There’s an annual tradition we do here in New Orleans every year: We stock up on basic medical supplies, ensure we’ve got a good stash of canned and dry goods, and yeah, maybe we keep an extra case of beer on hand. Like many of our neighbors along the Gulf Coast, hurricane season, which stretches from May to November, brings with it a steady state of anxiety and a strange acclimation to being prepared for just about anything. It also brings us storm tracking maps, which can somehow turn everyone you know into a meteorologist as we all seek to divine what’s ahead for us.
But this? We never saw the coronavirus coming.
Sure, we paid attention to the international headlines as it approached, but the shutdown we’re all facing across the globe is unprecedented.
It reminds me of something else about the storm season we live through every year: Hurricane parties.
When there’s a storm on the horizon, before we hunker down inside our homes, we face the reality of power outages and uncertainty, so many along the Gulf Coast empty their freezers, throw everything on the grill and come together before a storm hits.
It’s one way we’re all able to connect, giving us the strength to face whatever challenges are coming our way.
So, this brings me to SURGE, our biannual virtual conference created for association professionals to find new ways to problem solve, get inspired — and connect. We’re opening the call for speakers today for our next edition, which will be June 9, 10 and 11. Because it is and always has been a virtual event, there’s no need to go anywhere, either for attendees or for speakers. The deadline for entry is March 30.
SURGE Connect will be dedicated to the ways in which we connect with ourselves, each other, our members and the world we all seek to make a better place. We’ll challenge each other to seek new ways to bring people and ideas together, share our passions and grow from what we learn.