Cristina Bowerman, component executive
√ Send an email to registrants explaining the new COVID-19 protocols and expectations.
√ Ask registrants to complete the COVID-19 health questionnaire 48-hours prior to the workshop.
√ Order food and beverages that are individually wrapped and bottled.
√ Take attendee temperatures to ensure they are less than 100 degrees.
√ Ensure that attendees are wearing a face mask that covers their entire nose and mouth.
√ Monitor and enforce six feet of social distancing at all times.
√ Have bottles of FDA-approved hand sanitizer readily available.
Welcome to the new normal. The list above is far from exhaustive but includes some of the COVID-19 protocols Pacific Northwest-ISA (PNW-ISA) has implemented for its in-person workshops. PNWISA resumed its in-person TRAQ classes on 27 July 2020, in Boise, ID, USA. As I write, we are preparing for three workshops on 24 August in Victoria, BC, Canada; Medford, OR, USA; and SeaTac, WA, USA.
Due to the higher costs of hosting these events, financially, our goal is to break even. Event space is limited at most venues in our area, and rates are at a premium. We must reserve meeting rooms that are double the typical size due to federal and state social distancing guidelines. Catering costs have increased due to preparing and packaging food individually rather than buffet-style. Additionally, some facilities are charging additional fees to disinfect meeting spaces throughout the day.
Given all of this, why host workshops at all? Because many members rely on government contracts for their livelihoods and to ensure they can retain work. If we can help prevent unemployment in our industry, we want to assist our members and do it as safely as we can.
Customer service has become even more important. Phone calls and emails from members have increased and reflect the tolls of daily fatigue and stress caused by COVID-19 and its impact.
It’s a strange, surreal time. And yet, it has also been an exciting one. Through all of this chaos, PNW-ISA is creating new programs. We are getting ready to launch a new website with a fully-integrated database and learning management system which will allow us to serve members in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, Canada, concurrently. Let that sink in. Our member programs and services will be available to everyone in our region at the same time. How amazing is that
It’s also been a time of great reflection and innovation. Of looking at everything that is and isn’t working organizationally and asking, can we make this better? Do we expect everything to be perfect? No. Will we hit the mark every time? Probably not. But if there was ever a time to experiment and push the limit, now is that time.
Motivational speaker Tony Robbins said, “All growth starts at the end of your comfort zone.” 2020 has been a pretty uncomfortable year, but PNW-ISA has chosen to focus on a growth mindset. Here’s to a time for infinite possibilities! Onward and upward!