Women's Exchange of Washtenaw (WXW) will host its annual forum virtually next week on Oct. 14 with the theme of "Vision 20/20: Redesigning the Paradigm for a New Decade."
Megan Mazurek, co-president of the women's business group, says this year's event was inspired by the idea of 20/20 vision and going into a new decade with a fresh outlook and openness to change. The WXW team began planning the event before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, but Mazurek says the theme has stayed relevant as the team has needed to shift the entire event to a virtual format.
"Our thought process when first planning the forum was that times are changing and the workplace is changing, and a global pandemic has completely accelerated that," Mazurek says.
As WXW began to adjust the forum to a virtual platform, Mazurek says the biggest challenge has been to learn the logistics of hosting a virtual event and training presenters on the technology. A virtual event also means networking will look different for attendees, but Mazurek says there will be attendee networking opportunities with smaller online break rooms.
The forum's agenda has remained the same despite the shift online. WXW will host dozens of workshops for attendees to choose from and a panel discussion around the theme of the event.
Mazurek says one benefit of hosting the forum virtually is that all sessions will be recorded. In the past, attendees would have to choose specific workshops, but this year's ticket will grant them access to the sessions they attended and the ones they missed.
"This is meant to be an inspiring, safe space for women to learn and grow," Mazurek says. "We're hoping if it's online, they'll come away with the same feelings as if it was in-person."
To view the agenda and register for the event, visit WXW's website. Early bird registration ends Wednesday, Oct. 7.
Emily Benda is a freelance writer based in Ann Arbor. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of WXW.