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Planner Spotlight Series- Tracy Baer

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August 16, 2021
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Reading time: 1 min

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: Tracy Baer

Company Name: INCM

Job Title: CMP, CFMP, Operations Director

Years of Experience: 14+

How were you able to adapt during COVID-19 when the meeting and events industry got disrupted?
 
We carefully weighed the financial, social, and health implications of making the decision to move our event fully online with waiting until we met Force Majeure conditions. We chose to provide our attendees with the best possible experience with just under six months to plan, which gave our staff time to create a high-quality replacement online event instead of having to throw an event together at the last minute. It also allowed us time to renegotiate our contractual obligations. We abandoned the in-person event completely, reimagined the event as an online experience, kept the DNA that makes the event so special, and allowed our staff to focus on the new direction.
 
As a planner, what was the number one thing you learned over the past year?
 
Flexibility. There are so many differences between planning an in-person event and an online event, especially one of this size and with so many moving parts. Changing direction in the middle of the planning cycle, finding the right online platform partner that was robust enough to handle our needs, balancing the financial ramifications of our new direction, and providing the attendees with the experience they deserve was a monumental challenge. Being flexible to learn and try new things was a critical piece of the puzzle.
 
Is there anything you are changing in your planning process moving forward as a result of the pandemic?
 
We discovered during our online event that we had a record number of attendees; exponentially so, from six continents and from twenty different countries. The reach of our event was so vast we want the opportunity to serve these attendees going forward. We are now planning the in-person event with a modified online experience a few weeks later. I see this happening for the foreseeable future.
 

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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