Do you miss real life meetings, seminars and conferences?

Nine months before the pandemic hit the UK, at the age of 71 I finally retired. The last 17 years of my working life had been as a portfolio worker sitting on, and usually chairing, a variety of consumer bodies. So, every couple of days, I would attend a meeting or seminar or conference. I met a lot of people and I liked that.

As well as the business of these events, I would enjoy the opportunities of the pre-meeting arrivals , tea/coffee/comfort breaks, and post-meeting dispersement to catch up with individuals. At seminars and conferences. I would check the attendance list to see who I knew and which organisations were represented. I welcomed the chance to catch up with colleagues and to make new contacts.

That all ended for me 18 months ago, but of course it all ended for most office workers nine months ago and it’s going to be many more months before most office workers are back regularly in that office.

I know that working from home has many advantages and, for 17 years, my office was my home, but online events miss out on so much social interaction. I realise that I’m something of an extrovert; I like meeting people including new people. But do you miss real life meetings, seminars and conferences?

I think that, when we have control of the coronavirus, we will move towards a variety of blended work patterns that enable people to combine the benefits of working from home and in the office .


  • Janet

    I have been involved with 2 international events in the Covid era – one very successful and the other not so. In September the EuroForth conference was scheduled to be held in Rome, but was held online instead. Most disappointing,but maybe next year. All the papers presented were Powerpoint as usual and discussion was lively. Replacing the cultural outing, all participants were asked to give a 3 minute talk on their home town accompanied by 5 pictures. This was excellent – for instance, I never knew that one of the regular delegates lived in Hollywood Hills till now! We even held a successful virtual Conference banquet in our own dining rooms.
    Less successful was Stampex, a philatelic exhibition normally held at the Business Design Centre in London. Although you could visit virtual booths, which were open 24 hours for international participants, the atmosphere was missing.

  • Imran Chaudhry

    Yes! I miss going to technical conferences and meeting new people. It’s also good to catch-up with people I have not seen in a while. There is always the “hallway” track at these events, those spontaneous conversations that just happen at these events. It’s just not the same online.


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