So far this year, Lee and McCoy have helped plan and execute several online events and workshops, including a webinar on “Implicit Bias” by HumRRO’s principal scientist, Shane Pittman, Ph.D.
Next up on the calendar is a four-hour workshop on Sept. 23, “Job Analysis in the Virtual World: Maintaining Engagement with SMEs and Clients,” inspired by Lee and McCoy’s work experiences this year. The workshop is available to PTCMW members and non-members, and is free for students.
An unexpected benefit of going virtual, according to Lee and McCoy, is that event attendance has grown significantly, drawing participants outside of the DC metropolitan area and internationally, and also increasing attendance from locals who don’t have to commute during rush hour. In addition, they have also been able to cast a wider net for presenters who now only need to log on rather than fly in for an event.
Lee said she believes the success and positive feedback from this year’s virtual events will lead PTCMW to continue offering programming virtually as well as in person once the threat of Covid-19 passes. “I think people will prefer to keep networking events in person, but there’s a value in offering a mix of virtual and in-person learning sessions in terms of reaching a wider audience and diversifying our presenters,” said Lee. “Because PTCMW is a nonprofit, we aren’t usually able to help fund travel costs without sponsors.”
“As organizations look ahead to plan for a post-Covid-19 world, it’s valuable to consider what virtual programming will be most useful to maintain,” added McCoy. “When it comes to highly collaborative work and networking, it may be a relief to be able to meet in person again. However, we should continue to consider the value virtual options bring in terms of reaching and accommodating more people, from a wider geographic area, while providing the ability to effectively moderate the flow of conversation and ideas.”