We’re winding down to the end-of-year reel which usually features highlights from the last 52 weeks. The thing is...we don’t know about you guys, but this year has us wanting to look FORWARD. 

Austin Kleon writes, “There is no finish line.” But that doesn't mean: "no light at the end of the tunnel." Let's HARNESS what we've learned throughout this shitshow of a year and keep going.

More folks have been connected to the internet than ever before. Post-COVID, you might not have to fly economy for meetings that can now be Zoom calls. Everyday is take your kid to work day AND you now know how to make banana bread! 

Everything is an opportunity. 

So let’s take a look at how we can build back a more hopeful 2021.

Re-defining that "breakout room buzz"

People miss people. 

Sure, we’ve always worked remotely.

But one thing we annually look forward to is the "Breakout Room Buzz" that can only be found at in-person gatherings. 

You know the feeling: You're at a big conference and the keynote speaker is killer, of course. But when you're in a smaller group contributing to a convo, dots aligning with inspiration and a renewed perspective on your day-to-day work??

That's the piece you take home to keep the fire stoked. 

This je ne sais quoi is what folks PAY to experience. It’s the you had to be there to feel it vibe—the same reason it’s a brag to say “I saw Morrissey LIVE”. 

Pre-COVID, Post-Breakout buzz cutie Rancheros 

My Presence is my present

Webinars and conferences have gone on virtually, but presenters miss reading the room. You can't make eye contact, much less get feedback from a blank Zoom square.

Speaking in a big meeting on Zoom, you may get a "Is this thing on???" kinda feeling. (@Teachers, thinking of you)

So. How do you get that buzz back? 
I posed this Q for our Rancheros to see how they've been handling this year.

1) A shift in focus
Mikey said: 
"In this year deprived of in-person devices, we were forced to focus on the content, our annunciation, our tech and our stories. 

I think a lot of people realized how vital the visuals can be to keep people engaged. We also were forced to look at some other mediums like broadcast, to see how they keep their audiences engaged."

2) Call your friends & former colleagues 
Steve has been on the phone:
"I've been talking with a lot of people that I had lost touch with. Fortunately most of those people are friends from art school so it can translate to inspiration and work pretty easily.

However, the list for sure includes some old colleagues as well... since nobody is at the office it doesn't really matter where you work—talk to the people you liked working with. Basically just thinking that 'people miss people, they'll be happy to hear from you' makes it a lot easier to pick up the phone."

3) Join an online creative community
For Allie, meme-sharing among like-minded folks in marketing is a useful outlet. (Cathartic, too, when poking a bit of fun at clients, @consultingcomedy & @marketing_humor

There are now more creative communities to join than ever. Check out: 

  • Just Us Collective
    • Ooh la la - illustration industry insights, inspiration and collaboration!
  • DevChat
    • "The Slack community for hackers." Chat out your software dev issues and LEARN with introverts across the country!
  • On the Side
    • We all picked up bread-baking in 2020, but this is a community to help you finish your creative and/or profesh side projects. 

To take with you into 2021

While you wait for your vaccine...

New pod alert
  • Mary Sheehan, Head of Product Marketing at Adobe, spearheads a new series "The Product Marketing Experts"
For the top of your New Year reading list

The anatomy of a great speaker

  • Duarte with the visual breakdown.

Take a page out of a Boy Band Book

If you're waiting for things to "go back to normal"

"Elon Musk Advises CEOs to Stop Wasting Time on PowerPoint, Meetings" -WSJ

We're paraphrasing here for Elon, but it's pretty clear he means that you should prioritize your product and customers, and send MORE PowerPoints to GhostRanch in 2021.

Right? Right. 

Drop in our DMs.
Onward we go. Happy freakin New Year. 
✏️the writer Ranchero from GhostRanch
Copyright © 2020 GhostRanch Communications, All rights reserved.

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