The World Trade Center Atlanta is moving ahead with an event tonight where it is slated to make an announcement about its future operations — but you’ll have to grab your own hors d’oeuvres and drinks.
The meeting, like many in the new normal during of the Covid-19 outbreak, has moved online and will be accessible via webinar at the link here at 6 p.m., said President Max Sutherland, who will deliver the “State of the Center” address as scheduled.
A panel discussion on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, recently ratified by Canada’s parliament, has been postponed to a later date after (hopefully) the coronavirus pandemic has passed.
Other global organizations in Atlanta are getting similarly creative to stay connected as activity shuts down across the metro area in response to “social distancing” guidelines issued by governing authorities.
Georgia schools remain closed at least through March 31, and President Trump has recommended that Americans avoid gatherings of more than 10 people while the country gets a handle on the pandemic. Delta Air Lines has been hammered, with CEO Ed Bastian announcing today it would cut international flights by 80 percent.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has issued an order prohibiting events of more than 50 people. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has also cautioned against public gatherings but has stopped short of ordering the closure of bars and restaurants.
The World Trade Center Atlanta, along with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, snuck in one of the last international business events in the city last Thursday — the State of Trade breakfast highlighting trade numbers for 2019.
Soon after, most public events on the Global Atlanta calendar for March and April were canceled, with organizations sending out mass emails in the ensuing days delineating which would be postponed and which would be rescheduled for a later date.
Moving online has quickly become a third option, especially for events that are heavy on expert content and less focused on networking.
The World Affairs Council of Atlanta is offering a members forum on the Covid-19 outbreak Thursday at 11 a..m. with Oxford Analytica, council President Charles Shapiro said in an email:
As a precautionary measure, we are pausing our in-person programs for the time being. This does not mean we will interrupt our engagement with our members and community nor our mission to advance discussions on international affairs and how they intersect with business, politics and Atlanta.
The German-American Chamber of the Southern United States Inc. has two upcoming webinars helping companies sift through issues related to government stimulus and labor support like paid sick leave that’s starting to surface in legislation.
Manufacturing associations have also jumped into the webinar game with vigor, as it’s clear that companies that rely on a physically present workforce will face unique challenges in the era of social distancing.