2022 Outlook for Outreach and Events
There is no event on the horizon that will reset the world to resume operating like it did before March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic officially began. We have all adapted our ways of working, communicating, and engaging with our professional networks. We have, for better or worse, evolved. We have new challenges and new solutions.
In the second half of 2021, we optimistically started planning to resume more in-person engagement. It seemed that it could be safely managed, and that in-person events would restore a level of connection and learning that we all miss. But then came Omicron and a holiday surge and questions about whether it was possible to host events that would be safe for attendees and staff in the new year.
The other side of this equation comes down to matters of practicality. There are costs to the registry associated with hosting these events, as well as costs to customers to take time away from the office along with corporate travel and event attendance restrictions that are still in place at many organizations including ARIN. Could we hold an event in a safe and cost-effective manner AND were our customers and community members going to be able to participate at levels that would make this a good use of everyone’s time?
Multi-part questions have multi-part answers. In the case of programs like ARIN Lunch by the Numbers, we need to find a new way forward. For events like the Public Policy and Members Meeting, we have already adapted to make these events fully accessible hybrid meetings. For 2022, you will see a continued commitment to hybrid meetings to allow the widest participation possible in the ARIN Policy Development Process, as well as continued improvements to make these events richer experiences for all involved with more social and networking opportunities in a variety of formats.
Sadly, in the case of Lunch by the Numbers, there does not seem to be a clear path to bringing back an in-person program. What you will see instead are new virtual offerings that will leverage our experience over the last two years with programs like ARIN Fellowships and Optimized, our customer orientation program, as well as lessons learned from our training webinars. We look forward to developing new opportunities for customers to connect with ARIN and the wider community in ways that will provide benefit to all involved.
Currently, we remain hopeful that we can bring back ARIN on the Road, and hope to open registration in late February for our first event scheduled for the end of March. But like all plans over the last few years, that too will be subject to change pending the status of the pandemic and the ability to safely travel and gather. Similarly, there are no changes to report currently regarding ARIN 49, which will be a fully hybrid event to allow the most flexibility for everyone who would like to attend and participate.
Please stay safe and healthy as we move into this new year, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly with your questions, suggestions, or ideas for training and outreach. We look forward to connecting with you soon.
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