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The Operations Team Is Twiddling its Thumbs. Now What?

Dave D’Eletto from Meeting Alliance has the perfect answer to a coronavirus-induced work slowdown.

At the pandemic unfolds, David D’Eletto, president of Meeting Alliance, a third-party meeting planning company in Robbinsville, N.J., says layoffs will only be used as a last resort at his company. But with all client meetings canceled between now and June, how will the operations team fill its time? D’Eletto has a suggestion for at least an hour each day: education.

“The ops people don’t have anything to do, so we’re asking them to attend webinars every day,” he says. “We’ve said, ‘Find something you like. You’ve got free rein, but whatever you find, watch it and then report to everybody.’”

So far, D’Eletto is impressed with the results. “People are coming back with some really great stuff, and it’s keeping them focused. They’re producing long writeups, some with six or seven paragraphs of information.” The next step, he says, is to get the group on a Zoom call and discuss some of the ideas collectively. “We want to keep the juices flowing.”

Want to send your team on an education journey? Most industry associations offer webinars and courses, but don’t stop there. Here are eight short educational picks that will give your team members something to think about.

Podcast: Audio Augmented Reality for Events
36 minutes
The latest episode of the Event Tech Podcast with Will Curran and Brandt Krueger dives into a subset of the bigger augmented reality discussion. Listen to it.

TEDTalk: The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers
15 minutes
Organizational psychologist Adam Grant shares his observations about creative people who come up with great ideas. (Spoiler alert: "You need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones.") Watch it.

Training: Preventing & Responding to Human Trafficking & The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
25 minutes
ECPAT-USA has developed a training module to educate corporate travel managers and meeting and event professionals on how they can prevent and combat human trafficking. Cost: $30; register here.

Article: A Neuroscientist Shares 5 Ways to Hack Productivity
Five-minute read
At 99U, a career-resource website, Sahar Yousef, Ph.D. a UC Berkeley-trained cognitive neuroscientist shares a few tactics for getting more done. Read it.

Documentary: Bathtubs Over Broadway
1 hour, 27 minutes
This documentary about industrial musicals created for corporate sales meetings of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s is an entertaining look at conferences of the past. Rated ninety-one percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and streaming on Netflix now. Watch it.

Podcast: Everything You Need to Know About Working from Home (But Were Too Afraid to Ask!)
59 minutes
Advice and resources for WFH from online marketing expert Amy Porterfield on the RISE podcast. Listen to it.

Webinar: The Trouble Trifecta: Attrition, Cancellation, and Force Majeure
60 minutes
On this MeetingsNet on-demand webinar, meetings industry attorney Barbara Dunn looks at the cancellation and force majeure issues meeting professionals are tackling in the wake of cancellations and postponements from the coronavirus crisis. 1 CE credit. Watch it.

Blog: A Backward Glance at 5 Trends that Changed Events in the ’10s
Five-minute read
The C2 conference in Montreal is consistently cited for its creativity and engagement tactics. The May 2020 conference has been postponed until fall 2020, but the website is worth a visit in the meantime, and includes this blog post that wraps up top trends. Read it.

What are you and your meetings team watching, reading, and listening to?  Send us your suggestions and we’ll share them on MeetingsNet.

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