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Planner Spotlight Series- Dusty Schleier, Barbershop Harmony Society

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September 22, 2021
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This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlight's planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world. 


 

Name: Dusty Schleier

Company Name: Barbershop Harmony Society

Job Title: Director of Meetings & Conventions

Years of Experience: 20

How were you able to adapt during COVID-19 when the meeting and events industry got disrupted?
 
Our association is a non-profit arts organization that relies on attendees being able to sing together in quartets and choruses. We put on two major events a year drawing thousands of attendees from around the world to celebrate Barbershop Harmony. When the pandemic hit, we quickly had to step into the unknown and figure out how to connect our singers using technology. We executed our Midwinter Convention on a virtual platform where the attendees created avatars and interacted in a virtual campus - hugging, high-fiving, laughing...much as they would at in in-person event. We had live performances streamed into the event in various theaters where the virtual audience could interact with the performers. It was truly an incredible experience. There was even singing in the virtual world, although it requires some patience due to lag.
 
As a planner, what was the number one thing you learned over the past year?
 
People want to connect through events and interact with each other. Even when live events weren't possible, we saw amazing engagement with our members on virtual platforms. In some ways, we were able to connect even more of the world together without the requirement of physical travel. Once live events are back in full swing, it will still be important to use technology to connect with the attendees that couldn't be there in-person.
 
Is there anything you are changing in your planning process moving forward as a result of the pandemic?
 
I will be sure to include a virtual platform in tandem with our live events. This has the opportunity to bring more people to our content than ever before.
 

This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlight's planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world. 

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