By Gerry Lattmann, Executive Director, CanBIM
2020 was a very unusual and difficult year for everyone. Every industry, business, or individual has been affected by the global pandemic, some have been more impacted than others as can be expected. As I write this review, the pandemic is still an ongoing concern. So how has CanBIM adjusted its operation to ensure continuity going forward?
Without a doubt, the pandemic has expedited digital transformation in the building and infrastructure industry. Along with our members, CanBIM has also adapted by streamlining our membership data and communications, offering more online content and we have clearly shifted away from live, in-person activities.
In short, we have bolstered our digital presence throughout the entire organization. Thanks to the efforts of our Digital Strategy Manager, Sergey Grushko, we now have better insight into our member data, our communications have improved considerably and we have increased traffic on all of our online platforms. We are using more engagement tools and automation like online forms that automate communications to members and the CanBIM team. If you want to join a Think Tank, fill out a form and your request goes straight to the Chair, Co-Chairs, Think Tank Managers, Sergey and myself. It allows the right people to be more responsive. The Think Tank Chair will review your submission and then one of our Think Tank Managers will send you a meeting invite where we will have the chance to get acquainted and get you involved with a Think Tank as soon as possible. We have also implemented the same type of form for our awards submissions, event presentation opportunities and our membership applications. Further to this, we have automated some of our processes into our new CRM system that allows us to track our engagement with members, allowing our entire team to have transparency on our member relationships. This has tremendously improved how we engage with our members, reducing chances of missing opportunities to serve our members.
Speaking about our Think Tanks, we would like all of our members to know that the Think Tanks belong to them. These are groups of professionals who want to engage other industry professionals in a conversation about the challenges they face in their business. There are currently nine active Think Tank’s each one is focused on a specific subject matter within the industry and each Think Tank has a central purpose, a “northstar” that drives them. If you want to make a difference in the industry, and you have extra time to contribute, please consider joining a Think Tank today. We are looking for dedicated members, with a passion to change the industry. Visit our website today!
CanBIM is known for its events, and now that we have pivoted to online events, we are learning all sorts of new things about our audience, our membership and our partners. By going online, we have increased the number of global audience members we get at our events, attracting interest from every continent. We are also able to engage international speakers, which opens up a great opportunity to get the best minds to participate. We have determined that shorter half-day events are likely better for our members. With our longer format, audience members tend to drop off later in the day. To serve the interests of our members we will curate events around a subject matter for a specific target user group such as an event about estimating for estimators. This type of event will allow us to drill down into the many layers of a specific subject matter and provide a more focused coverage of the technology, available options and solutions. We have also learned that our Executive Speakers series, which is usually tied to an important social issue or imperative like affordable housing, or sustainability, is best served as an event unto itself. We will continue to engage the executive leaders from around the world to share their vision around these important topics and how these issues are shaping their business and the industry. Lastly, we have learned that our partners and members are eager to engage and network with their audience, as such, finding new ways to create more intimate online networking events and opportunities is something CanBIM will be delivering in the immediate future. With so much change over the last 12 months, we have learned a great deal that will help us improve our programs. If you would like to get involved, visit the events section of our website or just send me an email. We look forward to sharing all these great event opportunities!
If there is anything this year has taught us, it is that we need to be prepared to utilize technology to operate our business, we need to be able to adapt and we need to remain focused on our value proposition. We are here to serve our members and create value for their business. As such, we would like to thank all of our Members for staying involved and supporting CanBIM through this difficult time... and we look forward to your participation going forward.