Here in the UK, we’re two weeks into lockdown, and the impact that this unprecedented disruption is having on the academic conference industry, both here and overseas, has become very apparent. We are all affected - from researchers, academics, exhibitors, conference organisers and support staff, through to venues and associated software providers, such as abstract management systems, like ourselves. Both personally, and professionally, we are all beginning to accept this new, current reality, and adapt to it. With the situation changing daily, it seems that we are having to do this on a day-to-day basis.
You’ve probably now had time to assess the impact that the response to Covid-19 has on your professional, and personal, life. You may well be working from home, and learning to adapt to possibly new circumstances, with the line between domestic and professional life increasingly blurring. Some of you may have passed beyond the shock of this global pandemic and its repercussions, and have started to make plans, in order to both cope with the current situation and create resilience, going forward.
Terms like resilience and recovery used to be words usually associated with physical health, but as words change meaning continuously, they have found their way into the everyday vocabulary of business-speak.
But what is business resilience?
Put succinctly, business resilience is the ability of an organisation to respond and adapt to disruptions and their aftermath, whether a major incident or changing markets, to ensure business continuity. (Although this is guidance from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, the booklet ‘Expect the unexpected’ explains the importance of creating simple but effective plans, helping business to build resilience against any disaster.)
We have certainly taken time to consider our business resilience, our strategy and the impact this will have on our valued customers. We know that we are all having to get used to living in uncertain times, and want to assure you that it is business as usual here at Oxford Abstracts.
Our team is located around the globe. Many were working from home anyway, so the lockdown will not be affecting their capacity. The support team is still on hand to respond to any of your queries, about current or future events, and help you if you have decided to postpone, or even transition to a virtual conference. The sales team is available, should you want to set up a demo or discuss any of our abstract management software packages. The development team will continue to deal promptly with any technical issues you may experience.
You can also rest assured that if your plans are currently on hold, or you wish to postpone, all your data will be retained, and remain safe and secure so you can concentrate on your priorities. Charges are per conference so it will still be here when you return or reschedule.
In the meantime, during this crisis and beyond, if you need anything from us, we will, as ever, be on hand to respond to any of your queries.