b'PVA VIRTUAL CONVENTIONFOGHORN FOCUSO ers EDUCATION &NETWORKING OnscreenBY KAREN RAINBOLT // FOGHORN MANAGING EDITORE ven as the continuing coronavirus crisis continues to throwinability to have face-to-face encounters only deepened their resolve curve balls at the passenger vessel industry, once again theto move forward toward normalcy that will allow them to open their Passenger Vessel Association has found a way to hit a homebusiness later this year and meet in person in groups next winter. run with its fi ever PVA Virtual Convention at MariTrendsrst 2021. The event ran from February 1618 and was scheduled toCONVENTION PLANNING: DETAILS MATTERbe accessible to a wide variety of time zones. By switching from the planned in-person event that was scheduledThe decision to host a virtual convention wasnt easy for the PVA to occur in Portland, OR, to a virtual program, PVA was able toBoard of Directors or PVA staff , but it when it was clear it was the only bring Vessel and Associate members together on-screen. Usingsafe option, decisions were made to pare down the scale of the annual Zoom,morethan520attendeesparticipatedin25sessionsconvention while off ering many of the familiar aspects of the event over the three-day event representing PVA member companiesthat has been held every year for half a century. The reasons to scale throughout the continental U.S., plus Alaska and Hawaii, Puertoback were manifold. Rico, as well as farther afi eld in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.Attendees viewed the sessions from their desktopOne, Zoom fatigue, is a newly researched phenomenon that has computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Some were inbeenailingremoteworkerssincethepandemicbeganayearago. their operations office, others were in home offices, their cars,Researchers at Stanford University have recently identifi ed four ways aboard docked passenger vessels, and any place they could fi nd avideoconferencing is causing fatigue: excessive and intense eye contact, quiet spot with a strong Internet connection. constantly watching video of yourself, the limited mobility at your desk and energy spent identifying social cues.Thus, for the PVA Marketing, safety, regulatory,event, limiting screen time was essential for the best experience.legislative, and businessTime zone challenges were another consideration. With so many PVA members in all six U.S. time zones, including Alaska and Hawaii, plus operations were the topics thatOceania and Europe, scheduling needed to be accessible to the widest were most often broached byrange of participants. members, and therefore wereCompeting responsibilities of attendees was an additional reason. For example, with so many parents having children learning from home the areas that the conventionrather than going to school, while they themselves are trying to work, prominently featured. its difficult to carve out time for all the people in the household that require attention. Despite not being an in-person event, the remote meeting allowedPlanning a convention that would meet the needs of attendees, while for camaraderie to prevail among vessel operators, many who sawoff ering the essential information required this year, meant carefully each other on-screen for the fi rst time in nearly a year. The abilityselecting subjects that passenger vessel operators can use to jumpstart to see and speak with one another was a powerful moment fortheirbusinessesafterthetoughestoperatingclimateinmodern some who rely on the unique connection that passenger vesselhistory.Thesesubjectsstemmedfromnumerousconversations, operatorshavewithoneanother.Finallyhavingthechanceemails, and questions posed by PVA members to the PVA staffsince to share with one another the challenges that COVID-19 hasthepandemicbegan.Marketing,safety,regulatory,legislative,and wrought upon the particularly hard-hit passenger vessel industrybusiness operations were the topics that were most often broached was a compelling reason to take part for some.For others, thebymembers,andthereforeweretheareasthattheconvention prominently featured.FOGHORN FOCUS: CONVENTION REVIEW 14 FOGHORN'