Leadership / 09.22.21
We’ll Do This Our Way
Editor’s Note: This letter was originally published by INTIX media partner VenuesNow in the October 2021 VenuesNow INTIX Quarterly Issue.
I was thinking the other day that those of us who are live entertainment professionals are the lucky ones. Oh, I know in these times that look a lot like the “end times” (pestilence, floods, fires, drought, strife) there are days that it may not seem like we are not so lucky at all. But we are rubber bands — we’re elastic, we stretch, we conform, we reimagine. It’s in our DNA, and this resiliency and ability to maneuver and adapt are the keystones of our strengths and exactly the right prescription for today’s world. We have always been ready for the other shoe to drop and for the unexpected to happen. We’re planners and doers, and we are emergency experts. In fact, we share a certain character trait where we rather like the chaos, the unexpected, the off-balance and the drama. It’s that constant reshuffling of the puzzle pieces and then putting it all together (on a deadline) that is our strength. In this business, it has always been a strong character asset, and when it is balanced and channeled appropriately, there has never been much that we couldn’t tackle and win.
We are clearly in the fourth wave of this nasty plague of ours, but this time it feels different. There is no longer the talk about “the light at the end of the tunnel” but, rather, there is a dogged resolution and pragmatism of head down, next step and an attitude of simply fighting it to win. Our industry shut down by no action of our own but as a reaction to, quite literally, a plague that shut down the world. For so many months, we were at the mercy of outside forces and were forced to be continually reactionary. But can you feel and see the shift? What I see is we are no longer just accepting or reacting but, rather, we are marching to the collective drumbeat of taking charge — we’re going to do this, here is what will happen — and we uniformly are standing up to proactively draw lines in the sand. If the outside forces have conspired to put every conceivable roadblock in our way, we have figured out a way of moving them out of the way, leaping over them, blowing them up, taking a firm and loud stance, and creating a broad and deep wall of power saying that “We won’t be stopped.” That is inspiring. That is heartening. That is hopeful. It feels good to say, “Stop, you’ll do it our way.” Doesn’t that just feel good?
Our businesses, organizations, venues, entertainers, unions, teams, players and not-for-profits across every vertical around the world are now leading the way back to live. The numbers in our industry saying “Get a shot (prove it, test it, wear a mask) or you don’t come” are on the right side of history and staggering. From the large to the small, from the mighty to the fledgling, our people are taking back control over how we operate and how we will return to live, safely and on our terms. I, for one, am incredibly proud of each of you and for what you are doing. It takes great courage, and even a lot of exhaustion, to stand up and say, “This is it.”
There are times, and arguably this time in history is among them, where our spirit is seemingly being attacked from all sides and there doesn’t seem to be an end to what is being thrown at us. But what has seen us through and will continue to see us through is our elasticity, our nimbleness, our deep need to rise and our resiliency. Be strong, my friends and colleagues … there is safety and consistency in our messaging, and we are truly doing the right thing and doing this together. We all know that we have built a strong foundation, and we will only take flight from here. There is more to come, but this battle has already been won, even as we speak, because we dare to stand up. We are the lucky ones!
In the spirit of going live and following in the footsteps of our brethren, INTIX 2022 will return to a live-and-in-person conference and exhibition. The live industry continues to show us the way, and we will welcome our guests Jan. 18-21 to the Rosen Shingle Creek resort and hotel in Orlando, Florida, in the same safe, healthy and transparent way we have learned from you that go before us. Our program of industry experts is under final construction and will be announced soon; our best-of-industry exhibition is a strong seller on its way to a sellout and is a testament to the strength and support of vendor partners; our partnerships are in flight, and it is exciting to be working with each of them on their brand showcases; and registration is open and robust. We invite you to join us to get some inspiration and to learn, network and celebrate. You can check it out and register by visiting the INTIX 2022 Annual Conference & Exhibition page on our website.
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Tags: ticketing pros