We share tears and turn our faces to better days.

Here we are April the 2nd. Lockdown, quarantine, businesses going bankrupt and jobs lost. Disaster? Undoubtedly. However, if everyone plays their part diligently, I believe the world will eventually recover and be able move on with some important lessons learnt along the way. Louis Vuitton will move, from making hand sanitizer for free, back to manufacturing high priced fashion items which we will never be able to afford, and from this we may start to feel some sense of normality.

So let’s ask the question ‘What role will you and the exhibition industry play?’. Strange as this may sound, COVID-19 might have freed us from a lot of clutter in our minds. Certainly not from worry, panic attacks or even our own homes, but time to think and evaluate; what is important versus what is urgent. Where should you put your considerable talent and energy? While we ponder these questions, realise that you still have the power to determine the role you, your company and the people who work for you will take.

Without a doubt the views may vary how we as an industry will survive but some questions remain ever present ‘What form will it take?’ and ‘What function will we have?’. So, while we sit on our laurels with events cancelled for the next 5 months, we should not forget what we do. We make miracles happen every day. We solve problems we deliver the impossible. We are an industry of problems solvers and solution makers. With these talents and this time we have an opportunity to figure out these questions and start planning for our industry’s future.

COVID-19 has revealed some of our greatest weaknesses, both within our industry and as a globalized civilization. We all grieve for Italy when we tune in every night to see them applaud their healthcare workers. We despair with them as they fight, like we do, to try and suppress the spread of the virus. We are connected globally as a species regardless of where we are. COVID-19 has only served as a stark reminder of this.

Our industry epitomizes this connectedness. We work across borders, currencies, languages and time differences. We connect business’s needs and wants. Our roles may shift with governments becoming our biggest clients. Our first jobs during this time will, in all likeliness, be to build temporary hospitals and assist with the setup of testing sites. Our relevance will remain, but our industry will undoubtedly look different in the future. What will you do to re-build our future?

I would love to hear back from the industry to hear your thoughts and the first steps you are planning post COVID-19.