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ABMA Bonus Coverage: David Parr Interview

ABMA Executive Director David Parr
David Parr

By Meg Cooper

With the 2021 ABMA Convention being held as a virtual event, it presented the opportunity for a deeper look at the overall impact of the sessions. Meg Cooper was able to have a quick question-and-answer session with ABMA Executive Director David Parr on the success of the event.

How did you feel the virtual version of the ABMA Convention went?

Given the circumstances and the parameters we used I feel the event went very well. We had considerable organizational turnout and heard great things about the Face 2 Face meetings.

As far as accessibility for this year’s convention, did you have more attendees that haven’t been able to participate like in previous years?

Many more, as people who normally do not attend an ABMA convention were able to participate in the Face 2 Face meetings.

Though the Paul Miller reception was virtual as well, do you feel everyone enjoyed it? Do you feel like the gameshow event had a good amount of activity and engagement?

The folks who participated had a blast, telling from the chats running on the side. There was a lot of energy and it was fun. The hour went by so fast.

Did you, personally, like having the convention virtual? Pandemic aside, would you like the ABMA to have more virtual events in the future?

I can see how adding virtual components add value, but there is nothing like an in-person meeting. And there is no way to replace all of the “hallway” conversations and networking that goes on during an in-person event. Virtual meeting engagement may be inversely proportional to the number of participants, but opens a world of participation at a level that makes it worthwhile for organizations to take advantage of. We will plan on more virtual inclusion for future events.

What did you feel was lacking from the ABMA convention this year?

The virtual general session receives little audience feedback in a virtual setting.

Regarding the Emerging Leaders group, how did you feel about the turnout? Where do you think the EL group’s success lies?

There is some great energy and interest in EL, as evidenced by the numbers and diversity present in the group. We anticipate a strong 2021 as we roll out our next event to bring value and meaningful networking and professional growth to this group.

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