Tpas National online members’ event – Striding into a new normal

Wednesday 13th of May 2020

Tpas Log: Tuesday May 12th 2020

Location: Front rooms, bedrooms, garden rooms and kitchens

Attendance: A cross-section of over 75 Tpas members

Purpose: Provide national platform to update from Tpas, share learning and gather feedback

Was this the date where everything changed?

Well it sounds very dramatic, but this event heralded a new normal for us in this time of global lockdown.

They do say that in times of need you have to be bold, brave and do the right things for the people around you. With the global pandemic tearing up our normal Regional event programme, we needed to do something for our members.

Ok, we have done quite well if we do say so ourselves with a range of webinars, members chats, videos, information sessions and even a new podcast, but our much-loved regional events were on pause.

As with everything at the moment, (tech)nology is filling the gaps for most organisations. If you and your audience are comfortable with tech then you have no issues, but can you have complete confidence that you are doing the right thing?

This is without any nagging doubts you may have about your own online performance and tech ability. At Tpas we like a challenge. If it is for the benefit of our members, we are usually all champing at the bit to get things done.

How did it go?

Really well. For two hours - with a short break in the middle – on average over 70 members listened interacted and benefitted from seeing each other’s faces for the first time in what seemed like years.

Topics included a Tpas round up as well as short presentations from Hull City Council, Beyond Housing, Orbit Housing and Uttlesford District Council.

It was fascinating to hear how Hull for instance had mobilised their workforce into First Responders, Beyond’s involved residents were staying connected with the laptops that were provided, how Orbit were benefitting from their new online digital platform and Uttlesford were getting to grips with Zoom.

The second part of the session focussed on involving residents in procurement and gave those on the call the chance to share their experiences and suggestions.

As well as all that we heard from Anna O’Halloran the new National Consultancy Manager on her first few weeks back at Tpas, and even a cameo from Tpas Business Services Officer Lisa Holt.

Throughout the ‘hands up’ and chat functions of the Zoom platform worked really well and gave those attending the chance to make points, ask questions and present their own thoughts.

The other good thing was this – it was recorded so even more people can tune in and listen back to everything that was said and discussed.

The future of Regionals

We can categorically say that when it is safe to return to face to face we will be back out there, but we can also say that with the success of this event, we may have just proven that we can give even more people a chance to meaningfully take part in a Regional/National event. The responses from those attending seemed to suggest we got it all right on the night!

Michael Hill, Tpas Business Development Manager