February 4, 2022 | By Warwick Merry

The events industry has pivoted far more than nearly any other over the last two years. It seems every time we see a light at the end of the tunnel, it is yet another express train of delight bearing down on us, from which we must quickly pivot away.

It is exhausting.

In my conversations with other speakers, event organisers and event professionals, they share with me how exhausting it can be constantly changing and not really achieving their goals. Some of the management team then questions, “so what have you been doing?” Not the ideal question to ask mid-pivot.

With the increased desire for face-to-face events, it is heart-breaking to have yet another surge of COVID cases that forces yet another pivot. We had such hopes for 2022 but it hasn’t been the best start to the year.

So what will 2022 hold? Only the brave dare hypothesise.

We event professionals are nothing if not brave. Events will continue. And each one of them will have a COVID-Safe plan. Each one of them will have a virtual backup plan (where they can). Each one of them will entertain some kind of hybrid possibility. Every one of them will have all cancellation clauses inspected in fine detail. Each one of them will have a postponement plan – in the unlikely event that it just cannot proceed.

State based events may continue to be the norm. Different ways of sharing common content will be sought, either by pre-recorded sessions, speakers streamed in or different speakers in each state giving the same presentations.

Our delegates are dreaming of catching up with their colleagues and friends. Our sponsors fantasise about spending time in their booths while chatting to industry professionals. Our industry just wants to meet up again and forget the pandemic and its impact – even if it is just for one night.

Pivoting is so much the every day for us. It always has been. Agility IS our industry. Bravery has become second nature. Regardless of everything that has happened for the last couple of years, we still have hope.

Here’s to a better year and good times ahead.

Warwick Merry is a certified speaking professional, dual certified virtual presenter and past national president of Professional Speakers Australia. He hosts and produces online events globally.