Are You a Mother Duck That Leaves Ducklings Behind?

Uncategorized Sep 06, 2023

My friend discovered a mallard duck – she named her Daisy – nesting in her backyard planter. Two of the eight eggs hatched, and two small ducklings emerged.

One of them quickly made its way out of the planter, and began trailing its mother, but as you can see in the video clip here or below, the other duckling couldn’t figure out how to escape.

So Daisy left that little duckling behind.

Apparently, that’s how ducks roll. It’s survival of the fittest: The mother duck leaves with the ducklings who are strong enough to follow her to the nearest pond that she pre-selects as their new starter home.

Any ducklings that can’t keep up and follow mother duck’s lead are abandoned. The mother duck never returns to retrieve the remaining babies, so my friend brought that fledgling duck to an animal rescue.

Daisy Duck got me thinking about the meetings industry.

As we finally emerged from the pandemic, I fear that meetings and workplaces are forging right ahead with in-person conferences, leaving behind an entire captive audience that appreciates the convenience, accessibility and affordability of virtual meetings: Not having to travel or fork out a ton of money and time to attend meetings.

In the past, many organizations budgeted for their more senior people to attend in-person events. Pivoting to virtual expanded planners’ reach, making conferences more affordable so all employees can attend at a fraction of the cost.

Industry observers had predicted that hybrid and virtual meetings are here to stay.

However, I am not convinced that is happening ... despite the many digital delivery methods for conference content - synchronous, asynchronous, live and pre-recorded - and associated benefits such as:

- The many  are many more touchpoints leading up to and following the conference where planners can engage attendees. Platforms can stay open event, providing meaningful educational content. Alternatively, sessions can be repackaged and sent out to attendees to watch (or re-watch) long after the event ends.

- Staying virtual or hybrid saves money, reduces an organization’s carbon footprint, and increases the accessibility, inclusion and involvement of global participants, people with disabilities or underlying medical conditions, and those with competing priorities (caregiving responsibilities, clinical duties) who are unable to travel.

- Audience diversity (demographic, social and geographic) that provide opportunities for collaboration needed to achieve scientific excellence and impactful innovations emanating from medical and scientific conferences.

- And for sponsors, virtual meetings provide additional revenue streams to create, re-purpose and monetize content before, during and after the event.

Why would you want to lose that valuable opportunity and a diverse audience that can be fully engaged with virtual or hybrid events?

I believe that as the meetings industry rebuilds and recovers, our focus needs to be on the human element – the people attending the meeting – with diversity, equity and inclusion, attendee engagement, accessibility and well-being at the epicenter.

If you want to be inclusive and lead the way like mother ducks lead their ducklings ....

And create in-person and virtual experiences that keep ducklings (aka attendees) engaged and energized, grab my FREE STARTER GUIDE HERE.


Be well,

PS: If virtual meetings still seem daunting, you don’t have to do this all on your own. Need help engaging attendees with virtual and/or in-person wellness experiences for your next hybrid event? Hit reply or click HERE to schedule a free wellness consultation with me.




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