The focus this year of the IABC/Chicago Board of Directors has been on membership recruitment, retention and involvement. Our latest step in that never-ending process will offer members a way to connect without leaving their homes or offices!
The latest member survey, conducted by Julie Bjorkman, PhD, ABC, APR, and Connie Mayse, MBA, affirmed something that we’ve heard for a long time: Members value our professional development and networking events, but can’t always get to them.
I live and work in the northern suburbs of Illinois, so I have first-hand knowledge of the time, effort, and expense involved in attending an IABC/Chicago downtown event in person—particularly if you drive and park.
That’s why I am very excited about our recent decision to offer webcasts of selected chapter events. We tested the WebEx webinar system during the March 16 luncheon on CEO Communication, presented by Brad Whitworth, ABC. Although the test revealed some necessary logistical improvements, the technical hurdles weren’t at all daunting.
We will offer a webcast of the April 20 IABC/Chicago luncheon on Global Communications, to be presented by Jeff Zwier of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Limited. Jeff agreed with me that this is an excellent way to demonstrate how technology is changing global communications.
We also plan to offer the April 20 webinar to other IABC chapters within the United States. My desire is to support other IABC chapters by offering them quality programming at a very fair price. Other IABC chapters, as well as IABC members at-large, are not as fortunate as IABC/Chicago in that they lack financial or volunteer resources, or have trouble attracting quality speakers to their local professional development events.
The webinars will provide an opportunity for IABC/Chicago members to connect to these presenters without leaving home or the office. They will be able to ask questions via an online chat feature. The primary disadvantages of missing the live event will be a lack of face-to-face networking, and the pain of knowing that they will miss out on Maggiano’s great Italian food and desserts!
Look for more information regarding the cost and process of registering for the April 20 WebEx webinar on Global Communications.