CARY, N.C. -

Prior to COVID-19 changing the landscape of live events and travel, I was fortunate enough to have a Goldilocks-like rotation of auto industry events to cover as a journalist and/or help run as a member of the Cherokee Media Group team.

There were enough industry events to keep things interesting, while at the same time, I wasn’t overwhelmed and having to hop on a plane every other week.

It was just right.

What also was “just right” was that each conference offers something different to me personally. Attending large-scale association conventions gives me the chance to meet new folks in industry, network with old colleagues and generate enough podcasts and story ideas to fill the Auto Remarketing pages and airwaves for months on end.

Our own CMG conferences like Used Car Week, Auto Intel Summit or Auto Remarketing Canada Conference have given me the chance to try on different hats, so to speak.

I get to spend time moderating panel discussions, help handle on-site logistics or playing the hell out of some chimes like I was Will Ferrell on the cowbell.

And one of the CMG conferences in particular, the Women & Automotive Canadian Leadership Forum, offers this gem: the chance to listen to lessons on leadership and just absorb.

I’ve been to this event just a handful of times, but each time, I come away with nugget of leadership that just sticks to my brain.

And usually, the lesson learned is not exclusive to automotive or my job as a reporter.

Sometimes, it’s the power of mentorship, both as a mentor and a mentee.

Sometimes, it’s a stirring and thoughtful opening keynote that kicks the day into high gear.

Or a story about someone overcoming adversity.

Or even watching connections get made.

It’s also seeing truly remarkable people doing what they do best, inspiring others.

And while I’m excited for the day that Women & Automotive (and other conferences) are back to being in-person events, perhaps there is something unique that a digital rendition can offer.

For me, the days over these past six months where I’ve attended a digital conference from the comfort of my kitchen table have been a nice shakeup to what has become the daily routine for many of us.

But with this upcoming Women & Automotive event, in particular, I’m also looking forward to the takeaways that I always get from this conference.

This year’s agenda covers everything from retail trends to career advancement, from busting stereotypes to remote leadership.

Instead of sitting in the back of a hotel ballroom, I’ll be watching at my laptop, seated at the kitchen table.

But my intent during Women & Automotive will remain the same: Make a shift from the daily schedule, listen and learn.

If you’re interested in doing the same, my teammates have more info for you here.