This year has found all of us adjusting to differences in the way we go about our daily lives. One business industry that I’ve come to realize must be really struggling is the dry cleaning industry.
When was the last time you wore an item of clothing that you typically take to the dry cleaner? So I had this idea of how we can help them hold on during this time of remote work and virtual conferences.
For all of us employed and working from home – let’s pick a day to wear an item of clothing that you take to the dry cleaner to wash. How about Wednesdays?
During this Covid-19 Quarantine/Social Distancing, we’ve all seen an increase in the use of virtual meetings, virtual networking via videoconferencing tools. Zoom, Hopin, GoogleMeet, FaceTime, Microsoft Teams, Free Conference Call are ones that I’ve been involved with to-date.
It is very interesting to hear how people are using these tools in a variety of clever ways. That’s the impressive nature of human-kind: creativity, innovation when circumstances impact us.
I know of families having weekly Zoom calls to stay in touch. One includes playing a trivia game on each call, after catching up with everyone. Whoever wins the trivia game controls the questions for the next game. The Hopin (thanks GCPCafe and Nadia Bracken) tool has limits on the number of people who can be on camera at one time, while many more can participate via chat room to interact with the others. This is good for interactive presentations by a few speakers. It also has a one-on-one video networking that I really enjoyed. You’re put into a “room” and are waiting for someone else to enter the “room” and then you see each other and start talking. It felt like meeting someone new at an industry conference reception without all the background noise and distractions.
I have held four FOCM virtual networking events using both Zoom and GoogleMeet. A friend said, ‘hey you’re the networking guy, you should be doing something during this time of isolation.’ I took it to heart and held events in the evenings on April 16, April 23, April 30 and May 13. Like I do when I would travel (remember that? – airplanes, hotels and rental cars?), I would email everyone I knew in the area to see who could meet up that night for drinks/dinner. So at first I held a FOCM event for the Philadelphia metro area, then for the Raleigh metro area, then the Boston metro area. It was about the April 30 Boston event, that I realized, I was no longer bound by geographic constraints. So the May 13 one was national (I did invite members from Europe, but it would have been 1 a.m. for them).
Attendance was taken, as per FOCM SOP: April 16: Bryan Clayton, Dave Gibboni, Ryan Gibson, Chris McArthur, Chris McCracken, Pete Nieto, Mike Strand
April 23: Mike Burrows, Renee Brown, Brian Horan, Lauren Sherwood, Kate Mulllis (tried)- meeting minutes already published on www.focmnetworking.com/networking
April 30: Paul Bilden, Israel Bocanegra, Mike Burrows, Clint Craun, Scott Freedman, Brian Langin, Dan Weddle, Amy Zastawney Observations: Two people had to exit early to attend other web calls, one for a birthday celebration – perhaps a glimpse of our future; night-time schedules of “virtual” meetings to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues. I attended a friend’s birthday party on May 2 via Zoom.
May 13: 159 people were sent google calendar invitations, 111 never opened it (do that many people not receive google calendar invitations into their email inboxes? 24 said yes, 10 no and 14 maybe. There were some issues with people being able to talk and/or to see their faces. We were on for an hour. To manage it, we opened with a cheers! Then I called on people to share whatever they wanted on how they were coping or what they were learning. Using the chat feature I let the person who was up next know I’d be calling on them. I know we didn’t get to everyone and I wish we had. It was great to see and hear from so many FOCM members. Kevin Boos, Mike Burrows, Nadia Bracken, Renee Brown, Greg Cohee, Kevin Collier, Scott Freedman, Dave Gibboni, Heather Hollick, Askold Kozbur, Brian Langin, Jon Matheus, Chris McCracken, Lynne McKerlie, Karen McPoyle, Sarah Meister, Lorraine Mercer, Adrian Pencak, Roxann Pinguelo, Lauren Sherwood, Dan Weddle, Wayne Whittingham, Michael Williams.
Screen Grabs of the event were sent to me and they are shown below. The first one was sent to me with the subject line “ScreenGrab Tonight”. Proof that enjoyment of sarcasm and wit are fundamental to the FOCM code of behavior.
I would like to hear of other interesting, unique, clever ways people are using these tools in this current time of reduced in-person gatherings. Use the comments box to share things you’re seeing or doing.
Attendees: Lauren Sherwood Mike Burrows Brian Horan Renee Brown Kate Mullis (tried)
The meeting was called to order at precisely 7:00 p.m. consistent with FOCM SOPs. If there’s one thing that FOCM stands for it’s being on time. No, no, that’s actually not true. If there’s one thing FOCM stands for its socializing/networking.
The meeting was held via Zoom which I’m not familiar with using, such that when Kate Mullis tried to join, I didn’t notice the “Kate Mullis wants in, do you admit her or not” and she had to give up and put children to bed. FOCM’s chairman vows to do better in the future.
It appears we’re all bearing up under the COVID-19 distancing and limited opportunities for going out other than walks, exercise, picking up take out, following the arrows at the grocery stores. There’s a definite reduction in new study start ups, but a lot of work and planning for how to handle ongoing clinical trials. Decisions on new hiring are also delayed considerably.
Will the future of clinical trials be: a return to the way we were doing them with a gradual move toward reducing patient and site burden or will this be the disruption needed to make virtual/hybrid trials the new normal?
Continue washing your hands and staying away from people. I think based on my review of the data, bar graphs, the number of patients in clinical trials and the early reports finding beneficial effects from some of them that by May 8, we’ll be down to under 10,000 daily new cases.
The world certainly has changed in the last few months. A big part of life is our relationships and interactions with others. With quarantining and social distancing, that has blocked this part of our lives. Some might say that introverts are loving this time and some might be. More than likely their lives (work and personal) require some personal interaction and as such they’re also feeling some angst.
What it is doing is teaching us how to do things in new ways. Both at work and in my personal life, I’ve noticed a few things:
the use of Zoom, Google Hangouts, Free Conference Call, FaceTime and other virtual meetings wherein we can see each other; families I know of are having these weekly
Large conferences are holding their already planned meetings such that they’re all online, using the above tools as well as pre-recording content to air while allowing live interaction during the pre-recorded presentation
Interesting to note that this format actually appears to provide more intimate participation in the event – wherein some people wouldn’t ask a question in a room of 200 people, quite easy to type in your question into the message board tool
Connectability is still available – if you are watching a talk you like, while on the meeting, you can look at the speaker on LinkedIn, learn more about them and if valuable, send them a LinkedIn request.
I have held two virtual FOCM meetings so far;
one with the political wing of FOCM. There are 6-8 of us who have been emailing on political topics for probably 10 years. Two weeks ago we had a GoogleHangout, where some of us got to “see” each other for the first time.
the other with the Philadelphia metro FOCM chapter last week. We had about 8 attend.
I’m having one this Thursday with the Raleigh-Durham metro chapter.
The minutes of the Philadelphia FOCM meeting are:
Last night, the 16th day of April, 2020, a virtual FOCM Philadlephia area meeting was held via Google Hangout.In attendance: Pete Nieto, Dave Gibboni, Mike Strand, Bryan Clayton, Mark Eberhart, Christian McCracken, Chris McArthur, Ryan Gibson Topics discussed: too much couple together time could result in strained marriages and possible divorce; alcohol consumption was visible (bts, the meeting was not recorded), predictions of return to the new normal (end of June was voiced), Arena International meetings status – virtual; DIA annual – virtual; BIO annual – virtual; ASCO annual – virtual.
While, in my opinion, we’re very close to moving to a policy of unquarantining everyone and quarantining only the at-risk, the symptomatic and those who test positive (as seen in my video blog below), some of these changes we’re being forced to make will continue and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.