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Message from the President – Virtual Meetings

As we head into the autumn it appears that COVID 19 will continue to restrict the face to face
activities of the KFN. With appropriate infection control measures in place, we hope to be able to
continue field trips and rambles. The Blue Bill, Newsletters, Facebook, Flickr and the normal
activities of the Executive continue unchanged.

For many of us the move to virtual meetings on the third Thursday of the month is the most
significant change. We held our first Zoom general meeting, the AGM in September. A ttendance
at that meeting suggests that many members who normally attend general meetings are not
comfortable in the virtual world. I would like to address two common reasons people have given
me for disliking virtual meetings and try to convince you that they really aren’t that bad!

Social time

Meeting with friends and making new acquaintances is one of the most important
aspects of in person meetings. While not ideal, socializing can be made easier in a virtual
meeting. Each person attending has their name displayed below their “box” so there is no need
to try and surreptitiously glance at their name tag when you can’t remember who they are.
Zoom has a “chat” box where you can easily type a private message to anyone present: you
don’t have to fight your way across the room, interrupt a conversation already in progress or
worry about their remembering who you are! Unfortunately, you have to provide your own

Zoom platform

Zoom is the platform that the KFN has chosen for meetings. Security concerns
with earlier versions of the platform h ave been addressed. Currently there is less
chance of having your important information stolen than there would be of having your car
vandalized or your wallet lost when you attend a regular meeting! The program is easy to learn
and free. It can be used on a computer, tablet or phone. Do not fear it!

There are actual advantages to a virtual meeting which include:

  • Many of our presenters have high quality photographs that are best viewed on a high resolution computer screen. Projecting them significantly degrades the quality.
  • The inconvenience and cost of travel has limited the roster of speakers at our meetings.
  • Virtual meetings gives us an opportunity to attract presenters who would not normally be able to take the time to come to Kingston.
  • You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home on a cold winter night.
  • Temporarily leaving the meeting doesn’t involve getting up in front of a crowd of people.
  • You can have other activities going on at the same time and nobody will know.
  • You can continue your “ conversations during the presentation without being told to be quiet
  • Your home furniture is likely more comfortable than auditorium chairs.
  • Your pets/kids/grandkids don’t have to be left alone for an evening.

I strongly encourage you to give virtual meetings a try

Prior to the general meeting an email will be sent to all members. The email will contain a link
inviting you join the Zoom meeting. The link will be active at 7 pm to allow virtual socializing
prior to the commencement of the meeting at 7:30 pm. You will not be required to register.

I look forward to seeing you on line soon.

Ken Edwards, President KFN