Latest headlines: Gary Kayye on missing plain old telephone calls, Leah McCann with a wrap-up of UCC Day of LAVNCH WEEK 4.0 and more
June 8, 2021 | Volume: 12 | Issue: 11
Does anyone else miss POT (plain old telephone) calls? Gary Kayye asks in his column this week. Asking readers to share their memories of what he calls a bygone era, Gary wants to know what people miss since we entered “Zoom World.” Since you asked, Gary … let’s get this conversation going, shall we?
To me, this prompt speaks to a larger question of how work and professional communication have changed. I entered the workforce full-time just short of a decade ago, but many shifts have taken place. I’m not sure if it’s more so in daily communication styles and personalities (i.e., the mixing of generations) or just the general grind of the workplace in 2021. I’ve changed roles a couple of times, but I think there’s something bigger to explore here.
Since POT calls — which were also frequent when I entered the workforce, even in a client-service industry like advertising — I find things have gotten rapid-fire fast. It’s so easy to just “jump on a Zoom call” (notably, they’re always video, not audio, calls now) if someone wants to “touch base.” I remember I had a client back in the day who preferred instant messaging — and even texting — before it was commonplace. It scared me at the time. I didn’t want to be THAT reachable. Now I wouldn’t even bat an eyelash if a client wanted to text me. I feel it’s sort of just expected.
Still, I often wonder if, fundamentally, we are getting better, or worse, at collaboration. No doubt, the amazing AV and UCC technology you’re creating — uncompressed video and audio with practically no latency — empowers us. But culturally, is there still work to do to build effective workplaces and use that technology effectively and strategically? Meetings need to get more efficient. Folks (including myself) need to come to brainstorms with ideas rather than rely on live idea-generation on video calls. We shouldn’t expect any technology — even if it is just a plain ol’ audio bridge — to produce the great results for us. That will come from full hearts, open minds and good espresso.
To keep this conversation going, find this intro/newsletter on our Twitter page (it should be posted in the next day or so) and add your soapbox thoughts, like I did.
All of a sudden, post-COVID, I find myself yearning for a simple, uncomplicated, spur-of-the-moment phone call. One where I can’t see anyone, just for a while. And, truth be told, I kind of don’t want them to see me. I liked wearing my semi-controversial T-shirts to spark discussions around the office. My once-coveted Star Wars collection is becoming hackneyed to everyone on Zoom.
I’ve written live coverage for a lot of AV industry events over the years. But when last year rolled around, rAVe’s new concept, LAVNCH, reinvigorated my excitement to document live happenings in the industry. In fact, rAVe Managing Editor Steph Beckett reminded me in her LAVNCH WEEK 4.0 preview article that the agency developed the LAVNCH platform just over a year ago. It’s amazing to see how far this platform — part digital-event experience, part virtual product-launch stage, part networking hub — has come. LAVNCH WEEK events are fresh, original and energetic. They’ve set the bar high for how a virtual event should go. Especially when you have a bunch of AV professionals behind the wheel.