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Planners Moving Forward Series- Jennifer Dela-Cruz, RBC

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June 6, 2022
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Reading time: 2 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: Jennifer Dela-Cruz

Company Name: Royal Bank of Canada

Job Title: Director, Meetings & Events

Years of Experience: 15+

How do you think you are positioned, after months of persevering with the pandemic, to take advantage of our new and disrupted meetings/events landscape?
 
It's interesting to hear folks reference hybrid meetings because we were already doing this before the pandemic, but the ratio to in-person vs virtual was flipped. It is because of this experience being able to pivot while still challenging, wasn't completely new. We have experienced great new vendors with technologies and new learning opportunities and feel the positive momentum on the horizon. 
 
As our community moves forward with planning in-person meetings, what new technologies or processes are you implementing that you may have not looked at before?
 
Increasing the virtual audience has been something that was always a struggle and moving forward there has definitely been new opportunities to make it better. Pre-event surveys has been a process that will be leveraged more knowing we want to engage and listen to what the attendees need in this new environment. While the post-event survey was used previously, leveraging both will increase engagement. 
 
As we see virtual meetings transition back to face to face, hybrid meetings are beginning to be the vehicle to return to normalcy. What are your thoughts on hybrid meetings versus traditional fully in-person meetings?
 
There are definite pros and cons to a hybrid vs fully in-person meetings and what is great about moving forward is we will always have the option of both. Now that we have shown it can be done, the expectation is that there will be a time and a place for each. 
 
In your opinion, what do you think the biggest value for your attendees is in regards to returning to live events?
 
Networking and building relationships in-person is definitely something that was hard virtually. When your trying to build a new connection, body language and live eye contact is something that helps create authenticity that a 2-dimensional screen lacks. 
 
As the pandemic fades away and we return to face-to-face events what do you hope changes, either for planners or hoteliers, in the traditional RFP and proposal process as a result of all of the learnings from the last 20+ months?
 
Unfortunately as we try to rise out of the pandemic planners still have the challenge of last minute requests that are placed to vendors and partners. To be honest, this was a challenge before and still see it now that I hope we can continue to work together and be as efficient as possible. 
 

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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