Reflections on our return to in-person

MBA CSEA Executive Director shares her thougths about our return to in-person events after a three-year hiatus.

"Life is a lot like Jazz. It's best when you improvise." - George Gershwin

It's coincidental that we were in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, for our first in-person event since 2019 because improvisation has been a big part of what got us through the past few years. From finding new ways to engage virtually, to member quick surveys, to round tables that touched on the tough issues, our volunteers and staff really put a lot of effort in to making sure we could meet our members' need during these challenging times. 

When we made the decision to ease back into in-person events this year, starting with our Global Conference, we weren't sure what to expect. We knew that health and safety was our first priority, so we spent time researching what other associations were doing, talking to the hotel and event planners, checking with experts, and gauging what was most important to our attendees. What resulted was an event that looked a little different, but still had the same warm, friendly, collegial feeling that everyone remembered!

Collaborative round tables brought people together by job function to share challenges and develop solutions. Breakout sessions were lively and energetic, with people walking away with the tangible takeaways they came for. The keynote and panel provided thought-provoking takes on the future of our jobs and our industry. New members networked and felt the energy.. And the gala was as dynamic and animated as usual! 

All in all, even with the health modifications, it was an amazing event. We appreciate everyone who played a part in making it happen - our volunteers, staff, speakers, sponsors, and the hotel team who worked so hard even while being short-staffed.

We look forward to continuing the conversations and engaging those who couldn't be there through our upcoming virtual activities!