We sat down with Zarina Othman, a new member to PCMA, to ask her about why she joined and how she is managing the change of events.
Welcome Zarina, you’ve recently become a member of PCMA. Can you tell us why you decided to become a member?
I decided to become a member because I wanted to get connected to the global community of business events professionals. I was keen to understand how other events planners were circumnavigating the challenges brought about by the pandemic.
What did you personally learn or get out of attending the Medical Meetings Community Connect Event hosted by PCMA last month?
Firstly, it was reassuring to know that I was not alone in some of the challenges that were faced by the medical meetings community. I found the discussions on challenges and opportunities amongst my peers extremely insightful. There were valuable ideas and solutions shared during the discussion that I could take back to adapt for the activities I managed.
How are you adapting to planning or managing events during and post-COVID?
While we know that our congresses and meetings were important platforms to delivering education and knowledge to our members, we were cognizant of our responsibility to reduce risk for our speakers, participants, staff and greater community. We also recognized that many in our community were working on the front line actively battling the pandemic. Therefore, there was a need to prioritize only key events for this year, converting them to virtual and offer on-demand content to match our community’s extremely busy schedules.
Why do you think other event professionals should consider joining PCMA?
The industry is facing its biggest challenge yet, and people are in physical isolation wondering how we might get ourselves through this period. Now more than ever, there is a need for business events professionals not to ‘stress in isolation’ but instead collaborate, share ideas to find ways of bringing our events to life in new forms and PCMA has developed useful platforms for such conversations. If more of us get involved in these conversations (and debates, even!), I believe we will gain from the growth of our collective knowledge and wisdom .
European Society for Medical Oncology: www.esmo.org