NeuGroup staff pulled off a difficult feat last spring to continue connecting finance professionals in a crucial period.
When the Covid-19 pandemic first swept across the globe late last winter, everyone felt the impact. As a company based almost entirely on in-person interaction at that point, NeuGroup may have been among the hardest hit.
- “None of us had ever used Zoom before, we didn’t even have it downloaded,” said Clelia Milan, NeuGroup’s senior event manager, who helped assist the overall transition to virtual meetings.
- But the show had to go on, and by March 23, only 12 days after the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic, NeuGroup conducted eight virtual meetings for members to share and learn from peer responses to the crisis.
The sky is falling? In February 2020, just few weeks before the FX Managers’ Peer Group Summit, one of the first meetings of the H1 semiannual meeting cycle, the future looked uncertain. Though the US hadn’t yet entered into a full-scale shutdown, the odds of having the meeting as scheduled in Denver seemed low.
- So the team got to work. In collaboration with meeting sponsor Chatham Financial, NeuGroup staff quickly reorganized and planned the day-long meeting to be fully virtual—teaching themselves to use Zoom along the way.
- “It was a super hard adjustment,” Ms. Milan said. Though the company had hosted some webinars before the pandemic, virtual meetings were an entirely different beast.
- Though software roadbumps were unavoidable, NeuGroup always had our members’ security in mind.
The show must go on. In the following weeks, NeuGroup acted as a first responder for corporate finance and treasury professionals, offering a consistent space for peers to come together, share strategies, and learn from others’ success.
- Once a company that thrived only on semiannual, multi-day, in-person meetings, we began hosting weekly office hours for all of our groups, chats on Zoom for bite-sized updates. These office hours have now settled into a regular monthly interim meetings.
- The rest of 2020’s meetings, as well as the current first-half 2021 meetings, were also conducted virtually. In addition to keeping all members in attendance distanced in the safety of their own homes, the virtual meetings also offered opportunities for flexibility, working with members to set a schedule and agenda that fit their needs.
- Meetings in the second half of 2020 also saw the return of activities for members in attendance, which brought some joy to the proceedings and an opportunity for members to bond. These ranged from quiz games to comedy shows to wine tastings.
Hopefully, sometime soon, we’ll get back to our office, and back to meetings in person. Until then, we’ll keep offering the best and most innovative solutions to share and learn. Preview some of our upcoming meetings or inquire about NeuGroup membership or sponsorship opportunities.