NAME: Tim Birley

BUSINESS NAME: Pan Pacific Hotels Group

POSITION: National business development manager, MICE, entertainment and sport

What are you working on right now in anticipation of a return of events?

The Pan Pacific Hotels Group team is working on future plans that will enable us all to hit the ground running when the Covid 19 situations improves and the borders all open with a different approach to domestic and international business. This includes a way of how we maintain contact with our existing clients to remain connected and how we will do business in the new era post Covid-19. We recognise that the trajectory of recovery from Covid-19 may not be linear and we need to include strategies to enable our business to respond quickly and effectively to changes in the social and travel restrictions.

What’s one lesson you have learnt during the COVID-19 lockdown period?

That the strength of our connections to each other, including family, friends, colleagues and clients are among the most important things and that it is imperative that we work to develop and nourish these bonds. We depend on these disparate connections in our lives and it is in fact these connections that we need to give us the strength, resilience and capacity to come through this pandemic…changed but stronger.

What do you value more now than you may have pre-COVID-19?

I have always valued my life in general and those around me in my work and private life. What I value even more now are the unprecedented human and humanitarian challenges that face us all and the need to react quickly to the way we need to do things.

How do you think events will change in the future?

There is a lot to be said about the technology available for hybrid meetings in regional areas. Not everyone is able to access the same high tech infrastructure required to attend an online meeting. It can depend on the generation that is using the technology as not all of us are tech savvy. Like past events that have brought worlds to a standstill, we have always recovered and once a cure is found then once again we hopefully will return to a new and revised normal

Why are events important?

Events have always brought people together in the one space where either relationships are renewed, new relationships are formed and ideas are shared on a common platform. While events remain of critical importance for the exchange of information, technology and resources, their ability to foster new ways of thinking and hasten technological advancement through personal interaction cannot be understated.