Together Again: VIATEC’s Tessa Davies on post-pandemic networking

Tessa Davies (Bousfield) has always been passionate about being part of the community. She’s well-known in Victoria as the branding and events director for VIATEC.

Tessa Davies (Bousfield) in outdoor setting
Photo by Michelle Proctor.

Davies takes pride in cultivating VIATEC’s reputation as a council that does everything out of the ordinary while still following its key focus areas: regional and sector promotion, networking and connections, talent, education and mentoring. Uniquely positioned to monitor the changing landscape, Davies shares her insights on what’s next.

How have the needs of your members changed?

The battle for talent has grown increasingly fierce, not only in our region and sector, but everywhere. This, combined with the increased appetite for remote work, plus steady immigration to our region from newcomers, means that employers need very different support for recruitment and retention than they did even a few years ago.

We are seeing an increasing number of skilled individuals, particularly newcomers, seeking advice and support on how to get to know the community and how to build solid relationships in a time when many of the traditional channels like social mixers haven’t been available.

What kind of networking do people want coming out of the pandemic?

People will want to get as back to normal as they possibly can: back to shaking hands, back to standing in lines and back to exchanging an infinite amount of business cards most of us don’t know what to do with.

Our first in-person event won’t be overly complicated, as we will want folks to ease back into it comfortably, and there’s no better way to do that than over food, drinks, live music and networking.

Conferences in the future will likely include a streaming component, in order to continue reaching larger audiences, but the face-to-face human factor is missed now more than ever, and many people will want to soak that up.

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