On March 17, Dayna O’Brien (our Operations Manager) and I decided in light of the growing health crisis to vacate our offices at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber at 3 E. 4th Street and work from home. Like our colleagues at REDI Cincinnati and CUSARC and other building tenants (and many of you), we packed up our computers, grabbed some office supplies and files, and each of us set up shop in our homes, not knowing when we might return.
Since then we have continued to engage our members through our weekly Newsbrief and with virtual “Stammtisch” events and through email and phone and video calls. We have also drastically expanded the impact of our engagement with the broader EACC network (something members told us they wanted in our ‘voice of the customer’ study) through webinars. Since March 17 the EACC has hosted nearly 20 webinars attracting almost 3,000 registrants. And we’re not just attracting registrations, we’re attracting top speakers like the EU Commissioner for Trade; a former head of the WTO; the Chief Global Economist at Citibank; and the Chief European and Chief Trade Economists at HSBC. And we’re also providing a platform for our own luminaries like Bobby Spann at CVG and Greg Schulte at Bonfiglioli.
Our ability to continue to connect with and generate value for our members despite having access to our physical offices, combined with the uncertainty of when we might be able to return to 3 E. 4th and our growing comfort with the technology of the virtual workplace led us (after some research) to propose to the Executive Committee a permanent move. So as of August 1, 2020, the Cincinnati Chapter of the EACC will exist “in the cloud.”
Let’s be clear – there’s also an economic dimension to this decision. Cancelling in-person events like the Annual Gala has impacted our revenue forecast, so like many of you we are taking steps to reduce expenses (that’s also why we are closed on Fridays). So while we are excited to implement this new business model, we’re also working to prudently shepherd the membership and sponsorship dollars entrusted to us.
For most people, this change will be transparent – other than a new mailing address (P.O. Box 30130, Cincinnati, Ohio 45230), most of you won’t notice any change in how we interact. However, this development provides new incentives for Dayna and me to – when conditions permit – get out of our homes and connect with members in your offices and factories and classrooms. We’re very excited about the shift and look forward to engaging with you in new and more impactful ways.
Watch for more news and updates as we go on this journey together!