One of the many things we love about the world of meetings and events is the resourcefulness which is ingrained in the industry. Adapting to change is something we as an industry do really well. This is particularly clear in the current pandemic (or “seismic shift” as one keynote speaker recently referred to it on a webinar).
While we are very sad that we can’t be out and about visiting clients and venues or operating live events, we are making the most of this time. The opportunities to network, upskill and keep a finger on the pulse of this fast-moving industry abound. Hotel groups, venues, industry forums, destination management companies and representation companies have given us so many opportunities to improve our knowledge of hot topics and of their properties and destinations. We are gratefully immersing ourselves in as many sessions as we can, improving our knowledge base by the day and are excited to bring this learning to our clients and delegates as we move forward.
In the last couple of weeks alone, we have become the archetypal armchair travellers and we have:
Had a dip in the thermal waters in Budapest and explored some of Hungary’s 4,000 caves
Visited the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and then popped up a mountain in Solden to release our inner James Bond
Eaten at the iconic Dancing House in Prague before enjoying a beer or two in the Czech countryside
Enjoyed the view from the Mount of Olives and explored the tunnels of the Western Wall in Jerusalem before getting muddy at the Dead Sea
Harnessed the Lawrence of Arabia vibe in the Jordanian desert and been blown away by the beauty of Petra
Taken in Dubai’s pearl diving past and looked forward to the opening of the Museum of the Future
Marvelled at the imposing Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and had an adrenalin thrill on the world’s longest zipline in Ras Al Khaimah
Partied in Hamburg and sprayed graffiti in Berlin
Hidden from the vampires in Transylvania and driven along some of the best roads in the world
Had a private tour of the Kremlin and met a cosmonaut
Eaten delicious mussels and oysters in Montenegro before sampling Rakia in Serbia
Whizzed around the circuit at the Algarve’s Racing School and boogied the night away at a moonlight beach party
Learnt how to flamenco and sampled exquisite olive oil in Andalucia
Scuba-dived in Fiji before watching the sun go down over the luscious landscape
Marvelled at the glow worm cave in Waitamo and skied in Queenstown, NZ
Swam with dolphins in the waters of the Azores before having a cuppa at Europe’s only tea plantation
Stayed connected in an urban co-working space in Dusseldorf (while socially distancing of course!)
Supported with turtle preservation and coral restoration projects in The Seychelles
Aside from destination and property knowledge, we are studiously getting to grips with all things virtual and hybrid. We are firm believers that face to face is best, but at times like this, we pride ourselves on being nimble and flexible enough to adapt to what is possible NOW. Previously sceptical, over the course of a three-day virtual event about … virtual events (!) we began to see more and more ways online events could work for our clients. From exhibitions and large conferences, to more intimate training and team-building sessions, we have learnt that anything is possible, and we are excited to explore this exciting online world even more! There is also a huge focus on what post-pandemic live events will look like and we are keeping a finger on the pulse of all things process and protocol.
We are a sociable bunch and are loving our weekly zoom chats as a team – we have shared recipes and taught each other new skills, taken part in quizzes and just generally had a good natter and put the world to rights.
Home-schooling has been more enjoyable (bearable?!) some days than others….. Between us we have Reception through to University ages covered and we’re not planning a career change to teaching anytime soon! We are increasingly convinced the teachers have the patience of Saints and deserve those long holidays!
Baking has featured a lot in our lives (when we can get hold of flour that is!). From the obligatory lockdown banana loaf to delicious VE day treats, our mixing bowls have been busier than ever in recent weeks.
Thankfully we also have more time for walking or running to offset the calories from our baking creations! From marathon training, to dog walking (our dogs have never been so fit and tired!) to a socially-distanced mooch with a friend, we are enjoying the unusually clement British weather, lots of fresh air and the chance to appreciate our lovely little corner of the world.