News Update on Meetings

 

The last two years have been the worst in the 52 years of NIAS’s history. With Covid19 and the demography of the Society being such that many members are still cautious about meeting in person, not least as our venue was not conducive to social distancing.

 

NIAS has always been a friendly society, where we meet not only to learn more but also for the social meeting of friends, not least with the coffee and biscuits after our more formal meeting. Many things have changed over the past two years, including the use of the internet to have remote meetings.

 

Organising meetings has been getting more difficult, the cost of hiring venues has increased as have speakers expenses, and many potential speakers still don’t wish to attend crowded meetings. The increased costs of travel for users of cars and declining bus services for others has made a significant difference to the convenience of attending meetings for an hour or so. Though some organisations have resumed in person meetings there have been problems, and attendances have been much reduced.  There are still significant numbers unwilling to attend in person meetings.

 

The solution has been online meetings, and especially the use of Zoom, a free to use application that runs on most computers, tablets and smart phones. Several local Societies have found members prefer this method over in person meetings, and that numbers have increased as a result. Some have tried so called Hybrid meetings where the in person meeting is also provided by Zoom. Another advantage of Zoom has been the ability to draw upon a large pool of speakers, where travelling is avoided and distance no problem.

 

The Way Forward

Your committee has considered options and has decided to trial some Zoom meetings and also arrange a social event where we can meet in person.  Please see the diary page for dates. Members will be sent by email meeting log in details.

 

We will also schedule Zoom meetings in September and October, but also consult with you as to how you would like us to move forward.

 

We are looking at November to relaunch the Society, with possibly an in-person AGM and social event as well as having a Journal to collect. However, this will depend upon Covid levels as Winter set in.