Covid-19 Survival Tips For Planners

Helpful Tips Post-it

Written by Terry Matthews-Lombardo

Terry Matthews-Lombardo is an industry veteran meeting planner, trip director, and free-lance writer who’s seen and experienced a lot of challenges – the good, bad, great and ugly – during her professional lifetime spent in this industry. Based in Orlando, FL, she’s been a proud and active member of the GCG Network of planners since 2005. You can read more by Terry in her book, Meetings Mayhem!, or on her blog Terry's World Travels.

November 11, 2020

Are we really having this discussion?  Yes, based on how 2020 has been progressing thus far, apparently we are.  Let’s face it, we’re all in some level of shock and awe over the daily/hourly/moment-to-moment announcements coming out of everywhere so best if we share some tips and reiterate things we’ve already learned on our short path to destruction followed by recovery because yes, it will happen people!  See tip #1. . .

1) Attitude is everything.

If you talk about gloom and doom it will surely follow you night and day.  On the other hand, if you choose to wear a smile and at least attempt to stay in some level of positivity it does help.  So, smile already, will you?

Keep a positive attitude

2) Practice ‘stay-healthy’ habits.

These by now include washing our hands until they are raw but are not limited to just what the CDC has been telling us recently. How about including the basics like taking daily vitamins to boost your immune system, working on deep breathing (make sure the air has been sanitized. . .), walking the dog more often and getting more exercise, focusing on good food habits (it’s about time, don’t you think?), using your bed for good sleeping and not for TV watching, computer checking and everything else that goes on there.  Well except for, um, you get the picture here, right?

3) Look for ways to cut expenses.

If you haven’t already been forced to put some effort into this exercise now would be a good time to do so because the road to recovery will be easier if you start to trim back sooner rather than later.

Cut expenses

4) Stay industy relevant.

Did any of us manage virtual events before the pandemic? Most likely, no, but wow, we’ve already come a long way in this regard, right?  I’ve personally moderated on-line sessions for smaller clients still in the testing-the-market phase and learned a lot on the journey.  I’ve also learned it’s a steep learning curve so I’m constantly signing up for webinars and virtual events to improve my game. Many even offer certificates after completing their sessions so if you’ve earned any of those, make sure to share those accomplishments.  Which leads me to. . .

5) Update your linkedin profile, resume, fb page and any other social media channels.

Update anything you put out there for the world to see, and that includes updating your personal headshot photos and adding any new education you have received during this downtime.  Especially as it pertains to managing virtual meetings and events. 

Update your social media

6) Start thinking about your ‘second act’.

We’re not saying the sky is falling but maybe, possibly, perhaps this might be a good time to start thinking about your ‘Second Act’, and I’m not referring to retirement.  No matter what’s on your mind, multiple streams of income are usually a good thing, and this is great time to branch out and explore those dreams.  Your pivot can start right now with one small step taken in a different direction.

7) Volunteer.

If money isn’t your current worry, then good for you!  This also makes you a perfect candidate for volunteer work because there is always, always a shortage.  Pick a cause and get in there.
Lend a helping hand

8) Stay in touch with clients.

Just a short email or phone call to see how they are doing, but remember, now is not the time to ask about future business.  Better if you are genuine in checking in on their ‘sanity’ just to let them know that you care.

If none of the above piques your interest you can always take drastic measures and get started on your 2020 income tax early for a change. Hey, it’s just a suggestion so don’t shoot the messenger!

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