As I walked into the auditorium it was surprising to see a group of friends gathered for a LIVE event.
Seated as socially distanced as they could attempt to be, while still congregating with fellow attendees, masks were recommended but optional (our home State allows up to 99 to gather as of this writing), and I entered with mine on.
Taking the floor as a Speaker was an eery but wonderful change to the computer screen and video camera I have faced in my office for the past few months during the pandemic and quarantine of COVID-19, now instead I saw people in person, could feel energy, hear laughs without it cutting out my sound…quite the difference in both worlds.
I came prepared with pages of notes, as this would be a presentation I had never given, called, “Keep The Promise to Your Client in a Virtual World”, and yet, when I was introduced, the performer in me took over and I just let loose.
Tried to keep with my notes but it was useless, the excitement of being in a room of people and performing once again was unleashed.
Laughs, tears, stories, faces, a few points and notes to be made – it was a Performance! And it was exhilarating, and equally, due to only having 20 minutes, way too short.
I was honest, vulnerable, maybe too honest…
Gave it my all, sweat beading on my brow by the end.
I watched another peer give a wonderful presentation before I snuck back out and left the building to return home for Daddy duties while Mom is away.
Are LIVE Events back?
I wish they were, but I don’t think so.
At least not as we’ve known them.
The audience at this event were instructed to be seated 6-10 feet apart, keep masks on, the whole safety thing that I feel is essential. Did it work? Well, sit 40-50 socially extroverted friends and family in a 500 seat auditorium and people will do what people will do, without someone really enforcing the rules, and sit by each other, maybe hug when they see you, tear away a mask just to share a smile and feel more connected…
I get it. And yet, I also was not sure how to respond when a hug came in from a career-long friend, without being rude and still loving.
And then I was offering the hug and could see the trepidation in the eyes of the friend…
As a performer on the stage looking out over the scene, a smattering of people seated throughout, it’s a bit like going to the aquarium and every other tank is empty…
It’s just not the same without them packed in like sardines.
From how it felt that day, and how fun it was, I was also a bit surprised by how I did. I was out of my element, a fish out of water, even though I’ve been doing performances virtually every day online for a few months. Getting back on stage was different.
Are LIVE events back?
I think small gatherings will be.
Arenas and ballrooms filled to the brim?
Probably not for over a year…or maybe ever?
And I will miss it.
But I am also very grateful there’s a solution with the virtual event. Very grateful.
Why? Because either way we can still keep The Promise.
~ jason hewlett
Leadership Expert * Virtual Keynote Speaker * Speaker Hall of Fame