By Ashley Goodall.
How is the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) adapting to the COVID challenges, as a Trade Council?
There is never a more important time to engage our members than now. Not only are Iraqi based businesses facing lockdown in Iraq, but the oil price, on which many are dependent, has crashed by half, putting pressure on everyone's budgets.
To support members we have increased all forms of communication via phone, video and newsletters, to ensure they are not forgotten, and to gather as much intelligence data on how they are responding, to determine what kind of help is most useful, and to provide continued insights into business opportunities, as well as proactively sharing press releases with our audiences.
And, to make up for a cancelled Spring Conference, where they get to hear and see influencers and ministers first hand, we have arranged for online briefing Conferences with the British Ambassador, Iraqi Ministers and setting up panel discussions via Zoom. Already these are proving very popular with a higher attendance and engagement on line than in person -- and, we are able to accommodate members in both Iraq, UK and Internationally at the same time and virtually one to one. In some respects, it's a win for all.
For staff, similarly, we are working online and via video conference, to coordinate and keep and eye on everyone. It feels like we are more productive.
The upshot of the COVID disruption is that we are probably communicating more, in new technological ways, with more people than we normally do. So we expect there may be longer term adaptive benefits that IBBC will embrace, to upskill and build in more resilience for us and our members.
(Source: Ashley Goodall, IBBC)