The COVID-19 pandemic has seen businesses implement flexible working practices including remote operations at a record rate in order to protect the workforce and provide business continuity.
Although everyone is anxious for the pandemic to be over, there is much uncertainty and new guidelines and protocols will continue for some time to come. This leaves companies adjusting to a new way of life.
To assist in this new situation, PCN has recently finished their first Virtual 1-2-1 Meeting Week (provided free of charge) where Members were able to book 30-minute meetings with each other to discuss existing and potential new business using their specially developed in-house Booking System.
A key feature of the system was being able to make notes against each meeting as well as one-to-one messaging so that Members could engage with each other before, during and after the Virtual 1-2-1 Meeting Week.
PCN President, Rachel Crawford said “We are aware that communication and connections are vital and want to ensure that PCN continues to evolve and provide its Members with a strong networking platform. Indeed, belonging to organisations like PCN could be essential to the survival of many independent forwarders over the coming years. We are delighted that over 190 participants signed up and took part in our first virtual event went as video meetings are an excellent way to connect in the absence of our annual gatherings.”
Feedback from participants included:
- “Thank you to your team for arranging this and for implementing the software for this 1-2-1 meetings. Overall, it was wonderful and effective. We really appreciate the innovation in putting this together!” Canaan Group, Canada
- “The initiative to have meeting scheduled in one week and well organized made it possible to have many and effective ones.” Livo Logistics, Albania
- “More than useful. It was just as good as the physical meetings … without the after party. Great initiative!!!! As always, our members are very open and willing to work together, make friendships and share ideas.” STM Group Ltd, Bulgaria
- “It was very informal and was exactly like the meetings that we have at PCN conferences.” Magellan Logistics Limited, Tanzania
- “I was very impressed with all I met online, everyone was eager to find out about our company and how we could develop a working relationship.” Curtis and Lees Ltd, Ireland
- “The fact that we can see the person and it feels like the same as our annual meeting.” Gold Line Shipping, Israel
- “I could reach and talk to anyone in the world without travelling anywhere.” TransOcean Shipping Kft, Hungary
- ”In our case, as we are ‘new’ in this network, it was interesting to introduce our company to many of our partners. We could do so and we could also know about them and their capabilities. Face to face interaction is positive and important.” HMGS Chile Ltda – Hansa Meyer Shipway Chile
- “We could still meet our friends at the comfort of their environments. Most importantly, they are safe.” Kagayaku Logistics, Malaysia
- “The meeting was very useful to interact with other agents and understand the current pandemic & business situation of others.” Al-Bader Shipping Co, Kuwait
- “Being able to reconnect and coming up with ideas on how to develop business together. All of us are having a tough year due to COVID 19 and we have to be creative in how we find new business.” Thunderbolt Global Logistics, USA
- “In this period of COVID 19, such step of virtual meetings was very good, and all the participants were also excited with this concept. As we had enough time in advance we could plan our meetings properly with actual subject matter to be discussed.” Premier Global, India
- “During a time when face to face meetings are not possible, I found the virtual meetings to be a very good substitute. It was convenient and easy to connect with our global colleagues.” CMX Global Logistics, Australia
- “We were glad that PCN organised the online conference which once again united the members to discuss the opportunity of cooperation in the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the discussions are positive and effective. Members have got better understandings of each other’s business scope and the capability of problem solutions.” Topline Express Logistics, China
- “I am really pleased to belong to PCN, it is the only network that developed a program for keeping members online. It is my wish to express my gratitude to Rachel & Team for the great initiative of organizing this high-level event, where despite the distances we have been able to meet with many members of our great team. For me it was great!” Translogistics Solution, Peru
- “Thanks very much for all the support and we would also thank all of you again for the great initiative of the “virtual conference with the 1-on-1 meetings”. Schryver Del Ecuador
PCN also provides online training and eZines which consist of helpful information and pointers on various topics. Recent issues include Holding Virtual 121 Meetings, Managing Flexible Work Arrangements and Working from Home.
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