I was delighted to attend in-person the TEDx Brighton and Brighton Summit on consecutive Fridays recently. COVID put paid to many planned activities and decimated the events industry. There were pivots aplenty into virtual events, with platforms like Hopin gaining traction and huge popularity almost overnight. The phrase from IRL to URL was coined and like many, I attended plenty of virtual events.

Yes, there were advantages, like the time and cost saving, plus the convenience of logging in from home. The Brighton Chamber, for example did an excellent job of moving their Summit online last year. That said, there was always something missing in the virtual world. For me, you just can’t replace the power and connection you feel when you meet someone face-to-face or listen to a keynote speaker in the room.

I have been pleasantly surprised by people’s willingness to get back to in-person events while COVID is still a potential threat. I think there was a lot of pent-up demand to ‘get back out there again’. People have weighed the ups and downsides and decided that the risk is worth it.

As someone who has hosted a fair few events both professionally and personally, I can often be heard saying ‘it’s easier to go to someone else’s party, than it is your own’. So, hats off to all event organisers out there, the amount of work that goes in to producing high quality events is not to be underestimated.

My highlight of events attended recently was to see Baroness Floella Benjamin headline the Brighton Summit. She was simply knockout and thoroughly deserved her standing ovation on its conclusion. She spoke with tremendous passion, eloquence and power about gender, ethnicity, and children.

And so, to Sussex Innovation and our in-person events coming up. Do check out the series of Innovation Masterclass and Investment Bootcamps across East Sussex from June to October:

• Tue 14th June – https://investment-bootcamp.eventbrite.co.uk 
• Wed 15th June – https://innovation-masterclass-event.eventbrite.co.uk

• Tue 20th Sept – https://investment-bootcamp-hastings.eventbrite.co.uk
• Wed 21st Sept – https://innovation-masterclass-hastings.eventbrite.co.uk

• Tue 11th Oct – https://investment-bootcamp-uckfield.eventbrite.co.uk
• Wed 12th Oct – https://innovation-masterclass-uckfield.eventbrite.co.uk