Powered by KCSourceLink community surveys, the 2020 Global Entrepreneurship Week is forging ahead with plans for virtual content catered to specific, mid-pandemic, said Jenny Miller.
“We’re still in the process of working with our committee to get all of that figured out and see what exactly GEW is going to consist of this year, but we do know that we’re making some pretty big changes to the course of the week,” said Miller, network builder at KCSourceLink, which serves as the lead organizer for GEW in Kansas City. “In the past, we’ve done large-scale venues with thousands of people coming together. … We know that that’s not going to happen this year. So we’re looking at curating some virtual content as well as possibly some very small-scale, in-person options.”
GEW is currently planned as a three-day virtual summit Nov. 17-19 — a change from the typical five-day event series model because of responses indicating a level of virtual content burnout, she said.
“Based on the surveying we’ve done, we’ve gathered that five days of virtual content is probably a little too much for people right now. So we’re looking to scale that back to three days, focusing on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the third week of November,” she added.
In-person opportunities are still pending because of uncertainty about what might lie in store for communities worldwide in November, as well as the related regulations, Miller cautioned, noting the committee is working with a careful but optimistic air throughout the planning process.
Click here to check out the KC Tech Council’s recent report delving into when in-person tech community events are likely to resume in Kansas City.
Click here to read about Mayor Quinton Lucas’ most recent COVID-19 guidelines.
GEW’s mostly virtual format allows for KCSourceLink to open the doors to any curious citizens or business owners nationwide and not limit the events to Kansas City residents, Miller added.
“Since this is content that is relevant for a wide variety of businesses that is not dependent on their geographic location, we will be opening it up for everybody to attend and take part in,” she said.
Most of the feedback from Kansas city entrepreneurs centered around starting businesses during a recession — especially for attendees who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19 and are looking for new ways to provide for their families, she said, noting also recovery and resiliency types of programming.
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Other responses asked for chances to connect with businesses to talk about best practices and tools to navigate the current climate, as well as gather leads for the service-based businesses suffering from the lack of face-to-face networking, she added.
“We’re talking to some different companies that have platforms that allow for better connectedness of attendees — so looking to allow that one-on-one connection within the platform, and we’re also looking at presenting the content differently in general to allow for more small business-minded discussions,” Miller said. “So it’s not necessarily throwing everybody into a virtual room and saying, ‘Have fun networking!’ — it’s maybe allowing people to connect around a topic.”
“We’re trying to create this with as much flexibility as possible so that businesses can get what they need,” she added.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about GEW Kansas City.