Convention … Spring 2021
The first ever virtual convention is nearly here as of this board meeting. But before I begin, Joyce and Cindy as co-chairs would like to whole-heartedly thank all our committee members for the many hours of work for both the 2020 convention that wasn’t, and the 2021 live convention that wasn’t, then the 2021virtual convention that barely made it. It has been a ride we hope we never need to take again within the same timeframe. It was only by God’s grace that we were able to pull it all together in time.
It has been a long journey and an even longer learning curve by all involved. We began by losing our 2020 convention all together. It was planned and ready to go when it was canceled due to the pandemic. It was then decided that we would salvage the wonderful work of the 2020 convention to put on our 2021 convention which was intended to be a live event at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celeron NY. Unfortunately, it was not until our October 25th board meeting that it was decided to change to a virtual convention.
Since all our work for the live event was set, this meant a huge amount of work to use what we could of the live event and convert what we could of the event to Zoom. It was difficult in many respects. Exhibits now had to be videos or presentations. AB Women Got Talent took the worst hit. As of the day of convention, we had only received one video. When we knew that we had to have something and the committee was given the choice of the comedian, or a drama; and the comedy was chosen by those that responded. It was only because it was a private event that we could show anything at all.
It is realized sadly that there was a level of frustration on the part of some members of the committee as we had to change from our original plan. Some had projects and duties that were unusable in the online format. Having to go virtual even made group meetings and working together difficult due to time constraints and technology involved. Much of the materials and information from leaders was still being received the day of the event. It is also important to remember that we had all maintained our same positions within the group from 2020 to avoid duplication of efforts. It was not an easy task to change so late in the process.
The core of the original planning was intact, but there was much that was lost. As a group, we had chosen the workshops, speakers, and such, way back in 2020, but much had to be cut. The work of putting what we could back together fell squarely on the co-chairs (Joyce & I), worship leader (Carol Seidel), Dorene Ingersoll as both treasurer and virtual exhibits and Lillian Cabral as registrar due to severe time constraints, logistics and computer knowledge/technology needed to pull it off. It was no walk in the park. We also could not have gotten everything accomplished without the help and skill of Becky Walters with the website.
It is with great hope that this convention will be memorable and meaningful even though we are apart physically. For spiritually we are all always together through the love of our Lord and Savior.
Cindy Kamm & Joyce Camp