Free USC webinar: Business resilience post-COVID - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Free USC webinar: Business resilience post-COVID

4 Nov 2020

Businesses and sporting clubs have dramatically changed their business models to survive and thrive despite COVID-19 restrictions, say USC researchers presenting a free public webinar this week.

Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Dr Retha Scheepers will share her preliminary findings from her study into how Queensland businesses adapted to restrictions, as a panellist at USC’s free Research Unmasked webinar on Thursday 5 November at 6pm.

Dr Scheepers said there had been an enormous shift to embrace digital as the “new normal way of doing business”, with restaurants still providing food but changing the way it is ordered and delivered, and with gyms and health clubs providing classes online.

“Tourism has been one of the worst-affected industries, but we’ve seen them adapt too, with venues tapping into their large followings to offer online stores or experiences, as well as pivoting to cater for a domestic market,” she said.

Dr Scheepers said customers had largely been patient while businesses adapted.

Also on the panel will be Professor Paul Salmon and Research Fellow Dr Scott McLean from USC’s Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems. They will discuss strategies from a recent study into professional sport that used ‘systems thinking methods’ to help redesign club operations.

Dr McLean said the approach had provided valuable insights for ensuring the effective operations of elite sporting clubs through a disrupted season.

“A systems thinking approach provides a full understanding of how your organisation functions and whether it achieves the goals you set,” Dr McLean said.

“And it’s not limited to sport. Systems thinking is valuable to any organisation where there are multiple interactions between the components of a system.”

Another panellist will be USC Lecturer in Public Relations Dr Karen Sutherland who will discuss leveraging social media and online platforms for business in a post-COVID world.

Organiser Dr Gemma Read said the ‘Research Unmasked’ series was a chance for people to understand the role of science and research in supporting communities to adapt and respond in uncertain times.

“We want people to come away from the webinars with a sense of positivity and hope, knowing that there are researchers in our own regions who understand what is happening globally and how we can adapt for a better future,” Dr Read said.

People can register for the ‘Research Unmasked’ series usc.edu.au/research-unmasked

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