As we dive into the autumn months, the PHCP-PVF supply chain is diligently prepping for its first-ever season of virtual conferences and events. Although I will miss the face-to-face interaction, travel and ability to meet some of you in person, I am excited to see how well our associations and leaders adapt to this new scape. 

ASA NETWORK2020 Virtual will kick things off with a new-to-the-industry virtual trade show taking place during the (virtual) annual conference on Oct. 7. From what I’ve heard, ASA also has the two-day event packed with the regular top-notch educational and networking opportunities you always expect from NETWORK. Find more details about the ASA virtual trade show in Mike Miazga’s column on Page 55. 

AD has also successfully began to host its schedule of fall meetings virtually, managing to include supplier briefings, business updates and networking booth sessions. AIM/R rounds things out with its virtual meeting Oct. 22-23. The lineup of events for the meeting shows many of the regular favorite AIM/R live conference components.

“Don’t discount virtual events; we believe they’ll be just as valuable, if not more than the norm.”


Suppliers are also adapting by hosting virtual buying shows. APR Supply out of Lebanon, Pennsylvania,  which puts on a fantastic show each year, held its event virtually last month and knocked it out of the park; more on that to coming soon.

Plans for early 2021 largely remain unknown, and while I’m sure many of us are hoping for a “normal” year of our favorite events, let’s think about the benefits of these virtual formats.

On the work/life balance side of things, you don’t have to spend nearly as much time away from home and your families. Not to mention, everyone is saving on travel costs; if you happen to have never attended one of these industry events before, now is a fantastic time to try them out in a virtual setting.

You’ll get the same great speakers, industry updates, business development information and product knowledge from the comfort of your own home or office. If you’re a homebody, there’s now no excuse not to take advantage of these resources. Cutting out the jetlag, along with having to find your way from one end of an event hall to another means more time and energy to really enjoy the trade show or event (comfy shoes, and shoes in general are optional during virtual events!).

So instead of packing our bags and booking flights, we’re settling in and staying home. Over the last decade, our industry has learned about virtual reality in terms of training, product installation and more, but who would’ve thought we’d ever be living in one?