Spring is on its way, with fresh air and a fresh schedule of council and committee meetings for TAC members and staff. The Spring Technical Meetings will bring us together online April 16 through May 14; mark your calendar and plan to attend.
We’ve seen tremendous productivity from TAC’s online meetings over the last year, thanks to our dedicated participants. The meetings allow council and committee members to share information, explore emerging issues, and advance projects. They are essential to TAC’s collaborative work and we are committed to holding meetings in a format that works well for members and volunteers.
While we all miss gathering in person, online meetings have real benefits. Participating is easy – no travel is required, registration is free, and you can join more meetings because they are spread over a few weeks rather than overlapping each other in a single weekend. About 600 people attended each set of TAC’s online meetings in 2020, which is almost double the number who typically attend our in-person meetings. Online meetings extended TAC’s reach into Canada’s transportation community, enhancing the dialogue among practitioners that is core to our mission. Eliminating the need to travel also saves members money and reduces our collective impact on climate and the environment.
For these reasons, TAC will continue to host our annual Spring Technical Meetings online after the pandemic recedes. We look forward to holding our annual conference and exhibition in person again soon and the Fall Technical Meetings will be held in conjunction with those events. This “best of both worlds” approach will allow TAC and its members to enjoy the unique benefits and opportunities of each meeting format.
Meanwhile, as we prepare for the 2021 spring meetings, please consider a couple of suggestions.
First: Online events are an easy way to discover what TAC is all about. By virtue of your employer’s membership in TAC, you are welcome to attend any meeting of a council or committee even if you are not on the roster. Simply check out the schedule of spring meetings and ask to attend any meeting that piques your curiosity – it’s a great chance to learn, get involved, and contribute to TAC’s work.
Second: If you sit on a council or committee, I encourage you to bring a colleague or two. Maybe you work with a new hire or young professional who could benefit from learning about TAC and joining our community. Help spread the word and broaden our network – we’ll all be better for it.
I hope to see many of you virtually at TAC’s Spring Technical Meetings. In the meantime, stay well and enjoy these early days of spring.
Sarah Wells, P.Eng., Ph.D,