By Mike Cohen, The Suburban, May 5, 2021 Updated May 6, 2021
When the COVID-19 pandemic finally ends and we look back at this very sad period in human history, there will be a few takeaways that will benefit us down the line. Platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams head the list. They have certainly made an enormous impact on my life, notably in my role hosting a video show for Suburban On Air and my role as a communications professional and a city councillor.
I have met too many people to mention whose businesses have been decimated by the pandemic. Others are only surviving thanks to federal government assistance. For Marcie Balaban, COVID-19 could have spelled the end of her stellar quarter century career as a motivational speaker and business matchmaker. The latter represents the co-ordinated pairing of entrepreneurs and corporations by arranging small boardroom meetings with various owners or upper management of companies that Balaban, via her company Let’s Get Going, believes are good matches. Instead of blindly talking to unknown attendees at a cocktail party, her approach is to create a directed meeting between business owners and executives with a common purpose of finding trading partners and referral sources.
Mere days after the pandemic made her much desired power lunches null and void, Marcie was among the first to shift to Zoom. Not only has the frequency of her meetings increased, but the new COVID-friendly format has vaulted her to an audience that is now Canada-wide. “I have just opened a division in Toronto Kingston and all of Greater Toronto,” she said. “I have never been at this level and I am really excited! I will now remain 95 percent on Zoom, COVID or not. The five percent will be very high end lunches once we go back there. I am up to about 70 meetings a month now. My sales are up substantially since COVID started. It is truly remarkable. I work twice as hard and I love every minute of it! It’s not work; it is a ‘purpose’ in helping companies grow their sales and stay motivated.”
Seems to me our federal and provincial governments should give Marcie a call.