Today's episode is going to be a treat. I am sitting down and talking with my good friend, Kat Schmoyer who is a business cheerleader and host of the Creative At Heart conference. We are talking all about planning and executing conferences during a global pandemic. Kat shares her insights on what 2020 looked like as a business owner and conference host, how she had to pivot, and what she thinks is in store for conferences in 2021 and beyond.
Things we talk about:
- What planning conferences and in-person events looked like in 2020.
- How Kat first heard of the pandemic in 2020 and her initial thoughts towards conferences.
- What it's going to look like in 2021 and moving forward into a post COVID 19 world.
- Why it's so important as conference hosts to have open communication with the educators speaking at the conference and taking their opinions to thought.
- Kat's stance that people matter over profit and what her biggest lessons learned in 2020 and how she pivoted as a business owner.
Here are a few quotes:
"I laughed at her. I listened to that voxer message and laughed out loud and thought this is ridiculous. We're not going to have a pandemic, this is 2020, this isn't the 18 hundreds. We're not going to have to deal with anything like this, like what's going on. Then lo and behold, everything started to shut down. So for us, with Creative At Heart, in March of last year, we had already opened registration." - Kat on her reaction in March of 2020
"Things are constantly changing as the world is changing. Right now for in-person events, we have to change. So for us as a conference, we knew we cannot do things the way that they used to be either truly for the safety and health of the educators and attendees, or just the world is asking for something different. So let's think outside of the box and how can we innovate? What we're doing to create something that is new and fresh?" - Kat on how to pivot when it comes to conferences
“I do still find and think that there is value in the in-person. So I believe that in 2021, we are going to start to see a few conferences popping up. In my opinion, they should be hybrid conferences, not solely in person. That's what we're doing because there is still a pandemic. So again, the new normal, so making sure that we're being inclusive to those that either cannot physically come yet or don't feel comfortable to come." - Kat's thoughts on what 2021 all look like for conferences