Tech-driven hybrid clubs will forge ahead


Many clubs and districts in our region are getting back to normalcy. It is heartening to see that the enthusiasm and keenness hasn’t diminished. While it is good to forge ahead and not brood over the happenings of the last two years, it is also necessary to remember the lessons learnt and retain the positives. Some of the changes may have been forced on us and the pace at which technology was adopted at every level was astounding. A change that might have normally taken five years was witnessed in these two years.

Clubs witnessed higher attendance in these virtual meetings as it was more convenient for members who otherwise may have found it difficult to travel to the meeting. As we move forward, clubs may do well to make some or all their meetings as hybrid ones. This way we will be able to keep most members engaged in the activities of the club even if they are unable to attend physically.

Technology allowed clubs to get high-profile speakers, several of them from overseas, for their regular meetings. This again increased the engagement level of the members. Let us not stop this practice. Let us continue to use technology to have such meetings in future even though it may not be required under the present scenario.

During the pandemic, several joint meetings of many clubs, spread across the globe, were organised. Technology afforded us that luxury. This also enabled networking and friendship beyond national and regional borders. Many service projects were also finalised because of this networking. Let us continue to expand this network in the days ahead as well. Maybe clubs can think of an international meeting every quarter and truly feel the internationality of our organisation.

The pandemic crisis forced most of our clubs to tighten their belts and reduce their expenses to benefit our subscription-paying members. I am aware of several clubs reducing subscription in the last two years. While meeting in person, with its attendant cost, has its own advantages and should not be done away with, it may be prudent to evaluate and do away with wasteful expenditure. The pandemic gave us the opportunity to do this and let us not waste that.

Let us take advantage of the lessons learnt and make appropriate changes to the way our clubs are functioning to ensure a meaningful, purposeful and worthy membership experience for all our members. We can then say that even the pandemic served a purpose. As they say ‘Tough times don’t last, tough people do.’

A S Venkatesh
RI Director, 2021–23

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