This time last year, everyone was excited about the promise of a new year and looking forward to what 2020 had in store. Unfortunately, things came to a halt in March and our professional and personal lives have not been the same since. Working remotely has become a necessity for most and virtual meetings are no longer reserved for out-of-town clients or offices but rather for customers and colleagues just across town. By the time October 2020 rolled around, most people were “zoomed” out, exhausted from our new virtual realities, and looking forward to 2021.
The new year as with most has many enthused about the future. A Covid 19 vaccine is starting to be distributed and the economy looks favorable for the third and fourth quarters of this calendar year. Although our future looks favorable, our present looks much like 2020 ended. Quite naturally, one cannot help but turn their thoughts and attention to the days of in person events, sit in dining, and no virtual learning for kids. Thoughts of the future have led many people to check out of the present. In doing so, many online and virtual business and professional development opportunities are being left by the wayside.
As we adapt to this new normal, many organizations and trade groups like the Howard County Chamber have become quite adept at hosting virtual programs. More important, we can bring in speakers that before would have been extremely difficult due to scheduling and travel logistics. Online platforms like Zoom, WebEx, and Go-to-Meeting are creating opportunities where our congressional leaders, corporate executives, and other influencers are more available than they would have been in traditional years. With government policies changing at a moment notice, we can present workshops in almost real time because meeting logistics have been minimized.
Before you check out of virtual programming, I encourage you to check in to some of the Howard County Chamber’s upcoming programming as there is something for all industries and professional levels. In February, we will start a 3-part series titled Managing Inflection Points which is geared toward our government contractors. The series focuses on the financial and infrastructure decisions that trouble growing firms. We will also hold the last session of our 4-part Cyber Risk Management series. To top things off, we will hear about business opportunities with US Cyber Command.
For those interested in policy and economic development, the new Policy Matters webcast will continue as we have weekly conversations with members of the Howard County General Assembly Delegation. We will also hold the annual State of Business address with County Executive Dr. Calvin Ball. If you happen to be on the younger side of your career, our Celerate series kicks off with a discussion of understanding your unique strengths and transferable skills. For details on these programs and more, visit our events page.