Following more than a year of unprecedented global impact by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, on our own industry and many others, we are beginning to see new signs of hope and positivity in many global regions, although others are still in the heat of the pandemic. Until everyone is protected and vaccinated, and global travel can resume safely across all borders, there are still many challenges to be faced, support to be provided, and creative new directions to be explored together.
All that noted, as we look ahead to the future, we understand that recovery for our industry will take time. The analogy of a ‘dimmer switch’ versus a ‘light switch’ is a good one. Nice weather and the removal of masks by the limited percentage of those who have been fully vaccinated are not the panacea for all of our challenges. Staffs must be rebuilt; financial reserves must be replenished; new health and safety considerations (and their related impact on both revenues and expenses) must be taken into account; the limited availability and/or rising costs of mandatory/essential insurance coverages, products, services, and volunteers must be considered and planned for; government support is still being sought and waited on to offset future risk and replace current losses; travel restrictions - impacting attendees, performers and others - must be planned for; and the ability to require proof of vaccinations and/or negative testing results continue to vary widely across state, province and country borders, as well as selected venues. And above all, short-term risk must be balanced in favor of long-term financial health and sustainability.