On the 18th of March 2020, the event industry streamed an online meeting called “Save the Event Industries”, because one of the hardest hit sectors in this time of crisis is ours. Whether it’s a conference, an awards gala or a sporting event, it’s been cancelled. But, if there’s a group of people that is accustomed to curve balls, that can handle a crisis or come up with a creative solution, it’s event people. So, we all immediately sprang into action, thinking of new and inventive ways of live streaming, creating gorgeous remote studio set-ups, innovative technical solutions, online concerts, online content solutions and more.

Now, with the complete lockdown, many of these solutions have become null-and-void.

This was another blow. But, one of the most important messages at this time is that we need to stay positive and realise that there is, indeed, a light at the end of this tunnel. And that light is the inherent, instinctual need for human contact. This crisis won’t last forever and, when it’s over, there will be a thirst for reconnection and a newfound joy in the company of others.

So, we continue to plan, we continue to brainstorm and create with a view to the future. We also continue to research and experiment with online forums of which there are many.

People have always loved live events and there is no reason why they would stop loving them. In fact, more and more we are hearing that, although online meetings are convenient, and online connecting allows one to not feel totally alone, these forums will never be able to replace live interaction.

As we progress through this time, the need to be outdoors with others at sports events, to learn and create with others at conferences, to enjoy recognition and reward at awards events in the company of one’s colleagues and families will only grow more intense.

And so, the message for the event industry is a positive one. Use this time creatively and stay positive. Humans will always need each other, not the online version of each other, but the warm, comforting, joyful flesh-and-blood version of each other.

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Claudia Eicker-Harris
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