Connecting During Covid - Networking Safely and Comfortably
The idea of moving our way back to normal is generating a lot of excitement and anticipation. However, the sudden shift in mask and other pandemic-related guidance can be overwhelming and anxiety provoking. So how do we get back to networking safely? How can we avoid the awkwardness of dealing with varying pandemic-related social norms? In this blog, we’ll deliver some tips and tricks.
- Know Your Comfort Level. Before getting out there again, it’s best to consider how you will handle different interactions. What will you do when meeting someone for the first time? Will you shake and sanitize or avoid physical contact all together? If vaccinated, do you still feel more comfortable keeping your mask on for situations where you may be closer than 6 feet? What are the current CDC guidelines? Knowing how you will interact will help you feel more comfortable and confident.
- Be Respectful and Kind. In a group setting, people are sure to have different viewpoints regarding physical touch and vaccine status. Some people who are vaccinated may be more comfortable continuing to wear their mask. Others may not be vaccinated for religious, medical or other personal reasons. No matter how strong your stance, it’s best to go into it understanding that not all people will feel the way you do.
- Consider Your Options. There are so many creative ways to safely connect! Consider digitally sharing business cards rather than exchanging physical copies. A color-coding sticker name-tag system will be used at Chamber networking events to reveal attendees comfort level (i.e. red name tag indicates you would rather remain 6 feet apart and not shake, while a green sticker reveals that you are ready for Pre-Covid social interactions). Keep a sanitizer handy just in case and ultimately If you are not ready to get back to in-person networking, touch base with event organizers to see what options you have. You may be able to join via Zoom or send information that can be shared with the attendee list.
The Wendell Chamber fully supports each member’s comfort level with regards to social interactions. We encourage respect and safety for all and will follow current CDC guidelines at networking events. We look forward to seeing you in person again!
Author: Kim Buchanan, Marketing and Membership Coordinator at Wendell Chamber of Commerce
Date: June 21, 2021