This week, we focus on Heartland Chapter member, Eric Jacobson, Vice President, Business Development at Ascend Media in the Kansas City metro.
Did you create a new tradition for a holiday?
Because I didn’t travel for Thanksgiving or Christmas last year, our family spread throughout the country connected via Zoom on both days. Our new tradition will be to Zoom on those holidays in the future to include family members who won’t be able to travel even post-pandemic.
What did 2020 teach you about your professional life?
I learned even more about how impressively our company’s team members are resilient, creative and able to adapt to challenging business environments. Our cohesive team became even more collaborative and strategic in 2020. Everybody pitched in well beyond their typical job responsibilities. We developed new products and service offerings and also formed a new partnership with JUNO (virtual platform provider).
What did 2020 teach you about your personal life?
2020 taught me how to be happy enjoying different types of activities than those I previously enjoyed. So, now I read more versus going to movie theaters. I cook more versus eating at restaurants. I explore more areas within the metro versus taking long-distance trips. Last year also taught me to practice gratefulness everyday no matter the day’s challenges. Here are five book recommendations from what I read last year: Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens; Red War by Vince Flynn; Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano; The Giver of Stars by Jo Jo Moyes; and business book, The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell by Paul Smith.
What new hobby have you started in the past year?
My renewed hobby is doing Word Searches and my new hobby is doing Sudoku puzzles, pretty much nightly.
I believe (or don’t believe) hybrid events are here to stay because…
The virtual component of hybrid events makes meetings overall more inclusive for attendees and captures an audience that for whatever reason won’t attend a physical meeting. There is still lots to learn to maximize exhibitor ROI in a virtual environment, and how to effectively blend virtual with physical, however, I definitely believe hybrid is the future.