Sharing A Virtual Coffee
LAI Video recently hosted our first virtual coffee talk. Our goal was simple - bring together a diverse group of leaders, marketers, and media experts to discuss challenges, share insights, ask questions, and learn something new.
And while the coffee wasn’t quite as good at home, the conversation was just the pick-me-up we needed.
What is a Virtual Coffee Talk?
Since we can't get together for a coffee chat in person right now, but still want to meet others to expand our network, virtual coffee chats are a great way to do this. Conducted over Zoom, Skype, or any other video chatting platform, virtual coffee talks are the answer to chats that used to happen in person.
Never Not Learning
Over the course of our hour together, the recurring theme of conversation was the urgent need to learn and adapt to our COVID-19 altered environment.
Whether at a personal level or systematically at our organizations, the last month had us filling in roles and adapting our workflows like never before.
For many, the flipside of the rapid pivot to remote work and digital collaboration was getting to be part of a team, working together to take on new challenges. Alongside all the many understandable reasons for anxiety, there were some very real opportunities and sources of optimism.
Julie Allen, at the American Counseling Association, shared how the ACA had quickly adapted to better serve their members with valuable learning opportunities. With office-based counseling on pause, ACA’s members were struggling with lost income and an abundance of free time. The ACA reacted by lifting the pay wall on a selection of continuing education courses, providing valuable professional development at a time when their members needed it most.
There has never been greater urgency or for some of us more time and opportunity to reconnect with colleagues, ask for help, learn new skills, or try something new - like hosting a virtual coffee talk.
Now Is the Time to Take a Risk
While there is very little that doesn’t feel risky these days, it was clear that our coffee talk participants agreed that now is a great time to step outside your comfort zone.
We’re all adapting the tone of our outreach and marketing these days and we should be looking for new ways to build genuine connections to our audiences. Now is the time to remind people of the value your organization has to offer and that may mean stretching your know-how to create something entirely new.
If you think now isn’t the time to launch your organization’s first podcast or a new educational video series, think again. Your value and expertise are more likely to find a welcoming (not to mention captive) audience these days. And should your efforts fail to garner the following or reaction you want, few will fault you for trying to share information or resources at a time when so many are running as fast as they can to adapt.
Let’s Grab a Virtual Coffee
Perhaps the most important thing we learned from hosting our first virtual coffee session was that these days we’ll take all the practical ideas or inspiring stories we can get. Our first group of participants didn’t disappoint.
We’re excited to host our next coffee talk session soon. If you think you’d like to join us, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You supply the coffee, we’ll deliver the conversation.