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Event Professionals are all Asking the Same Question: What Now?

By Eric Murphy, Founder & Managing Director

The amount of information we have access to is mind-boggling. Since the middle of March, there has been a flood of blogs, infographics, whitepapers, and webinars produced by businesses slowed down or halted by the coronavirus. If there was ever a time to learn pretty much anything you want, it’s now.


But, don’t forget what you already know. While many of us aren’t in the best mindset at the moment, and we really don’t know what the new normal will look like, we are human beings. We have a deep-rooted survival instinct that can never be underestimated and we are often smarter than we know; as insecurities, doubts, and fears cloud our self-esteem. The reality is we are all capable of just about anything, especially when the odds are stacked against us.

As event professionals, we tend to get obsessed with the details, and then we obsess over them again. This is a useful skill... until it’s not. The details we are now obsessed with are not about guest experience, décor, or how the lighting is going to shape the room. They are about our livelihoods, our industry, and our future. There’s no way to sugar coat it.

Coronavirus has decimated our world and the chance of all of us coming back to what we knew before is zero. This is terrifying, but these moments have actually spawned some of the best innovations in history. Do a Google search for “companies that were born during recession”, and you will be blown away at the names you see.

Instead of focusing energy on how you can get back to the “new normal,” I say, focus your energy on how you CREATE your “new _______ .”

Event professionals are highly skilled in creative thinking, execution, and human connection. Those are skills that can be transferred into a myriad of other industries, and this is the best time to blaze a new trail. Why? Because most people are doing just the opposite. They’re frozen in fear.

So, back to my original point. You already have skills that can be used for MANY things. Sure, you may not want to take a risk and start your own company (it’s not for everyone), but you SHOULD take a risk and find a way to evolve. Bet on yourself. Bring an event professional’s perspective and creativity to a different industry. Both Elon Musk and Mark Cuban believe that, despite the rapid acceleration of technology, being able to think creatively will be a “key to survival.”

Creativity and innovation have been at the forefront of inventions, discoveries, and breakthroughs in all industries so, it makes sense this will be how people, and their careers, continue to prosper.

Now, I’m not saying you should not continue to learn new things. In fact, I think it is absolutely essential. Read all you can. Be a sponge. Knowledge is power (for so many reasons), but I also believe that humans sometimes have “the curse of knowledge,” which is when we believe that everyone knows what we know, or because doing what we do feels like second nature, we underestimate our knowledge and its value. Don’t! Your future depends on it.

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