Helpful guidance for managing your events and teams during COVID-19

The reality of life for our leaders during this crisis is widely varied: some may have more free time than ever before, some are experiencing high stress, loss or job transitions, while some have absolutely no free time to dedicate to HBA due to work and family responsibilities. HBA understands and appreciates any amount of time our leaders have to give to our mission, and with reduced capacity in mind we want to share what we hope is some helpful guidance to assist you in working smarter, not harder while still making a big impact: 

  • Providing value and support to all our stakeholders (members, volunteers and companies) during this time should be at the forefront of all that we do.
  • Be realistic:
    • HBA is supporting three educational virtual events per week across all 8 regions. If you do the math, that means if each region plans only 1 or 2 webinars in a month, we’ll have a full calendar! 
    • Some areas are struggling more than others during this crisis, so now might not be the right time for them to be planning a complex educational experience. Instead, perhaps those areas should just set up a simple series of virtual networking events, which require significantly less work, to provide opportunities to members to network/engage with each other and stay connected to HBA during this time.
  • Stay connected and coordinated: this crisis is forcing everyone to think and work a bit differently than ever before. It is strangely an opportunity to connect more with other chapter/regional leaders, to explore new ways of working and coordinating across teams to better support each other and our community. 

Some guidance on how to get started:

  • Assess your bandwidth: who on your chapter/regional programming teams has the capacity to continue, in what ways would they like to contribute?
  • Re-align and coordinate your teams:
    • With virtual educational events now being “regional,” this is a great opportunity to engage cross-chapter/regional programming teams to curate educational content rather than continuing to work in silos. Get creative – this isn’t a “business as usual” time.
    • Organize a cross-functional team of corporate relations / programming regional and chapter volunteers to align your educational programming strategy with sponsorship moving forward:
      • Would any of our planned in-person programs translate well to virtual?
      • Would any of our committed sponsors be open to supporting a virtual program?
      • Would any companies in the area have interest in supporting particular topics that would be of value for your region to develop?
  • Develop a coordinated plan: across the region and chapters, how many and what types of events/topics will you support and what is the most valuable to the membership?
    • How many educational events can your region handle planning/curating each month (if any)? Which topics are most relevant or impactful? How will those teams work together and who is in charge of what tasks?
    • How many virtual networking and engagement events should be held locally in each area to keep members engaged– please see our list of virtual networking event ideas for some inspiration!
    • Which areas are struggling and could use additional support to engage their local members in the coming weeks? Is there a way other chapters and/or regional leaders could assist them with smaller, local virtual events so they don’t lose engagement from their members?

Now is a time for our leaders to come together like never before, to support one another and their fellow health care and life science professionals. We will continue building out this resource page to provide more guidance and help, so please share with us ideas, plans, ways of working, best practices and more – your shared experiences could help support and guide fellow HBA leaders across the globe.