When COVID-19 hit, businesses were faced with having to cancel, postpone or go virtual for some of their most important meetings and events.
Linden has longstanding relationships with rural electric cooperatives in both Wyoming and Colorado; we know how much their annual meetings mean to them and to their members. The annual meeting is the one time a year the whole cooperative can come together socially and to review cooperative business. It’s their chance to reward employees, speak with members and celebrate successes over the last year. However, with the pandemic, co-ops were forced to completely rethink how they could provide any level of direct interaction and get out necessary information to their community of employees and members.
That’s where Linden stepped in. We researched our options and worked with our co-op partners on a strategy that would bring in our technical expertise to create an alternative meeting style that would still bring the co-op communities together. While some co-ops opted to use Facebook Live, and others canceled or postponed their annual meetings, we were able to help many of our partners create a virtual annual meeting experience.
We filmed co-op CEOs and directors – from a safe distance, of course – and compiled their messages of thanks and important co-op information into a short, streamlined annual meeting video. We knew there wouldn’t be any way to make the new meeting format feel quite the same as being together in person, so we focused on blending the on-camera speeches with graphics slides, presentations and videos in order to come as close as we could to what members might see at a live event.
What we found most surprising during each video shoot was that it can be more challenging to speak to an empty room than to a room of 200, or 1,000. What was even more difficult was not laughing at the jokes you hear from directors and co-op CEOs while behind the camera!
It still didn’t feel completely “normal,” but these videos provided a level of connection between members and their cooperatives. While Zoom, Google Meet and other video services have helped us all stay connected, it’s not the same as being in person. But the effort that you see from many companies to stay connected in whatever way they can is commendable, and we’ve enjoyed partnering with these co-ops to help them do what they can to stay engaged with their communities.
A natural leader, Maggie seamlessly transitions from clients to team building, from CO to WY, business suits to cowboy boots.