The world has changed in 2020 and while organizations could do without a technology before the whole COVID-19 pandemic, now technology and digitalization are a must-do that no organization can afford to ignore.

Professional communities around the globe are struggling. While in-person events are still the best way to bring people together to build solid relationships, organizations across the world may not be able to host in-person events anytime soon and they need to find new ways to provide value to their communities. 

In this sudden new time of 'social distancing', everyone is stumbling through the motions in a daze. Connecting and engaging with your community is more important than ever. During this difficult time, it is imperative that members of a community come together to help one another. But how do you enable your community to thrive?

Key takeaways:

  • The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on professional communities
  • Strategies on how to grow your professional community
  • How to manage your community through digital
  • The importance of digital communication during crisis



  • Deborah Rosati (Corporate Director, Founder & CEO of Women Get On Board Inc)

    Deborah Rosati

    Corporate Director, Founder & CEO of Women Get On Board Inc

    Deborah Rosati is an accomplished corporate director, entrepreneur, Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA) and certified Corporate Director (ICD.D) with more than 30 years of experience in technology, consumer, retail, cannabis, private equity and venture capital. An experienced Audit Committee and Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee chair, Deborah provides extensive knowledge as a Corporate Director in the areas of financial and enterprise risk management, corporate strategy, transformational changes, M&A, corporate governance and CEO and board succession planning.

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  • Suzanne Alfano (Executive Director of Canadian Fire Alarm Association)

    Suzanne Alfano

    Executive Director of Canadian Fire Alarm Association

    Suzanne Alfano is the Executive Director of the Canadian Fire Alarm Association. Her 30+ year career has been dedicated to working with Associations in the areas of electrical, fire and life safety, building systems, electrical/electronic manufacturing and renewable energy technologies. Suzanne has a MBA from HULT International Business School in Boston, MA and a diploma in electronics engineering from Sheridan College, Brampton, ON.

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  • Lisa Simon (Executive Director of International Inbound Travel Association)

    Lisa Simon

    Executive Director of International Inbound Travel Association

    Lisa currently serves as the Executive Director of the International Inbound Travel Association, the only trade association focused solely on international inbound travel to the United States. IITA represents the leading US-based inbound tour operators that drive the majority of international travel trade export for the U.S. Other IITA members include travel suppliers like hotels, transportation companies, attractions, restaurants and other travel services.

    Simon is also the principal of The Simon Connection, LLC, specializing in association management, strategic planning, and tourism market development. She has spoken on global and domestic travel industry trends throughout the United States and around the world

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  • Scott Craighead (Vice President of Exhibitions & Events at International Association of Exhibitions and Events)

    Scott Craighead

    Vice President of Exhibitions & Events at International Association of Exhibitions and Events

    Scott is involved in the industry for over 15 years producing exhibitions and events in the U.S. and globally. Responsible for budgeting, strategy development and design, technology solutions, personnel, contracts and overall operations for IAEE and CEIR produced events, including Expo! Expo!, IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition.

    Previously handled operations and exhibit sales for Global Semiconductor Alliance events and exhibitions held in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Scott began his career managing a wide array of student, university, and external events for Associated Students, UCLA.

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  • Eric Schmidt (CEO & Co-Founder of EventBank)

    Eric Schmidt

    CEO & Co-Founder of EventBank

    As CEO of EventBank, Eric L. Schmidt is focused on delivering cloud solutions that transform the way professional communities enable and enrich relationships. EventBank has office in 10 countries and clients in over 50. Eric’s focus is to continue building the best product for EventBank’s clients and expanding the company’s presence in emerging and developing markets around the world. Over the last 18 years, Eric has founded and incubated several companies from the ground up; including China Entrepreneurs which was the top community organization for more than 50,000 entrepreneurs, hosting more than 100 conferences annually.

    Eric was an elected member of American Chamber of Commerce in China's Board of Governors for three years (2017, 2018 & 2019) and is recognized as an authority on digital transformation and business in Asia. He has been featured in media such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Baron’s, BBC, CCTV, China Daily, and numerous other outlets.

    Eric once traced Marco Polo’s route from Beijing, China to Venice, Italy, 100 days by bicycle – he was appreciatively sponsored by Nike and Philips. He also previously lived in China (17 years) and Guatemala.

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