Originally published by Shannon Byck, CMP on LinkedIn on December 7, 2020

COVID impacted us without warning 9+ months ago and life has been very different. Individually and as a team, we struggle to find balance between dealing with an industry that has been put on pause while trying to maintain some semblance of positive wellbeing.

We are continually surrounded by situations that are beyond our control, but what we can control is how we will react to what is going on. This includes what we choose to learn from our experiences, and the opportunities we seek out during these challenging times. 

Sir Winston Churchill is credited with first saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

The Meeting Encore team collectively believes it is essential to be mindful of what we have learned and how dire times inevitably bring opportunities for growth. 

Here, our team members each share what they have learned during the pandemic:


The importance of integrity and mindfulness and the courage to take the time that you need, when you need it, to deal with your own stress and anxiety. Rather than trying to solve everyone’s problems, sometimes just being there to listen and caring about how people are doing is what is needed. 

~ Joe Nishi, Managing Partner


Taking time to reflect, refocus and reimagine is important. But also, taking time to just be still and count our blessings is very important.

~ Jenn Glynn, Managing Partner


Appreciating the value of family and the support that we give each other.

~ David Drover, Director of Operations


Our amazing industry will indeed prevail, and our loyal partnerships have never been stronger.

~ Carol-Ann Hennessy, Regional Director


Perseverance and patience are key to getting to the other side of this crisis.

Technology is highly advanced today but will never replace the emotions and connections of face-to-face meetings.

Emotional and mental coaching during this crisis is a key ingredient to winning!

~ Frank Di Rocco, Regional Director


Take one minute, one hour, one day, one week, one month at a time.

Find the joy in your own and your loved one’s accomplishments, small and large.

Appreciate your friends, family, neighbours more than ever.

I am fortunate in so many ways despite the circumstances being less than ideal; and being thankful.

Your parents were right … it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to save for a rainy day.

~ Sandi Goodman, Regional Director


… in my house, the difference between essential and nonessential travel has come down to deciding whether to press pause in the middle of that Netflix episode to go to the bathroom or waiting until the end of the episode.

… the most powerful weapon against stress is the ability to choose one thought over another. 

Train your mind to see the good in this day.

~ Patrick Guidote, Regional Director


2020 has not turned out to be the year to start my own business! Personally, I have learned that I am a planner and a control freak most definitely. This not knowing what is going to happen, when it will be over and when we can get back to booking regular size events is driving me crazy.

I have learned to try to be patient, that I cannot change the world; that we just need to stop, to take a deep breath and give it time to sort itself out.

I have learned the power of face-to-face meetings and how to manage with Zoom until we can get back to face to face.

~ Shelley Crawford, Regional Director


It’s ok to not have all the answers right away … living one day at a time is something that needs to be learned and does not necessarily come naturally.

Acknowledging that Plan A has not quite worked out as we had hoped, is the first step to figuring out your best Plan B.

Exercise and the outdoors are the best Rx! 

~ Elizabeth Raoult, Regional Director


Relationships with family and friends are the most important thing in life.

Control what you can control and let the rest go.

~ Lori Wagner, Regional Director


It is important to stay in touch and to check on each other. It’s been a difficult year and it’s important to show each other we care. The only way we can get through this is being considerate and mindful, social distancing, masks, the faster we can work together to minimize Covid, the faster we can get back to a more normal life.

~ Isabella Ma, Regional Director


The people in our lives that are perceived as the strongest and the most resilient, are the ones we should check on more often. 

This industry and the people who have chosen to make it their careers are of The Best Kind. No matter where we land, we will all make our way back. This is more than a career, it fulfills us. It gives us a healthy amount of pressure and comfort, of chaos and calm, of optimism and disappointment, of dreaming and celebrating.

~ Carol Brown-Penney, Regional Director


I am learning to reset my priorities and what I once considered important has changed. I am a work in progress but striving to be more appreciative and have a better balance with my emotions. When having a bad day, I ask myself what I can do to better the situation. We are all experiencing a time of change and I hope that what I am learning is not forgotten once the pandemic is behind us.

~ Shannon Byck, Regional Director


The importance of gratitude and appreciating to not take family time, close friends, and good health for granted. Taking one day at a time and learning to focus on the present, realizing even the smallest win in a day should be celebrated and the ‘good’ dishes should always be used.

~ Grace McCullough, Client Ambassador


I have learned to appreciate the chaos and mess which comes when all of us are home and underfoot. I have learned to embrace the wrinkles and gray hairs and see growing old as a gift not everyone gets to experience. I will never again take those last-minute calls to meet for a coffee or a meal, for granted, and will say ‘yes’ the next time I am asked.

~ Pat Cluett, Client Ambassador


This pandemic will undoubtedly be the biggest challenge we face in our lifetimes. It has been a journey that we have all experienced together. It is up to us as individuals on how we will make it through. Our silver linings are to never forget the importance of our learnings and continue to be kind to one another.  


Link to original post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-we-have-learned-during-covid-shannon-byck-cmp/