As I sit here creating this blog post, I still find myself asking this same question. Are you serious? A pandemic?
Leading into 2020 the Premier Team was on a roll planning a kick- (you know) lineup of events. Our first executive forum was scheduled to be in Boston. As we approached the in-person date, we quickly realized that it simply was not happening.
I’ll be totally honest; I may have sat in the fetal position paired with a child-like tantrum for 10 minutes or so. Swirling around in my mind – a montage of the amazing details my team had been working so hard behind-the-scenes to bring to our IT communities. In that moment, a wave of clarity came over me. “This is exactly why Premier exists, it’s our mission!” Ok, I fully realize the previous statement sounds cliché (and cheesy) but it’s absolutely true.
Our Boston agenda included Harry Moseley, Global CIO for Zoom Communications who had spoken for us in previous years. We were excited to hear from him on stage and even more so in this new world we were all living in. We knew others would be interested to hear about the insane transformation they were pivoting towards. I have to pause here for a moment and share appreciation and gratitude for Harry and his entire team who jumped on board, believed in our vision and committed to speaking (and leading) the next 10 community CIO forums happening in less than 3 months (what normally takes an entire year to cover).
If we were to take snapshots in time of each event that occurred from March forward, you would see the huge milestones and transitions IT executives faced, week to week and the optimism that started to unfold. Now, months later – I’m amazed daily at how far the tech community has come.
I know for many; the pandemic has caused a feeling of isolation and solidarity, but I’d be lying if I said I fully agreed. Each chapter of Regional CIOs and Leaders our team reached out to – jumped on board. Each vendor I personally asked to trust our vision – took the time to hear me and my team out. Furthermore – the sincere kindness and warm sentiments we received following each event kept us going, motivated us to serve the IT community harder and renewed our sense in humanity. When faced with a literal global crisis, hands were extended.
Premier IS a small business. We are made up of moms, dads, (and stepmoms), caretakers and individuals who put their heart and soul into what they do. The heartbreaking reality that our business could come to a screeching halt truthfully did not hold us down for more than a few brief moments in that meltdown I referenced above. Quite the opposite – we found faith in community, we dug in deeper and we worked day and night to pull together non-traditional content in harmony with experts and service providers who offered their time to help – not sell.
Premier’s platform served as a true community and many shared what they could and took what they needed. We found humanization in its rawest form and for that – my life, this business and my appreciation for all of the things that would take so long to list will never be the same.
When our valued guests/clients sign up for an event listed on our site or an email that lands in their inbox and they clicked the REGISTER NOW link, know that someone at Premier was tasked with identifying the importance of their role, someone worked to create a message they felt would help our client in their business and the content you will also experience during our event – hand selected in harmony with the community you represent. It is not duplicated or repeated over and over, it is unique.
Know that our small business is comprised of individuals who inspire me daily and share this same vision. Where revenue was lost, community unfolded. We knew we needed to move forward and bring the IT community together – in their living rooms, basements, garages, etc.. We’ve met your spouses, kids, pets and we’ve shared a few laughs over the glitches that normally would make Event Planners cringe.
If you are reading this, please allow it to serve as a heartfelt, genuine (with a few tears included) THANK YOU to every single person who believed in us and continue to support our Family at Premier, daily.
Stay safe (and sane) and let us know if there is ANYTHING we can do to help, in any way!