Being in a Forum since 1991 has brought countless gifts to my life, one of which is the amount of travel I’ve experienced. Many EO members travel a great deal, which brings some interesting opportunities and challenges to their Forums— mine included. Here are a few things I’ve seen Forums do to take advantage of their traveling:
1. Introduce New Cultures: A US-based Forum, which has a member from Dubai, recently held one of their retreats in Dubai. It was a great way for each member to see a new country and discover the fascinating culture of one of their members.
2. Share the Commute: My EO DC Forum has a member who lives in Florida, USA. Every time we have a meeting, he flies to Washington, DC , USA; when we have retreats, we fly to Florida. This makes for a fair commute for everyone.
3. Leverage Technology: Another Forum I coach had a member who was going to be in India for an extended period of time. To keep him included in Forum activities, the Forum employed modern technology and had him participate via videoconference.
4. Make Forum Documents Digital: Many Forums have started sharing files online to increase accessibilitywhile on the go. Several use online services like Google Docs or Dropbox.com. Not only do these programs offer greater security, but they allow for global collaboration.
5. Dabble in Social Media: One of the Forums I work with wanted to stay in touch while members were on the road. To do this, they created a private Facebook account. This afforded them an opportunity to communicate effectively, whether it was through a smart phone or a laptop.
In my experience, Forum and travel can mix very well. All it takes is a little creativity and a lot of commitment.