Corinne Zudonyi

The last eight months have presented some challenges. As we all transitioned to work from home, many got a crash course in technology as video calls became the norm. Those who were more tech-savvy patiently waited for their colleagues and peers to catch up — but when they did, something changed. Dare I say, the pandemic has presented opportunities that seemed untouchable before?

Just last week I was able to partake in a global workshop from our parent company to hear about new projects from our Polish colleagues. On the call were peers from Spain, Singapore, Germany, Canada, and others. It was a great opportunity to share ideas, ask questions and gather new perspectives. Typically this was an in-person event only available to a select few, but thanks to virtual platforms, more people were able to attend than any year previously.

The same could be said for distributors and the cleaning industry. In fact, the industry has almost overcompensated for the lack of in-person gatherings by offering countless virtual opportunities in their place — opportunities that were previously unavailable to many distributors.

Budgets and time away are no longer excuses preventing distributors from attending industry events such as ISSA Show North America. Between Nov. 16 and 19, the virtual environment will include education sessions, certifi cation workshops, spotlight speakers and the opportunity to "walk" a virtual exhibit hall where attendees can interact with manufacturers.

Another upcoming virtual opportunity allows for a global perspective on cleaning. Many U.S. distributors have dreamed of the chance to attend Interclean Amsterdam and 2020 makes that possible between Nov. 3 and 6. Recognized as one of the largest and most advanced cleaning and hygiene shows in the world, Interclean Amsterdam attracts attendees from 143 countries and celebrates cleaning innovations. This virtual event might be a one-time opportunity most distributors won't want to miss.

Even though it's been a tough year, we've been presented the opportunity to work closer together. Doing so has opened the door to new connections and countless possibilities, all from the safety of our homes.