December 16, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier
As we close out 2021 with this last day of news, all I can think is, “What a year!”
It’s been a year of extremes – from record numbers at conferences to more than half of Australia’s population being subjected to months-long lockdowns.
It’s been an incredibly difficult 12 months for the industry and we seem to be ending the year as we started it, on an uncertain note, with the sudden emergence of new COVID-19 variant Omicron sparking rapidly rising cases both in Australia and overseas, and no clarity yet on what it all might mean.
I have been heartened by what I have seen from our industry and our country this year.
Despite the word of the year being “strollout” in honour of Australia’s sluggish start to its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, we are becoming one of the most vaccinated countries in the world. Whatever happens with Omicron, that’s likely to put us in good stead.
And throughout our coverage of the industry this year, we’ve seen so much optimism, love and dedication for this industry even as things were at their worst. Our stories have captured the appetite to meet face to face – possibly stronger than before the pandemic – the strategy, the resilience and the vibrance and energy of the people who are our industry. We’ve seen unity and action and passion. We’ve seen new developments for when some kind of normal re-establishes itself and we’ve seen the excitement for that.
Although I think we still struggle with a bit of an image problem, due to us being invisible when we’re at our best, we’ve also begun to see Governments taking action to support events and recognise their value. Victoria’s government-backed COVID-19 cancellation insurance scheme came into play this week and indications suggest that NSW will launch a similar scheme.
And through it all, we live in a spectacularly beautiful country, which has so much to offer our industry. We have a healthy domestic industry, which can, I believe, sustain itself – with some creativity – until things settle. If I had to be stuck anywhere during a pandemic, this would be the place. We’ve got interstate borders opening and boosters rolling out and vaccine makers promising an Omicron update in 100 days.
Suffice to say, there is hope.
So, finally, to wrap up the year, here are a few of our most-read stories from 2021.
Tributes paid to Penny Lion as BEA baton is passed to Robin Mack
Harrys CEO Gab Robinson urges industry not to give up and to stick together
What no one outside the events industry seems to understand about events
W Melbourne’s Kerrie Mulholland follows her heart
Marriott International’s explosive growth set to continue says Sean Hunt
Jane Ford: Numbers are going through the roof but shows still not profitable
That’s it from us for 2021. From all of us here at micenet, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and we’ll see you back here in January.
Our first newsletter back will be Monday January 10, 2022.