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  • Writer's pictureMasada Siegel

The World is Opening Up, Not Shutting Down

“Are you going to Sweet Suite?” my Crayola contact Emma asked me on email. “Would love to meet you if you can make it.” 

“What’s that?” I replied. “The Toy Insider’s online conference where toy representatives meet with journalists and influencers to showcase their latest products.” “Sounds great. What do I need to do” I responded. “Nothing. I’ll send over a zoom link and you’ll tune in at your scheduled time.” Many people have been feeling closed in while staying close to home for months, but, for this stay at home mom and freelance reporter, the world has opened up with new possibilities. Because of Covid-19, conferences that were once only in person have gone online. Previously many of them were impossible for me to attend, as they were located around the globe.  Now, corporations are thinking out of the box on how to keep people connected. Endless opportunities for people to network, show products and learn new skills without ever leaving the house have been created. Conferences, educational sessions and meetings that were previously off limits for me to attend are now going on full force— in my home. Now, not only can I attend professional meetings. I’m able to set my schedule allowing me to both work and be an attentive mom. I’m not alone. Many small business owners that I have spoken with have mentioned how difficult it is for them to get away to attend a trade show, or conference.They would welcome the opportunity to do it remotely. Walking into a virtual booth at “Sweet Suite” was fascinating. These types of meetings are in their infancy, as it is mainly people presenting their products from their homes.  However, creativity ruled the day. A woman from the company “Playmobil” converted her living room into a booth akin to what one would see at a live trade show. While waiting to find out more about “Educational Insights”, I was ushered into a virtual lobby where I could talk to other attendees. Soon after, the company representative asked me my interests and placed me in a meeting room where new toys were being showcased on Zoom. Meanwhile Nintendo and others reached out to me on chat and invited me to view their live product showings. In one hour I had spoken to people in Hoboken, NJ, Helena, Montana and Anaheim, California, all without leaving my home. An unconventional convention, but online conferences are the wave of the future. They are in the early development stages now, but will only get more sophisticated as corporations rethink strategies of how to connect with their target audiences.  People might view the world as shutting down, however, the way I see it, innovative approaches are opening up a world of opportunity that are inclusive and available for everyone. #conferences #thefuture #access #suitesweet #nintendo #crayola #toys #hexbug #conventions #playmobil #educationalinsights

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