A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about the impact of the pandemic on me and my business, and about the inspiration I felt from event industry professionals banding together to admit our shared struggle while also forging a path forward.
Today, I am writing with a much different set of emotions. I am sad, so sad, that the Delta variant has taken hold and filled hospital beds, compromising care for all who find themselves in need. And I wonder how long we will be in a health care crisis that disrupts so many aspects of our personal and professional lives.
Last month, I felt hopeful that the world was reopening and my challenges were around preparing for a ramp up. This month, I’m hunkering back down into survival mode. I feel anxious that the support from government programs has ended and the revenue I forecasted feels in doubt, and frustrated that some colleagues are pushing for in-person events when that event could have very real, even deadly outcomes.
At the same time, I feel a stronger sense of connection and belonging in the events industry than I ever have. When I feel the stab of fear that my business is being left behind and confused about what’s actually happening, it’s been so cathartic to turn to our community for support.
As part of giving back, I’ve been volunteering my time for an industry event that was focusing on hybrid event possibilities. Days ago, the announcement went out that the event’s being postponed because we don’t feel comfortable asking attendees and our crews to come together in-person right now.
I’m proud to say that we have decided to keep the first day of the originally planned three-day event. We’re going to try to recreate a feeling and experience similar to our planning meetings for attendees, knowing that we need each other’s strength as our industry once again regroups.
I’m grateful for this sense of community, which feels like a safety net underneath the tightrope of uncertainty. As I have the privilege of knowing Evia CEO Hilary Laney, I’d like to close with her inspiring words: