This is hard. Really hard.
At a time when every aspect of our lives has been altered, the simple act of living can feel both revolutionary and pointless, sometimes in the same hour. In a world that craves certainty, our narratives have been changing daily. The only thing we know with clarity is it’s not going to be business as usual for a long time.
A number of speaker bureaus and agencies promise to guide you to the new normal of online programs with a few keystrokes. We are not one of them. Meeting the challenges we face now requires more than simply repurposing a canned lecture for a webcam. Adapting to this evolving reality demands more than just a dial-in PIN to a Zoom meeting. This moment begs for new technology, new thought leaders and new content.
It would be dishonest to state that all our artists are available for virtual programs with little modification. There are too many variables. Unreliable wifi networks and “work from home” distractions are obstacles facing artists and event planners alike. Further, we cannot talk about any issue without adapting those remarks to reflect the largest global health crisis of our lifetime. It is also vital we acknowledge that a pandemic can easily become a tool for oppression. While the hope for vaccines and stimulus plans dominates the headlines, we remain committed to our core speech tenets of justice and equality. The conversations around education, mental health, and discrimination cannot stop, even in the shadow of the coronavirus.
We are testing new virtual platforms to ensure that your audience can receive the kind of impact they would anticipate in a live setting. We are working with all of our speakers to create new keynotes and workshops that translate for online events. Mostly, we are trying to meet you where you are, knowing we all have to be flexible in our approach to each event. We don’t have a one size fits all solution right now. But we are listening to you and we are responding.
As Collective Speakers shifts and pivots in its day to day operations, our brilliant artists are giving back in unique ways. Some are simply offering the soothing distraction of a poetry reading. Some are sewing masks for the homeless. Some are offering online sessions to combat loneliness and isolation. Others are holding our leaders accountable on social media. Each artist has their own style and method of contributing.