Hindsight in 2020: Perspective from Someone in the Live Events Biz
by Tracey Daniels
When a waitress brings a glass with no lid to your 8 yr-old and you think it’ll be fine.
When you think the brakes that have been squealing for weeks can last until your next paycheck.
When you wear your new leather pants to an outdoor concert in August.
Let’s face it, there are a lot of bad things that you could’ve seen coming. A pandemic might’ve been a little tougher to call. And the issue of race relations coming to a head…well, maybe we should’ve seen that.
As we wait for murder hornets and the next catastrophe, the 6,640,000 of us who have jobs in the live events industry are also waiting. Some have been furloughed. The lucky ones, whose companies were granted money from the federal PPP (Paycheck Protection Program), are likely to be back on furlough soon, as that money runs out. Employees still working are likely doing it at a reduced salary or for free in the hopes that things bounce back sooner than it seems they will.
Add homeschooling, the directive to stay home/be safe and possible sick or lost loved ones to that equation and that, my friends, is a recipe for anxiety and despair.
But keep in mind:
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Necessity is the mother of invention. Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
If none of those old tropes seem to hit home at this moment in time, remember that this too shall pass. Kidding.
There is evidence, though, to support that all is not lost. In the wake of 9/11 and the 2008 economic crisis, trade shows and live events took a big hit and came back bigger than ever. While things will definitely look different when things return to ‘normal’ – safety measures, social distancing, new guidelines for sanitization – live events will be back.
After months in isolation, the desire to connect with friends and colleagues and get ‘back to business’ will be so great, everyone’s first event back will be like giving and getting the great big hug everyone has been craving.