I have worked in the event industry since I was 17 years old, so a long time! In June 2019 I was ready to leave as I was struggling with the pace and just could not find a balance between being in a service led industry and my family. With the onset of the pandemic my leaving date was brought forward to June 2020, and I spent a year ‘off’.
We all know what a year it has been, and my dreams of mini-breaks and spa days were swiftly replaced with home schooling and Zoom calls with family. I watched from the side lines of LinkedIn as the initial shock wore off and I saw an increasing number of ‘actively seeking new opportunities’ titles on colleagues, friends and distant connections. Some chose to take a different path and have left the world of events; some were able to adapt into the new virtual world and still more (and most of my connections) have held on believing that live events will once again have a place in the world.
If it was to be compared to watching a very slow horror movie what I now see is the ever-increasing light of hope at the end of the tunnel – the dawn after the long dark night if you will. People far more eloquent than I have talked about how events are so important for many businesses, and I will not attempt to paraphrase or repeat that here.
What I do want to focus on are the positives that I have taken from the last year and how I am going to use them as Potting Shed Events grows over the coming months and years.
Firstly, the power of people – communities rose to the challenge of supporting each other, strangers connected to help each other, the volume of free content in the world increased beyond anything we have seen before from Joe Wicks to free online courses, businesses adapted to support their communities and their customers, in turn, supported them. In the business I will aim to give more than we receive, our doors will always be open, and we will support causes that mean a lot to us as a team.
The second realisation for me was that I have a choice. I am very lucky to have that choice, and I live in a country and an age that affords me choice. As a business we will choose to work in a way that benefits our clients, our team and those around us. We choose to enjoy what we do, to learn from every opportunity, event, or challenge that we come across.
The final cornerstone for me is to be ethical. I can almost hear my old team rolling their eyes at me as I talk about doing ‘the right thing’ but I believe that you can be successful without being underhand, bullish, sneaky, or arrogant. As a business we will be open, honest, and truly transparent to our clients and our partners. We want to share our success instead of being successful at the detriment of other people, we want to create a business that we can be proud of.
I am so happy that I still get to work in the event industry and hope that, with the launch of Potting Shed Events, I will have the opportunity to continue to learn and be inspired by those around me.