Happy New Year
Well, here we are. We have been waiting almost 10 months to say, Welcome 2021, what took you so long.
Typically, when composing the first letter of the New Year, I review what I said the previous year and start framing the letter by talking about how proud we are of the team we have built.
Last year’s letter was all about thanking everyone, in advance, for the upcoming year of 2020. I forecasted record setting revenues, new opportunities, membership growth and a whole host of positive expectations.
The way last year started out you perhaps thought, Scott may just be clairvoyant. Our positive expectations were not based on fortune telling but based on our confidence in you and our proven track record. Last year, I penned the following words:
“I am thanking you now for the challenges you will inherit, for overcoming difficult positions, for rising above deemed unfair obstacles while accepting accountability for actions created by others, or circumstance beyond your control”. January 7, 2020.
The events of last year, most certainly created circumstances beyond your control. These words were originally written to express my confidence in your ability to be adaptable, and these words wax poetically. You have undoubtedly shown that whether by choice, or circumstances, you have risen above expectations again.
Last year it may have felt as if we were cheated out of opportunities to showcase our talents to the fullest. Our corporate and administration staff, while handcuffed by circumstances, had to adapt to a new way of conducting business. My admiration for your ability to remain calm and to adapt to needs and expectations is truly remarkable. You Rock!
City managers and crews were limited in opportunities to impress clients with your I&D skills and problem-solving techniques. During this past year, I have learned some incredible lessons. I was reminded I need to practice what I preach… patience is a virtue. While this past year has been exhausting, the process of recovery is a long road and you simply cannot give that a deadline. I also now have the humbling first-hand experience of what our City Managers go through on a daily basis, the difficult job of deciding who works and who is going home.
What I do hope, is that when you make those decisions that your employees show you the same respect and empathy shown to me these last 10 months. I will be forever grateful for your words of encouragement, support, and positive thoughts.
I see no point in reviewing what the Global Pandemic has done to our industry. It is clear, that just because the calendar page has turned, the crisis is not over. This remains a process that will last for some time to come. Industry Associations believe recovery is on the way; however, your patience and fortitude will continue to be tested. Our confidence in each one of you, also provides confidence in each one of us in the Sho-Link office.
Recently I saw a quote that I feel speaks true to the culture of Sho-Link and exemplifies what and who we are.
“We are NOT a team because we work together. We ARE a team because we Respect, Trust and Care for each other”.
This is the reason I have high confidence in the upcoming year. This Sho-Link thing we have is extraordinary, we have great advantages and unique opportunities that other companies may be missing. When we use words such as Team and Partnership, we are not simply talking about Sho-Link employees, we are including our Members, and their clients. The support of our Membership Owners of 27 years has always stood out as our differentiator.
While no one has the crystal ball that will foresee what this New Year will bring, it is very evident from industry leaders that every day there will be progress made to move forward in the Face to Face and Event industries. While we may lose some personnel and leaders to new adventures, we will also see new opportunities for others during the year. Success in this Industry has always been about change and adapting to those changes. We will stay on that road to success no matter how bumpy it may seem at times. We will rebound back to fruitful times, understanding that we will not be starting new, but rebuilding with proven knowledge of how to succeed.
So, how do we move forward? What actions do we take to accommodate the next steps that will follow? We start by staying focused on opportunities. Opportunities that may even take us outside our usual comfort zone. We need to stay connected to our members and their staffs. We need to stay connected with organizations such as EACA, EDPA and other industry associations. We must be willing to share knowledge with others in the industry. We must react to opportunities quickly while understanding that the process of rebounding is exactly that, a process.
My thoughts to you,
Keep showing acts of Kindness, I have been on the receiving end of kindness and I know that it makes a difference.
Keep showing acts of Patience, we have all learned tomorrow comes fast enough.
Keep showing acts of Empathy, teach by example, you understand how important this is when you are the benefactor of someone else’s unselfishness.
Keep looking out for each other. You will be rewarded.
Stay informed, Knowledge is not overrated.
After all the positive things you do for others, remember that your wellness is important to so many others. Find time to do something important for yourself and your family.
Whether you are a Member, Sho-Link employee, Union personnel, one of our Affiliates, or Vendors, I suspect you will all remember the last show you did before the Industry came to a halt, and that is good. Be careful to not carry too much of the burden of 2020 with you into this new year. Forward, Forward, Forward.
Myself, I am growing impatient, waiting to share a sandwich or taco with you from the high dining experience of the food trucks that are such an important part of our daily show floor routine.
Thank you, see you soon.
Your Partner on the Show Floor