I recently had a call with a long-lost friend. This was someone with whom I had not spoken in more than 15 years. He is someone whose career ran parallel with mine in the trade show space until the sameness of the experience prompted him to ‘step off the bus’ and pursue more creative digital projects for individual companies.
Our conversation offered a chance to catch up and reminisce about what has happened in the market, as well as discuss what we thought was the future for the trade show business. That business is still relevant to my friend, since event organizers remain among his clients.
We discussed the divisive political climate, the impact of COVID, the decline of the USA in the world’s estimation, and what all that means for the event business. What is the message to take away from what’s happened over the last 24 months? There’s been upheaval, the demise of businesses, tremendous pressure on industry participants, reduced revenues, and layoffs. In other words, there’s been lots of misery. Given what’s happened, most have chosen to focus on keeping their heads down and trying to survive.
Yet there’s another way to view what’s happening for those brave enough to raise their heads and see: opportunity.
At an event industry meeting in August, rather than commiserate about how bad things were, I managed to upset someone by mentioning that things actually were going great for my business. I asserted that what’s happening actually offers a magnificent opportunity for anyone who’s willing to take it on.
My friend who pursues digital projects concurred with my opinion. There’s opportunity available right now if you choose to see it that way. Or you can focus on what’s failed, what’s worked before but is no longer possible, and bemoan what’s been lost.
As I have more conversations, I find that industry folks secretly concur. I hope they are spreading the seeds in ways that help to make it happen for all. We all can learn from what’s happened by sharing our insights with each other. After all, we want to be motivated to dig ourselves out of the morass that’s resulted from what has happened.
Are you with us? In every disaster, there’s opportunity for those who are open to take the next action and creative enough to find it. Why can’t it be you?