“I know it’s disappointing to not have that element of being immersed in a city or a community like that, but it’s really impressive what this organization and their volunteers have done to maintain the integrity of their event. We’re just so happy to be a part of it in helping them” said Mary Wynne, Executive Director of GTS Educational Events about how her organization has been forced to adapt to COVID-19. At the beginning of October, Wynne came onto our Cities Speak podcast to talk about her organization with our Executive Director Dana Healy.
As an organization that works in project management and event organization for the community to convene, the traditional approach no longer works for Mary. “We’ve had to adapt to a fully virtual work environment,” Wynne added. “So for us as an internal team, we were pretty well-positioned to do that already.”
Events GTS Has Been Able to Do Amidst Everything
GTS has worked to continue with some of their major events including the Rail-volution conference. “This is a conference that brings together stakeholders from across sectors and really across the nation and even beyond the nation who are dedicated to building more livable communities through transit.” Events like Rail-volution have always allowed for close, personal peer-to-peer interaction and with the current restrictions, GTS Educational Events is working to keep the event as personable and interactive as possible while adhering to the safety concerns.
Mary is, in fact, optimistic and excited about the prospect of a virtual event saying, “So pivoting to an all virtual environment was definitely challenging for such a long-standing event, but again, we’re really excited, just in terms of the new things that we can do too.”
Another big event, that is entering its 39th year, is the Government IT Symposium. The Government IT Symposium is “GTS’s legacy and flagship program. We’ve been offering our public sector IT and IT-related workforce this opportunity to expand their knowledge”.
How GTS Is Looking to Expand Their Reach
Mary also runs a podcast where her son is the host and she aims to bring on the great speakers she’s familiar with and be a platform to spread their message. “He’s been doing a really good job bringing out their stories, talking to them about things that you just wouldn’t know about them just by listening to them on the stage. It’s also a really great way to dive deeper into their subjects”, Mary said.
How People Can Get Involved
Mary said GTS is always looking for new people to be involved, particularly “people who are subject matter experts or who are just really passionate about their field, we’re looking for those people to present at these different events and programs, as well as we’re also looking for people to help guide the programs or the planning of the programs that we offer.” She encourages people who feel they’re in a position to educate and teach about a certain industry to step and offer their insight.
More information about how to get involved can be found at https://mngts.org/.