincidence happens to me…I really enjoy the moment. In fact I LOVE IT!
This past eight months has been a huge reset for the conventions and meetings industry and while grieving for the next 24 month disruption, we have also been challenged to adjust to an exclusive online world. Out of necessity, many have made the move. Just like all the new teleworkers, some will love it and others will simply prefer working from an environment designed for more face to face interaction. Both scenarios have their pros and cons.
The lack of spontaneous social interactions and that magical element of serendipity, has always been a concern of mine as we take our lives more and more online. And then last week during the Ottawa MPI Prix Prestige ‘gala’ (Bravo to all involved!) there is was, that elusive ‘je ne sais quoi’. It happened when we were randomly put into breakouts. I giggled to see my colleague Desmond was also ‘randomly’ put into our group of four. Immediately I noticed his backdrop. Majestic pine trees, silhouetted by the setting sun. It wasn’t a Zoom backdrop, it was his new backyard. The funny part was that my backdrop matched his. And then to top it off, we both had white twinkle lights as he had just put up holiday decor that day to welcome the coming season. As random as it sounds, there was some real comfort in finding the elusive serendipity!
As the best planners know, the fun in events requires planning, design and flawless execution. Creating experiences and environments to learn requires a lot of elements to come together at once with seamless perfection. And then there is the unplanned. Where the magic lies.