Back to top

The State of the IFVP: First Quarter 2020

Dear IFVP Members, 
Heather Martinez recently wrote to me, “This week has been a whirlwind of a year!” I’m going to co-opt it and change it to, “The first quarter of 2020 has been a whirlwind of a year!” This applies to both my personal and professional life. 
January 2020In January, Leah Silverman and I were in the throes of conference planning. We started back in August, pretty much as soon as we wrapped up Montclair 2019. By January, we were on an official planning visit with the hotel event planner and activites manager, the programming committee had sent out a call for submissions, we reached out to sponsors, it was all very exciting. 
Meanwhile, some on the board were working furiously on a range of things, from board historian Myriam Artola putting together a history of the IFVP narrative, defining how we wanted to work with conference and organizational sponsors, website design team progress with the addition of Rachel Stevens as a UI/UX designer, checking in with the EVP to assess where they were at on their end of the process, preparing for board officer elections once we had new Directors onboarded and integrated into working on projects and initiatives, and preparing to announce the OLS (Online Learning Series.
Notes by: Liisa Sorsa  click on image to view larger
February 2020
In February, Leah and I had sponsorship agreements in place and other sponsorship leads, keynotes confirmed and developing messaging points, the programming committee received and assessed all break out workshop proposals and were preparing to finalize the agenda. We were close to finalizing all the details on the pre-conference education courses and were ready to start announcing and promoting. We were doing things differently from 2019 and were very happy with the results and couldn’t wait to share our conference progress with the membership.
Meanwhile, the board welcomed our newly elected Directors, BrandonJessamyKristinePhil, and Sabine. To integrate them before their first Board meeting, we held one-on-ones with the them to bring them up to speed on what we’d been working on and how we worked. We were already operating as a scrum team with Kim as our scrum master and the new Directors adapted quickly to do a great job. We covered the conference, membership tiers, IFVP Institute, and the website redesign (it’s going to be SO COOL!). 
Notes by: Alejandro Gil click on image to view larger
March 2020
In March, COVID-19 reared its head. Leah and I had a difficult time gauging the impact of the virus. We spoke every day. By the end of the first week of March, all my work had been canceled or rescheduled. Same with Leah. Then we saw it was the same as everyone else in our field. It became harder for us to see how we could promote a conference when everyone was finding themselves without work. We also realized that once all this pandemic craziness has passed, many of us are going to prioritize work to cover the unexpected three month gap of income. The very smart, wise, passionate, and fiercely protective directors challenged the Conference team to come up with backup plans B, C, and D in case COVID-19 became as bad the WHO was telling us it was going to get.
Meanwhile, the board was busy with putting more guidance and structure in place in regards to how we prioritize projects in the scrum process. We want to ensure we are prioritizing the right projects and initiatives to support the strategy we designed post-conference in New Jersey. We made 2019's Digital Scribing Series free for all. We saw samples of the website redesign look and it is going to please very many people. The conference team is currently regrouping to assess the viability of offering a virtual gathering. The team meets next week to get started on a repivot. The newsletter is being baked as I type this and I hope you love what we put together for you - please comment on the blog posts. We also added corporate memberships to the Tiered Membership conversation. 
Notes by: Sandra Bach click on image to view larger
I feel there is great value in using the agile scrum approach. You should be seeing more and more energy and activity from the IFVP. We just hosted a Graphic Jam. The OLS launched March 30th with Terry LaBan. We will be hosting a second Graphic Jam on April 15th. Ia Brix Ohman will be hosting her OLS session on Visual Template Facilitation on April 21st. While we all stay home to minimize the effects of the pandemic on our healthcare systems and countries' populations, we are working to make the IFVP better for you.
We are redesigning our conference to be virtual, we working to offer exciting virtual sessions of learning and connecting. Remember, this is a volunteer membership association with a volunteer board of directors. I personally, as a practitioner, am especially thankful for the IFVP right now. It gives me something constructive to do with the sudden lack of work but also a focus on how to help others in the field move through the challenge of quickly upskilling, articulating a new product, and educating the client at the same time. I believe we will see many of our clients shift to more virtual ways of convening -  very exciting - and we have to be ready to help them understand the many ways visual practitioners can provide digital solutions with the same impact as in-person visuals.
2nd quarter should be filled with even more - more OLS episodes, the virtual conference, more graphic jams, and who knows what other suprises 2020 will be throwing our way.  We hope you see and feel the same electricity we do. These times are uncertain but we are in it together. 


Go, Board!

This is really impressive, everyone. It's so good to see new energy and ideas brought forth in the current situation, no hand-wringing or dispair. I'm eagerly looking forward to what's next!

- Lynn K