The annual IAM convention is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our industry’s events calendar. When the IAM team announced that they were moving the 2020 convention online due to the COVID-19 pandemic just a couple of months before the date, we had mixed feelings and many questions: how would the human side of meeting business partners and friends in a tightly-packed few days days translate to an online setting? How would the traditional FIDI booth show its true colours in a virtual exhibition hall? Would people actually bother to login and sit through days of networking and sessions, alone in front of their screens?
Now that the event has come and gone, the answer is clear: online won’t ever replace “the real thing”; but it gets pretty close to it.
The general comments we heard from the participating FIDI team, Affiliates and partners was that it was great to catch up after such a long silence. Our industry is built on human relationships that go beyond pure business interests. Surprisingly, the virtual meeting platforms allowed for a certain degree of human connection, made even stronger by the fact that there were no interruptions (except for the occasional dog or child running in the background). But the verdict was unanimous: it’s not the real thing, and most participants were adamant that they would definitely sign up for an in-person conference as soon as it is safe to do so.
All-in all, the 2020 IAM annual meeting was a success for the FIDI team, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The IAM did a fabulous job in adapting their annual meeting to an online setting in a record time and with the tools at hand. Congratulations to Chuck, Brian, Katia and the entire team.
Online events have definitely gained their place in the international moving industry’s event scene, and rightfully so. But not as a full replacement of real-life, onsite events; rather as a welcome complement, allowing for greater diversity and engagement with our members and partners. Making the times we meet in person even more special and meaningful.
For a full debrief of the 2020 IAM online meeting, look out for the December/January issue of FIDI Focus!