Without question, the nine months since Covid-19 eclipsed our lives have been long months. Very long months. The event industry quickly responded to the news of the pandemic and made adjustments to ensure the health and safety of event planning professionals, clients and participants. The Conference Center at GTCC postponed large gatherings and eventually held limited/modified in-person and remote events. We instituted enhanced cleaning procedures and began following the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In short, we did all we possibly could to make sure we all stayed safe, healthy and virus-free while smartly hosting events.
It is safe to say that we all had hoped the novel coronavirus would have just lasted a few weeks, max. Nobody would have imagined that Covid-19 would have lingered and become an even bigger issue in the months that followed, but it has. Although our country did “hunker down” for some time, business had to resume so we could all provide for our families and help get our economy back on track. However, with masks, extra cleaning procedures, social distancing, and more, the way we have resumed business looks very different than it did pre-Covid.
At the nine month mark, a majority of people in our industry would say they are doing their best. In truth, event industry professionals have a remarkable ability to exercise resiliency and creativity. This pandemic has caused everyone to dig deep and use these qualities to their fullest. The result has been impressive, but it is important to remind everyone, including ourselves, that the race we are running to full recovery is a marathon, not a sprint.
We realize people are getting what is referred to as pandemic fatigue. They are growing weary of Covid news and some people may even be relaxing their personal safety measures, thinking that “it has been long enough.” News of vaccines being on the horizon may also give the false sense that all of this will soon be over. However, manufacturing, distribution and administration of the vaccine doses will happen over the coming months. In the event industry, we know that beating this virus will take time, which means that business recovery will also take time. We all need to practice patience.
We have slowly started to resume a revised model of “business as usual” at The Conference Center at GTCC. As is now the norm across all industry sectors, we encourage everyone to wear a mask, frequently wash their hands and maintain a safe, social distance of at least six feet. In our industry, we are hosting smaller in-person events, virtual events and hybrid experiences for businesses and organizations. We continue to keep the participant experience top-of-mind, and remain dedicated to finding fresh and exciting approaches for clients to engage their participants while staying safe. We enjoy brainstorming and thinking outside of the box with clients, helping them plan events that are not only successful on paper, but also educational, empowering and have long-lasting impact. If we are smart about the way we move forward, we can continue along the road to recovery in the event industry and take baby steps to resuming a more normal approach to life. We need to keep up a slow, steady pace and remember that we need to conserve our energy so we can successfully complete this pandemic marathon. Without a doubt, together, we will win the race and be better than ever!