How the Pandemic has Changed the way we Network…

Written by Erin Hull


There is no denying that COVID-19 took us all by surprise, entering us into a world of the unknown. Suddenly stuck at home, unable to travel, unable to see people outside of your household, having to work from home, unable to network.

In came the internet to save the day! Isn’t it amazing what technology is capable of? Connecting us all for team meetings via ‘Zoom’ to being able to run global conferences with hundreds of people virtually attending. Not only that but social media has been brought to the forefront, surveyors and others in the industry being encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and pick up their mobile for a quick work selfie! Not only does this stop people being as isolated but it encourages more connections to be made with others in the industry, as well as being able to share ideas with them (yes sharing is caring!!).

Shows have been the best way to network and get exposure for years, being able to chat in a like minded environment is a fantastic opportunity. This is why there are large associations dedicated to promoting connections within the industry such as Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES), the Association for Geographic Information (AGI), the Survey Association (TSA), Surveying Task Force, the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS), as well as all of the other state and country specific associations.


Instagram live videos

Another way to portray information about what we are up to is the use of Instagram Live, better known as IGTV which also gets published onto our Instagram page so they can be seen for longer than 24 hours. Our first IGTV was an informal chat between Elly and Elaine. Mainly to introduce ourselves to those who are not familiar, including how GKiS was started, who we are, what we do, where we are at the moment and what our plans for the rest of 2020 involve.

Closely followed by a catch up with Mat Sullivan about how he teaches kids about Surveying- Making Surveying simple! During lockdown Mat (primary school teacher and writer) taught kids 7-11 years old. He is the talented writer of our GEO Squad comic book who also compiles lesson plans and other resources for GKiS. One very important man in our team, so it was lovely to get him out from behind the scenes.

Elaine (GKiS Founder) started a weekly show called ‘GeoJabber’ over on her channel @geospatialmarketer which has proved very popular. Each week a different geospatial professional is featured, with questions bounced back and forth, these informal chats are very beneficial and valuable.

“During May I decided to take full advantage of Instagram TV (IGTV), a tool within the Instagram platform.  This tool is another way for me to continue to build a connected Global Geospatial Community.  So as usual I dived in head first!

IGTV provides a friendly, easy to use way for Surveyors and Geospatial Professionals to share stories.  From ‘a life as a surveyor’ to ‘what types of marketing work for you!’.

It has proved to be popular!  We launched a competition to ‘name’ the show, now known as GEO Jabber.  People don’t just want me to preach on how they should market their Survey or Geospatial Tech business, they want to hear what real life surveyor owners are doing… so GEO Jabber was born!  Anyone can request a chat with me, so feel free to reach out! 

REELS on the other hand is the rival tool/ platform (I’m still working it out which it is) to China’s TikTok.  This nifty little tool is hidden within your home page.  It’s literally a 15sec video for you to ‘fill ya boots’, go crazy!  Excite! Inspire!  Instagram has been strategic in planning this tool, not only to compete with TikTok but they have worked the ‘reach’ algorithm to take your account further! Meaning who sees it!  It literally triples your ‘who has seen me’ status!  Thus boosting your Instagram account. Sly Instagram!  

I challenged my fellow surveyors with producing REELS and between several of them, they have seen a huge boost in followers as well as reach (visibility of their account).  @slugsy_100 and @ipingsurveygroup both have reached thousands compared to their trusted IGTV tools.   

With anything you use for social media, have a plan and map out a story in order to attract.  Your ultimate goal is to turn followers into clients!”  


Podcasts that GKiS have been involved in this summer:

2nd Aug Geoholics Episode 046– “If you know Elaine and Elly Ball, you know they are a couple of cheeky monkeys. We had a bloody good old chinwag with the ladies that you’re not going to want to miss. Elaine and Elly talked about coming from a family of over-achievers, how they juggle all their passions, the challenges land surveyors face in the UK (same as everywhere else!), how Get Kids in Survey got started and how the GKIS “community” has changed the landscape of the surveying world. We also find out that the Sunday Roast is the only meal one needs to survive in the UK and Bob’s your uncle”. 

19th August The Curiosity Key Podcast– Listen to how an innovative campaign to get kids into surveying turned into a business and lit up the world of geospatial marketing! From taking an idea and marketing campaign to solve a key industry challenge, to inspiring technology companies to think a little bit more creatively about their own marketing. Have a listen to the fun chat which includes overcoming the challenges of marketing technical solutions and getting the non-marketing members of your team excited about marketing, lots of useful information for companies that’s for sure.

22nd Aug Vision 2020 Focus on the Future ConferenceThe APLS-CLSA-NALS Tri State Conference went virtual for the first time! The best bit? We went live on the saturday (diamondback sponsored session) which was also recorded if you attended and wanted to watch it back. For those who didn’t attend the presentation was by Elly & Elaine Ball about the Get Kids into Survey program. Following on from the presentation there was a discussion into outreach ideas and opportunities.



Future events:

Future Geo 2.0- 29th September 09:30am – 12pm BST

Tom Backhouse explains “this is a free and completely virtual networking event, brought to you in association with Digital Leaders, bringing together the geo-community into a common space where all involved can present, share and understand differing perspectives, ideas and goals, helping shape the Future of GeoScience”.

Free tickets are available here.


Intergeo Conference– 13th-15th October

Over 200 exhibitors and around 150 lectures & keynotes from the fields of geoinformation, GIS, 3D, BIM, surveying, smart city, BIM and drones are ready for this year’s DIGITAL conference! This year, all essential elements of the live trade fair will be translated into digital form – conference, exhibitor stands with various interaction options, stages, personal exchange, areas for networking and getting to know each other.