As trade shows and conferences around the world are postponed indefinitely, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) forged ahead with its Spring Committee Meeting but shifted to a virtual environment.
Following government guidance to limit travel and in-person gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), NRFC transitioned within one week of its Spring Committee Meeting to an online meeting. By all accounts it was a success with 129 registrants logging in on both days, March 17-18.
“Even though we were connecting online, we didn’t lose any participant interaction and engagement. There was possibly more discussion than normal,” says NFRC CEO Deb Callahan. “People who don’t usually speak up in person were sharing their thoughts and asking questions in the web discussion format and in chat groups. It shows that our members understand it’s vitally important to maintain normal business operations as best as we can and keep advancing the continuous improvement of windows, doors, and skylights.”
Another benefit to hosting the meeting online, NFRC’s reduced its carbon footprint by avoiding greenhouse gas emissions. Whether meeting in-person or online, NFRC is mindful of ways to reduce carbon emissions as an organization. To this end, the virtual Spring Meeting eliminated what would have been 38 metric tons of CO2 emissions estimated using the terrapass events calculator. According to the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, that’s the equivalent of reducing 94,000 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle, 41,000 pounds of coal burned, and 4,000 gallons of gasoline consumed.
“We cherish our face-to-face gatherings, but there are other benefits to meeting online,” states John Gordon, NFRC board chair. “As an organization that rates the energy efficiency of windows, doors and skylights, it’s part of our mission and vision to be good stewards of the environment. By having the meeting online, we saved energy, reduced operating costs and reduced the risk of exposure to our staff and members. Plus, we all can feel good about making a positive impact on the environment right now.”
Online meeting participants included fenestration industry professionals who discussed issues brought forward by committees and subcommittees. Other sessions originally scheduled for the in-person meeting will be offered as webinars later this spring and summer.