Our Firm – KADIMA village – acts as catalysts to inspire private and public business sectors to think another way about opportunities and challenges. By tapping into emerging stakeholder engagement research, using a method to obtain better clarity and interactive technology to enable optimal decision making; coupled with 40 years business experience under our belt, we support and work with transformational leadership.
In this Mindset Is Everything article, we offer insights about how might the travel industry and business event community use another approach to get on the other side, of the pandemic, more sustainably?
A big part of my role, at KADIMA village, is to help leaders and their stakeholders look for blindspots and connect it to opportunities or challenges. This requires a lot of reading, probing, sensing, and listening. Here’s some blunt take away relevant to where the travel industry and business event community finds itself in and if it’s to coexist with covid-19...
There is no going back to normal.
There is uncertainty, uncertainty, and uncertainty.
You cannot transform what you do, until you first shift how you think.
Observation: I’ve been digesting recovery plans by Canadian destination marketing companies, government travel agencies and global business event associations.
What’s interesting is that the thinking and plans are fait accompli.
While we are still in the Initial Pandemic Period and when Canada’s Governments are considering even stricter travel restrictions.
According to Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a physician, medical sociologist, professor at Yale University, and author of Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live, there are 3-stages to a pandemic that spans 4-5 years. The Initial Pandemic Period, Intermediate Pandemic Period, and Post Pandemic Period. Covid-19 Initial Pandemic Period is expected to last from 2020 to early 2022. Post Pandemic Period won’t start until 2025.
Since we do not know how Covid-19 will develop recovery plans derived from shoring up existing resources; communicating with and tapping into the same pool of stakeholders and thinking; and collecting, analysing, and disbursing past data will not get organisations, in travel and business events, on the other side.
Unlearning Tip: You cannot transform what you do, until you first shift how you think. That’s the deal.
In every business event ‘recovery plan’ I read; three quarters of plans are dedicated to recapping what the business event world was like pre-pandemic. Followed by a detailed account of the annihilation of business event numbers and dollars that once were. Then, we get to the go forward plan. Full of predictions and guess work acquired from stakeholders, with the most to lose and gain in the business event community. One Agency offered plans for scenarios from best to worst. Might as well put the scenarios on a Russian Roulette Wheel, spin it and hope it lands on the best one.
Our beloved travel industry and business event community we all once knew is gone. Sure… people will eventually meet face to face. Yes…initially there will be some need for ‘traditional meeting designs’. Here's the thing. That’s not going to take place now or in the foreseeable future.
To think business events have only one purpose one use - to enable travel - is a very narrow view. Thinking this way is missing opportunities for business events to evolve to something else.
It prevents the possibility of another way to think about the situation. It strangles the possibility for innovation.
Does anybody really want this??
When I had my event marketing firm, I would tell our clients – you want to use your events to help you lead with knowledge and not follow someone else.
I believe covid-19 presents the biggest opportunity for the business events community to be ‘the community’ and even the 'industry' many want it to be. The industry that leads the world and gets it on the other side of this.
Insights: There is nothing wrong with the research and tools we have available. That said, it’s how we use them that matters. It requires a willingness to shift your mindset and the ability to understand the limits of what you know and adapt it to a different context from the one which it was acquired.
Last Word: The most difficult work is often letting go of what is comfortable and what we have always done. And yet what is comfortable now was once also uncomfortable.