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    Other Industries need experienced Exhibition and Events “Water Carriers”

    Written by Doug Rix


    Just like Rassie Erasmus re-inventing himself and becoming the most over qualified Springbok Rugby “Water Boy” of all time, many of our Exhibition and Events Industry professionals have needed to shift, pivot and hustle themselves into new roles, Industries, Career Paths and Day to Day Jobs just to try and sustain their existence following NO WORK due to the HARD LOCKDOWN restrictions placed on the effective planning / hosting and running of most Exhibitions and Events over the past 17 months and still counting…… But this is possible a GOOD thing…..for these other Industries as well as ourselves !!!

    I have been asked to share “my thoughts” and write a “blog” ( which I have never previously done ) but please bear with me as my mind rambles through this content – Hope it makes a bit of sense in a world that is currently still on its head and the future continues to be extremely unpredictable for most of us with many a pitch / project / concept proposal stop started and then postponed and then cancelled and then revisited and then sometimes rolled out at a fraction of the previously envisioned idea and budget allocation……but while our overheads continue demanding our FULL attention.

    I believe that the shift and jump that is being made by individuals that have previously been so successfully mentored / trained / grown and “test driven” within OUR High Pressure environment of the Exhibition and Events Industry “Invisible Army” – where the deadline is always LOCKED IN and usually never flexible, where limited budgets and space allocations - linked to over enthusiastic client expectations – lead to always POSITIVELY pushing the boundaries of CREATIVITY and Industry TEAMWORK so as to ensure EFFECTIVE results under extreme conditions.

    WE are products of an Industry where we risk being remembered by our last mistake and have to stay on our toes and ahead of the competition and continually prove our VALUE and WORTH over and over, again and again, by pushing the Service Levels of Delivery to the MAXIMUM at each and every opportunity.

    OUR creations usually last only a few hours or days ( if we are lucky ) but the thrill of effectively handing over a SUCCESSFUL solution to a satisfied project partner ( client ) and then returning with enthusiasm to completely dismantle and pack up everything after its use has expired so that we can move on and “pull another rabbit out the hat” immediately after – This is the THRILL that many outside of our Exhibition and Events Industry do not fully comprehend or relate to but it’s what drives US project to project !!!

    They say that PRESSURE turns Coal into Diamonds and my take is that as an Industry of specialist professionals always having been challenged to focus on delivering the MOST from the least we have it in OUR individual power and INTENSE work ethic to be an INCREDIBLE ASSET to ANY and EVERY new Industry, company, business venture and opportunity we are brave enough to seek out as a new option during this cr*ppy COVID time so as to ensure we CAN stay relevant.

    This past experience and Exhibition and Events Industry expertise WE have, should be applauded and presented on the FRONT of our CV’s when we head out into the “new normal” and announce ourselves as AVAILABLE and WILLING to do AMAZING things to IMPACT , ENHANCE and GROW opportunities that are ready and waiting to be BOOSTED in other Industries !!!

    We may initially feel that change is terrible, change is frightening, change is emotionally daunting…..but change – based now on necessity and “Thrivival” and currently due to circumstances totally outside of OUR control – if done with ENTHUSIASM and open eyes - so as to see the many NEW opportunities that ARE available - could be an INCREDIBLY exhilarating moment for each and every one of US. When we look back at this time in OUR history - these defining moments of RAW COURAGE and INNOVATION have the potential of being the beginning of a BRAND NEW and unexpected future for ourselves and our teams – If we just EXHIBIT a willingness to be adaptable and be solution focused.

    Unfortunately the entire Eco System and Supply Chain of the Exhibition and Events Industry is still sitting in a state of limbo without a clear and definite RESTART date and we can NOT afford to stagnate in our skills efficiency and be allowed to spiral into state of negativity. I urge US to be open to think and work differently.

    WE need to continue to surround ourselves with other Industry champions and likeminded individuals on the same path as us – In a search for EXSA-LLENCE and relevance !!!

    WE need to stretch ourselves and be vulnerable to taking up a new position if needed but at the same time remain laser focused on what we are ultimately aiming to try and achieve in OUR personal lives – This shake up has given us ALL the perfect opportunity to pivot and be the BEST “Water Boy” we can each ever be – Love what you DO and DO what YOU Love !!!

    I would like to urge US all to look inward, honestly evaluate OUR own strengths and have the confidence to take OUR previous Exhibition and Events Industry expertise - that was so effectively used to help achieve INCREDIBLE results for our clients ( under usually UNBELIEVABLY challenging constraints and deadlines ) and seek out further opportunities that will continue to challenge and push us to use this wealth of previous knowledge and experience and find FRESH ways to continue to ADD VALUE wherever possible, at this time, but maybe as part of a new team dynamic, as an innovative catalyst that energises new thought processes and methodologies amongst our colleagues that have been comfortably doing the same thing over and over without question and reassessment.

    Let US be the ones to take control of OUR own futures and navigate ourselves back into a position of control, strength and willingness to do WHAT EVER IT TAKES to REVIVE and REIMAGINE OUR Exhibition and Events Industry….. even if it takes us leaving our usual comfort zone and venturing out into a totally NEW environment – so as to stay sharp – to learn ADDITIONAL skills – to continue to IMPROVE ourselves ….and hopefully to ultimately be in a position to be ready and able to return to and take up YOUR destined position within OUR “Invisible Exhibition and Events Industry Army” …….but until then – Please give others some of YOUR Exhibition and Events Industry water and continue to ADD VALUE wherever possible !!!

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