Memories keep popping up on my social media accounts from last year at this time and they’re poignant because we didn’t know that we would soon be social distancing for a year and how many lives would be tragically lost due to the pandemic.

One of these memories was my last in-person speaking engagement, which was to Baker McKenzie’s BakerWomen’s group.

They invited me to speak about LinkedIn and building your brand. It was a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day.

The best part is that they found me as a speaker through my Linkedin posts! If that doesn’t underscore the power of using LinkedIn, I’m not sure what does.

Nobody knew then how important LinkedIn would be during the pandemic and how long we would be social distancing, but that event really did come at the right time. I am certain that social media will be more important than ever far after restrictions are lifted.

Many organizations host what they think would be events that women want to attend such as a shopping or cooking event, and while those may be interesting – events like these involving learning new skills and meeting new people – should be at the top of your list. Take the gender out of it.

I really do miss speaking at in person conferences and at events. There is nothing like the energy out of a crowd and making eye contact with people versus doing it via zoom where you sometimes struggle to connect with people and you don’t know how your words and ideas are being received. I also miss just being with people and interacting.

I would give anything to just go back to the way things used to be but I know that life is really going to be different. We may be doing a hybrid way of conferences for sometime. And like I said I do believe that virtual networking and social media is here to stay, which enables us to be more efficient and build a stronger brand in many ways.

Looking forward to the next one (we are close!)