It was with a little trepidation and a lot of excitement that the Oxford HR team attended AIDEX 2021 in Brussels in November. Due to the pandemic, this would be the first in person event we had been at for over three years and in a sector like ours, where people are at the heart of everything we do, we were keen to get ourselves back out there talking to people and connecting on global issues.
It would have been impossible to attend this event with the mention of or noticing the impact of COVID. A lot of events are still online after all, so was this too early for such a large event to work? Whilst the footfall was definitely not at its usual numbers which was disappointing but predictable, and it was a shame that a lot of the key-note speakers were unable to attend at the last minute, the Oxford HR team still got a sense of moving forward and optimism out of the event. David Miliband of the International Rescue Committee’s opening address (one of the afore mentioned unable to attend and therefore pre-recorded), focused on addressing the short-term effect of COVID on greater global issues and how ‘crises compound one another’ and how the pandemic has brought to light the ‘shocking imbalance in power’, culminating in a call to action to ‘re-establish this balance’. His address highlighted the devastating facts of the numbers of people in need, which have tripled between 2015 and 2021 and ended with an impassioned plea to ‘understand our role, to demand transparency and then we can still be a force for a new age of accountability’.
So were we glad we went? Yes. Do we feel a renewed sense of purpose and optimism? Absolutely. Are there still challenges to be met with holding in-person events? Definitely, but for Oxford HR these are challenges it is worth trying to overcome as things stand at the moment. So, watch out for our updates in 2022 on other events we will be attending in an attempt to continually broaden our perspectives and learning, and share that within our networks.
Suzie joined the Oxford HR Team in January 2019 as our Communications Director. She holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism from Cardiff University and has worked in Marketing for over 13 years.
Prior to working for Oxford HR, Suzie has developed campaigns and worked on the global strategies for companies such P&G, Nissan, Delta Airlines, Barclays, COI, World Horse Welfare, Vodafone and VTECH. Suzie is particularly interested in how technology and digital innovation can contribute to the global UN goal of ending hunger and poverty by 2030 and global problems in general.
Suzie is a Trustee on the Board of the charity CMV Action, endeavouring to support awareness and fund vaccine research for this virus.