EFESC did not get bogged down by lockdowns and travel restrictions in the face of the COVID 10-pandemic. Instead the organisation took this as an opportunity to be creative and try out new forms of communication.
After a test round of video conferences with every National Agency in spring, the Executive Committee decided to hold this year’s General Assembly online. It took place on 16 June 2020. This format required new ways of preparation and interaction. In order to pass a vote on the budget and trademark regulations as well as on new and amended documents drafted by the Standard Committee all participants had the opportunity to send the comments in advance. Interventions during the meeting were made by using the chat function and moderated by a chat moderator.
In addition to the official part, each National Agency gave a short presentation on the question which aspects they considered most important for EFESC and for their own organisation in the coming year. Digital training methods as well as the onboarding of new assessment centres were among the issues and tasks presented. To round up the meeting, the ERASMUS+ funded project EDUTrainers was presented. As the programme focuses on soft and communicative skills of trainers working in forestry using e-learning methods this sparked a great interest in participants.
Although it was a new and unusual format for everyone, the online assembly was very productive and efficient. Therefore, thanks to the willingness al all participants to adapt to this new way of meeting, the impossibility to hold the General Assembly as usual, in the end, turned into a very successful event.