Published Date: April 20th, 2021
I don’t imagine anyone on the face of this Earth would want to relive last year, not to mention the world’s worst pandemic since 1918. However, as with everything in life, we try to find positive out of negative. That’s what most human beings do because of the survival instinct we have from birth.
As was the case for so many societies and organizations, your Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce moved its board meetings online in March 2020. First thing on the agenda: how do we keep going? How do we continue moving ahead with our future plans for our members, fulfilling our commitment as a viable source of information, contact and networking?
We all know that from March to June, we kept hoping this pandemic was going to slow down, be under control somehow. No such thing!
Under the leadership of our President Conor Barry, the Board brainstormed about the 2020-2021 events season, scheduled to kick off in September. It is not enough just to say: “Well, let’s just meet virtually”. Who can we invite as a guest speaker? Who will have something meaningful to say at this time of our existence? Virtual presentations and webinars have to be interesting even more than in person because you are a captivated audience in front of a screen.
Wednesday, November 4th was the start of our commitment to keep our members informed. Who better than the Irish Ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Eamonn McKee to launch the new event season? His was a wonderful, one hour presentation, moderated by ICCC Montreal President Conor Barry. The Ambassador’s relaxed and informative manner made the hour disappear before we knew it. We even had time for a Q&A. Over 40 attendees! We knew this was going to be the way to go for the next few months.
December brought our former Premier, The Honourable Jean Charest to our virtual event calendar. The ICCC worked together with McCarthy Tétriault to have a one-on-one with Mr. Charest on the Post-Election Trade Outlook: USA, Canada and Europe-U.K.-Ireland. A lot to cover, but M. Charest did so with ease and correctness of facts. Close to 50 people from across Quebec, Ontario, the United States and Ireland joined our Montreal members for this webinar.
One hour of interesting information on the economic strengths and weaknesses during political uncertainties and strains in negotiations. As moderator for this presentation, I wanted to make sure that everything went smoothly and time was used efficiently and effectively. Again, another hour had gone by before we knew it. Again, with a Q&A. Again, with a great speaker.
These two very successful webinars reassured us that virtual events could successfully allow us to keep in touch with our members and continue to provide them with the information they need and want from their Chamber of Commerce. Webinars are here for awhile, and have the benefit of allowing us to reach out to a large number of attendees live as well as on-demand, as we strive to make recordings available to ICCC Montreal members.
We are now planning and reaching out to new presenters that you will not want to miss. No doubt, 2021 will be better than 2020, although we still have a way to go before we will be permitted to meet again over a Guinness or a Chardonnay.
Until then, let’s do the next best thing and come together to be informed and enjoy each other’s company online.
Would you like to share ideas for other ways to get together? Or do you have a speaker to recommend? I invite you to send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you didn’t have the opportunity to join us for our Ambassador Eamonn McKee or our Right Honourable Jean Charest, then I personally invite you to our next webinar. Not to be missed! Head over to the Upcoming Events section of this website for our teaser, and keep an eye on your inbox or ICCC Montreal’s social networking channels for our upcoming announcement.