Last week I took part in #CommsHero Week. It had the equivalent impact of a string of flat whites with some sugary biscuits thrown in – I’m still buzzing.
And yet, I almost missed out completely. Client work comes first, and as an independent consultant, there’s no one to fall back on if you take time off – even if it is for personal development. Having previously joined in some of the #CommsHero discussions on social media, I’d been eyeing up the event for ages, but when it came to it, I just couldn’t justify the time. Or so I thought.
Midway through the week, the penny dropped. The event was too good to miss - I had to make the time. I would be late to the party (CommsHero, Asif Choudry, mentioned there had been 313 attendees – I’m pretty sure I was number 313), but at least being online means I can play catch up.
The presentations I heard were first class (more on that in a future article) but it was the live networking that really made the event for me. After listening to each brilliant talk, I and other delegates were catapulted into the virtual networking space where you could effectively pull up a chair and join a conversation (well, click on a seat and launch your camera to the unsuspecting people already on your ‘table’).
Suddenly, I was face to face with a fantastic group of creative, supportive, talented comms pros, chatting as if we’d known each other for ages. This was repeated between every presentation and for me, was the real icing on the Krispy Kreme doughnut.
It’s no secret that lockdown has been a challenge for us all, but I didn’t realise quite how much I'd missed chatting to comms colleagues and meeting new people. Some of the conversations at CommsHero Week were really insightful, others were all about pets/hummus/running, but every one was valuable. I made new connections, signed up for new podcasts, and heard some fantastic ideas. All this, and I’ve only heard a fraction of the planned presentations so far – this is the gift that will keep on giving.
Thank you #CommsHero Week – I came for the content and stayed glued to my screen for the community. Next time, I’ll be ticketholder number one.