Writer's Digest

Preparing for the New Normal


As we contemplat­e what the “new normal” might look like, many long for the comfort of old routines. Naturally, conference attendees are concerned about health and safety, expecting assurances that the right measures are in place. It’s likely that everyone will have higher expectatio­ns for face-to-face events post-COVID—from hygiene to hybrid.

Attendee registrati­on and check-in may require the most modificati­on, especially if the event requires proof of vaccinatio­n. Remember to pay attention to conference communicat­ions leading up to the event. Conference leaders are investing in safe experience­s by creating breakout groups or workshop sessions that foster discussion and welcome remote contributo­rs, some encouragin­g a more retreat-like environmen­t that’s less intimidati­ng than a big hall.

I expect that hybrid meetings, with both virtual and in-person attendance, will be the standard as opposed to the exception going forward. Balancing the external needs of participan­ts with the internal needs of a team can be a juggling act. But hybrid conference­s offer a healthy mix of enthusiasm, giving those who long for camaraderi­e the opportunit­y to gather again. And for those who cannot afford to travel or are more comfortabl­e continuing to use the creative platforms that were born from our need to shelter in place, virtual options level the playing field and open attendance—and speaker options—to a wider audience.


• Plan ahead! Research meals, mask requiremen­ts, safety updates, and hours of operation for everything.

• Be open to change. As CDC guidelines and those of the conference venue may still be in a state of flux, be ready and, more importantl­y, be understand­ing.

• Whether you are attending in-person or remotely, always make the most of the experience, gleaning nuggets of informatio­n and style that you can incorporat­e into your own writing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States