Hundreds of professionals in Oman have managed to meet and make business connections during the COVID-19 pandemic, sharing knowledge and networking in a socially distant setting.
The Oman American Business Center (OABC) is best known for hosting high-level professional networking events and informational sessions for executives across the sultanate. As the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman, the OABC is not only devoted to supporting the development of commercial relations between Oman and the US but also focuses heavily on networking Oman’s business community through unique events and programmes year-round.
Quickly adapting to a new model during COVID-19, OABC has partnered on or hosted 17 events online since March. Members and guests enjoyed sessions ranging from Sector Update: Logistics in Oman During and After COVID-19, to Virtual Speed Networking, during which attendees networked in ZOOM breakout rooms face to face, discussed their businesses together, and switched partners every three minutes.
“Some might have assumed that face-to-face business networking must ‘pause’ for a season, until things begin to improve,” says Ali Daud, Chairman of OABC. “On the contrary, during this crisis, connecting with others is needed more than ever before. Presenting opportunities for companies, creating space for business development, and providing members with new contacts and introductions must continue, especially now.”
Daud added, “From the start of this pandemic, the question has been how to best serve our 165 member companies in the safest way possible. Members joined OABC as a way to meet other professionals, stay informed about changes that impact their businesses, and to expand their networks in Oman. These essential benefits can be offered to members in a variety of ways during a lockdown, thanks to the tools we have available in today’s day and age.”
“As a professional business and networking organisation, we’re devoted to supporting the membership throughout the pandemic,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “The OABC has been working to keep all its member companies updated on changes to regulations and sending important news pertaining to business in the sultanate in a ‘top 10’ resource list emailed to our constituents weekly.”
The OABC also promotes the products and services of businesses who have remained open or reopened and has invited all members of the wider community to visit the OABC Business Forum (www.oabc.org/forum). This online forum is free to use, and welcomes discussion about challenges, innovative ideas, and solutions for business owners, executives and entrepreneurs during COVID-19.