This morning a friend of mine wished me “Happy New Year”! “Happy New Year” I responded, then I thought, that absolutely sounds like a splendid idea… a NEW year. Let’s do it.
So, here we are, a new year, 2022. So much to look forward to, innovative ideas, new technology, new opportunities, and new experiences.
I do not see the need to revisit the craziness of the last 2 years. We all asked, did the time go by quickly or did it seem to drag on longer than a winter in North Dakota? We all know how we were affected by the Pandemic, both professionally and personally. However, you should look back with pride on what we endured; we forged through the challenges and were diligent to remain positive and hopeful. For many of us, the last 2 years will forever change our perspective and redefine our priorities, both professionally and personally. Sho-Link remained resilient because of people like you.
You, our City Managers, our Administration staff, and the backbone of our industry, our union, and non-union crews. To the Sho-Link corporate management team, you were simply outstanding. While we all hold different titles and degrees of responsibilities, you all have proven yourselves an extraordinary group of individual leaders.
Your commitment, dedication and unwavering support of Sho-Link has always and continues to humble me. Rest assured, the personal sacrifices you have endured, and the impact this has had on your families has not gone unnoticed.
You are all deserving of more than a simple thank you, and I look forward to getting things back on track this year. So, with that I say, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, and THANK YOU. You have all earned the right to walk with a swagger of confidence and accomplishment. Please remember to not confuse confidence with arrogance. But walk proud.
For me, an unmistakable “feel good” moment was when we were able to bring back our operational personnel.
What does 2022 hold for Sho-Link? Now really, if I learned anything over the last two years, it is without doubt not to make predictions. However, I do feel this New Year holds many opportunities to feel optimistic. Sure, you say, easy enough to use the word optimism, it cannot get any worse. I use this word, based on several criteria.
First, reviewing and analyzing industry reports. Second, and maybe a stronger indicator is the accelerated upturn in our member’s confidence. Third, the increased rebound of shows opening and rescheduling that has taken part over the last 4 months. The industry is obviously reacting optimistically as travel restrictions are being adjusted and vaccination levels continue to rise. Our biggest indicator is the last quarter of 2021 which had revenues running at an increase of between 50% to 75% compared to the same period in 2020.
With all this positive forecasting, you undoubtedly will or already have experienced new challenges on the show floor. COVID protocols will be with us for a long time to follow. Will labor supplies be able to meet labor demands? Will crews remember how to ride the bike? Will I be able to regain my momentum?
Challenges… you have faced them before, and you always find a way to adapt. I have nothing but the utmost confidence in your leadership to endure, strengthen your position and persevere through new challenges. I will promise to give you any and all the support you ask for; you will not be expected too stand alone.
I have relearned the importance of standing together. I have witnessed the impact of people that have donated and obligated their personal time to advocate on behalf of the industry. Through their efforts and commitments to inform our local leaders, congressional representatives and our legislators of our challenges, they have provided awareness of our business struggles. In doing so, they have brought national attention to the impact of our work on our nation’s economy.
Here is what I ask of you in return. Support your livelihood, support your competitors, and support anyone and everyone that plays a role in this business. Be kind, be generous and gracious to your industry. Be thankful and share your knowledge with others. Be appreciative to our Affiliates and vendors, without them our success would be minimalized. Be confident, walk proud and represent Sho-Link as a company that supports this amazing industry.
To our members and owners and your clients. You are what differentiates who we are . It is a privilege to Partner with you.
A toast to 2022. “We are so glad to finally meet you.”
President / Sho-Link Inc.