Utter Fandom Ensued for Citizen of the Year at Chamber 2021 Celebration
The atmosphere was pulsing with positivity and hope at the in-person Citizen of the Year Celebration in honor of Anna Thomas last Thursday at Delta Dental Stadium. For the first time in many months, community leaders, Chamber members and supporters were able to gather in person and share in their common interests, goals, and utter fandom of the Citizen of the Year. On this beautiful summer evening, the world started to feel a bit more normal with the advent and return of in-person events.
Like last year, this annual tradition had to be reinterpreted and customized to fit the current health climate, ever changing audience comfort level but most importantly the unique qualities that make our honoree so special. Around mid-March, the Chamber team decided to take a risk and start to plan a what was thought to be a very small in-person celebration for Anna. We knew it would have to be outdoors at a venue that has proven its commitment to public safety and health as well as be centralized for community access. Delta Dental Stadium was the perfect fit, and the Fisher Cats staff were more than willing to customize the experience for the event- not to mention, they have a built-in video screen which made it the perfect location to attempt a seamless hybrid event!
Hybrid events aim to combine the best of both worlds; the ease and access of a virtual program with the option of organic, in-person networking for guests who value those connections above all else. Though hybrid events are in theory the way of the future, they also pose many challenges and variables with both formats. We decided to tackle this format by pre-recording the formal program with Events United, scheduling a premiere on social media while simultaneously streaming the recorded program to a live audience. While planning the COY event, we realized that the process would have to be open to flexibility and be able to shift on a dime. Luckily, we had learned much over the past 15 months about the benefit of using a tailored approach to each unique event not to mention, our honoree is the archetype of thoughtful agility under pressure. So, it was only fitting that we pursue and welcome these challenges as opportunities to reflect and support our audiences’ needs and honorees strengths.
This past year has been wrought with challenges, innovations and an unmatched commitment to the health and wellness of our citizens. What better way to honor Anna and her team than to reinforce the ideas that they so expertly embody: responsiveness, inclusivity, and resiliency. Anna was joined by family, friends, and her epic network of supporters on a perfect evening in the city that she serves. Made up of a healthy dose of overjoyed connection, heartfelt tribute and touching sentiments shared, the Citizen of the Year Celebration was an overwhelming success and a true testament to the unrivaled community support so indicative of greater Manchester.
Thank you to all the numerous sponsors, partners and supporters who made this event possible specifically our presenting sponsor, Elliot Health System & SoultionHealth.