The Big Reboot Starts Small

The benefits are potentially huge

In a recent post, I acknowledged that while I have great optimism regarding the rebooting of the live events industry, I understand that this cannot happen everywhere, all at once, as if with the flip of a switch. And even if the industry could magically start up where it left off, it would not be a good thing.

We have an amazing opportunity to rethink event design in a big way. And at first, that could mean that the events we design are smaller. They might also be more regionalized and more focused on specific audience needs, which helps us make them more personal. This individualized approach creates new paradigms for the industry and a chance for unprecedented innovation.

For too long, our industry has focused on the size and scale of our events, sometimes sacrificing the quality of the attendee experience. Through our data and insights team at Freeman, we’ve done some exciting benchmark work which shows that not all attendee profiles are created equal.

In a post-pandemic world, we can shift our focus to getting the right people to the physical events — the decision makers, influencers and brand loyalists who drive revenue for the 1.7 million businesses who exhibit annually.

We can deliver pre-qualified prospects to our exhibitors. We can foster more meaningful connections for attendees. We can incubate more powerful breakthroughs. And we can use a hybrid platform to reach more people, beyond the core, on a virtual basis.

By starting small and getting closer to our respective communities, we can also invest more in our own people. (This industry simply has the best people — I never get tired of saying this.) We can train our people to champion the new way of thinking and help people embrace the new norms.

We can also seize the opportunity to toss out the window any processes or procedures that have been holding us back. One of Bruce Mau’s favorite questions is, “what should we stop doing?” We have a unique opportunity, as we start fresh, to employ design thinking, invite fresh ideas, and innovate.

This notion of starting fresh has broad application and we can already see it playing out. COVID-19 was a wake-up call to humanity that has led to changes in behavior around social justice and the environment. It has nudged us into a place of appreciation and gratitude for what we hold dear.

In the live events industry, it has led to deeper conversations with clients, new levels of collaboration amongst competitors and partners, greater flexibility in the workforce, and the freedom of tossing away the words, “the way we’ve always done it.”

The key will be keeping those learnings when times are good again. Think big. Start small.

A Friend in Deed

Friendship takes the active voice

There’s an old adage that says, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” I’d like to amend this. If I’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that we are all a bit needy at times, including me. And even as we are seeking help, we are probably still in a position to help someone else, because their needs are different than ours.

Friendship is a two-way collaboration. Our actions — our reciprocal good deeds — are the measure. Whether we join together to promote a common cause or just give someone a chance to vent, it all helps. Whether we collaborate at work or on a bowling league, it’s achieving something together that feels so rewarding.

Ironically, during this time of quarantine, I have learned not only to value more deeply the friends I have, but to discover new friends I didn’t know I had. These are people who are rallying to champion the recovery of the business events industry. Many of them are colleagues and clients. Some of them are competitors with whom we are privileged to march under the #GoLIVETogether banner. Some of them lead small businesses that are struggling to understand and protect themselves from liability issues relating to the uncertainty of next-phase planning. Although the industry is huge, 99 percent of business event companies are small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. They could use a friend right now, and many of us are trying to be that friend.

Consider reaching out to your legislators to get the word out regarding a need to protect vulnerable companies. We all want to see the return of business events when the time is right, but without a financial incentive to participate, too many small businesses will be locked out of this critical sales and marketing channel, putting them behind their larger competitors. A temporary tax credit to defray the costs of exhibiting and attending will offer this needed assistance. This will once again allow businesses to participate at events, which will help all of us by promoting economic stimulus, employing thousands of people, and driving millions of dollars to local economies.

We’ve made it easy to connect with your elected officials and ask for their support by following three simple steps. Start by clicking here to join us. Be a friend in deed. #GoLIVETogether

Compassion, Compliance, and Continuous Improvement

Better design means better for everyone

Thirty years ago, the Americans with Disabilities act was signed into law, declaring that people with disabilities could no longer be denied access to jobs, school, transportation, or to public places. The need to design our conferences and trade shows to be ADA-compliant may have been met with resistance by some and compassion by others, but today we can see that by transforming events to be more accessible to those with limitations, we made those events better for everyone.

In the United States alone, it’s been estimated that one out of five Americans has some form of disability — 48.9 million people. Add to this the graying of America, the fact that the percent of the population over age 60 is dramatically increasing. When we consider how many total people are grappling with issues related to personal mobility and impairments that affect vision, hearing, and cognitive ability, we realize that being inclusive is just good business.

That’s a fact we cannot ignore. Harder to prove, but even more compelling to me, is the notion that inclusivity expands our intellectual capital. Consider, in the 30 years since ADA has gone into effect, how many people with disabilities have been empowered to contribute. Whenever we increase accessibility, we increase diversity, which is an indispensable aspect of innovation. Continuous improvement as a species demands that we leverage our combined brainpower.

Today, we are called to transform the nature of live events in response to a pandemic. Compliance is in everyone’s best interest, and because we are designing for a space that we control (a big, empty ballroom) it’s not that hard. The members of the Go LIVE Together coalition have voluntarily set, and will comply with, health and safety protocols developed in accordance with guidelines from the CDC, WHO, medical and scientific professionals, and local health officials.

Further, the Events Industry Council, through its global APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force, has established a platform for curating, cultivating, and communicating the accepted practices across the global events industry. The prime directive is to enhance safety at in-person gatherings and fuel recovery efforts. And we’ve already begun to imagine what future events could look like. It’s all pretty inviting; you can take a virtual tour here.

To be sure, as an industry, we are getting a great start on the post-pandemic reboot. But we can do more. Consider the lessons of the ADA-era. We must raise the bar and design for expanded accessibility. Even as we manage the size and scope of attendees at live events, we can reach broader audiences by streaming live content for people to consume wherever they happen to be.

And we can surround live events with meaningful, engaging, interactive virtual content that unfolds over time, before, during and after the live event, to contextualize the experience in a robust way. Hybrid events give us new avenues through which to personalize the experience for discreet audiences, wherever they are on their journey, whatever their ability, and whatever their level of commitment or interest.

When we cultivate experiences that enable individuals to learn more, achieve more, and contribute more, we gain more as a society. Compliance is where we begin. Designing the platform for constant design, and continuous improvement, must be the goal.

No Blind Passing

The view on the other side of the hill for the live events industry

Most of us have experienced the frustration of being stuck behind a slow driver on a two-lane highway. If you’re on a hilly road, or one with lots of curves, you simply can’t pass them, because you can’t get a clear view of oncoming traffic.

Blind passing is illegal for a reason — it endangers everyone. But once you have a clear view of what’s ahead, you need to commit. It’s no time to be timid. You need to respond quickly, accelerate, and maneuver to make the pass. Otherwise, you’re stuck.

That’s the analogy I see for the live events industry. We’ve spent months responsibly moving forward, uphill all the way and straining for a clear view of the road ahead. I’m beyond ready to get back to the business of designing and producing live events, amazing moments that unfold in real time for large groups of people.

And despite the reality of pandemic-forced shutdowns in the conference and expositions industry, I am more convinced than ever that Live Events answer an essential human need. It’s a need for both social fulfillment and commercial exchange.

I expressed this optimism recently, in an interview for The Dow Report with Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. He asked me what I’m telling clients when they seek advice. And here’s my response in a nutshell…

Let’s not squander this opportunity.

Collectively, we are well on our way to solving for the most critical issues. There is unanimous agreement that the health and safety of everyone at any live gathering is of utmost importance.

Fortunately, because events and exhibitions take place in controlled environments (as opposed to the mass gatherings we see at parades, festivals, and fireworks displays) we can control attendance to regulate flow and social distancing.

We can design to ensure that the latest CDC standards and official health guidelines are maintained while actually improving and personalizing the experience for attendees and exhibitors.

It’s a reinvention moment.

While as an industry we didn’t have a choice to have a pandemic, we do have a choice to use this pandemic as an opportunity. By incorporating small changes to event strategy, technology, and design, events can become more intimate, meaningful, and personalized. As an industry, we can emerge with an even greater value proposition.

At Freeman, our designers have been storyboarding the attendee journey, considering things like customized learning paths, a choreographed show floor, and re-imagined exhibits that naturally support social distancing guidelines.

Helping exhibitors focus on generating more qualified leads, as opposed to merely attracting big numbers, is another strategic choice that is good business and good health practice. The essential thing is to make each live engagement matter more than ever.

And the integration of hybrid solutions needs to be part of this formula. I agree with Marc Mattieu, who leads transformation at Salesforce.

He shared this perspective with us in a webinar series Freeman sponsored with SISO, in which he remarked that, “While digital connections have brought about increased efficiency, they do not enable starting something new / dreaming bigger / or the non-pre-programmed. That, ‘happens in live.’”

We like to say that live events, experienced face-to-face, have deep reach — we can connect with people in significant ways that engage all the senses.
When we layer in live internet-based elements, leveraging the latest digital technologies, we gain broad reach — we can easily grant access to constituents around the world and benefit by their interaction.

When done well, virtual events are designed as digital experiences, not simply content we watch online. When we truly connect virtual communities, they are here to stay.

At Freeman, we’ve delivered over 1,800 online event sessions with nearly 8,000 presenters, reaching over 187,000 attendees since March. We see hybrid events as the future. By engaging live remote and live in-person audiences, bringing them together through a single platform, events will be able to reach and impact people on a global scale.

The timing of when to launch will naturally be different for specific shows, associations, and corporations. It won’t happen with the throw of a switch. Some can move more aggressively than others, based on their market, audience, and unique mission.

That said, our industry is reaching the crest of the hill and pulling out of the curve. Now is the time to have your plans in place. Understand what’s at stake. Understand the opportunity.

And as soon as you have a clear view of the passing lane, don’t hesitate. Make your move and make it count.

The Size and Shape of “SAFE”

Setting a new gold standard

In the 19th century, international businesses urged their governments to establish a gold standard that would enable trade between countries using different currencies. The gold standard eased the risk and complexity of doing business across countries and continents by establishing a monetary system that all the trading partners agreed to. Each unit of exchange was equated to a fixed quantity of gold, so that buyers, sellers and investors understood exactly where they stood. It created a platform upon which multinational commerce could thrive.

Today, people are looking forward to the day they can once again congregate and connect without fear of spreading contagion. And to assure everyone involved that this social contract will move forward on a consistent, mutually equitable basis, we need to establish new safety protocols that take fear and risk out of the equation for live events. We need coherent guidelines to ensure the safety of labor, staff, exhibitors and participants. Further, we need them to be drawn up and accepted by the people who understand the big picture — who know the details of how events come together — so that all of the long tail connections involved are factored into the solution. With industry-wide agreement to follow basic safety protocols, families from Minneapolis and software engineers from Mumbai can all attend the event of their choice without having to consider, “Is this safe?” They already know it will be.

This is a primary goal of the Go LIVE Together (GLT) coalition. As stay-at-home sanctions are lifted, knowing that the timing and circumstances will vary from city to city, we need to be ready with guidelines and guardrails, based on proven health-science practices, to facilitate a safe return to live events. And the good news is that, because conventions and trade shows happen as controlled gatherings in ballrooms and convention centers (as opposed to mass gatherings in arenas with fixed seating and an obligation to season ticket holders) we have good options for ensuring safety. We can adjust distance between seats, widen aisles, and direct the flow of traffic. We can spread participation over three days, amping up content quality based on area of interest, and stage-gate audiences. We can rethink how and from how many locations we offer registration, refreshments, and social areas. We have total flexibility.

Our members are already working with industry leaders, venues and associations to identify and share the latest best practices. There is so much good work going on, led by so many committed organizations, that it is truly heartening. For example, the U.S. Travel Association has issued industry-wide guidelines in a document entitled “Travel in the New Normal.” A broad representation of the industry, inclusive of practically every segment of travel, tradeshow and events, worked with a panel of medical experts to develop these guidelines for reopening the travel ecosystem. This has been distributed to the White House and to each governor’s office. UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has been involved since early days, monitoring the situation and sharing critical information. They also worked with the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) to publish such useful documents as the “Good Practices Guide to COVID-19.”

We are also following the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC). Comprised of world-renowned leaders and scientists in the area of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis and mitigation, they have created the GBAC STARTM certification program that addresses personal safety, enhanced cleaning, social density at events, entrance controls and on-site service and management. These standards are already being adopted by companies and organizations such as Hyatt and the Miami Dolphins. And of course, everyone is closely following the latest CDC guidelines. So the heavy lifting has begun.

But there is much more to do. And it’s easy to do your part. If you haven’t already, visit golivetogether.com and join the movement. Help spread the word on social media. Let people know that live events are critical to our economic recovery and that a safety plan for their return is in the works. You can read more about the safety initiative here and learn how to be part of the plan to move forward.

The future of live events hangs in the balance. Let’s seize this golden opportunity to set a higher standard.

No Laughing Matter

We are hardwired to experience events socially.

Have you watched any of the live DIY versions of late-night TV programs in the social-distancing era? The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Show with James Corden, and Saturday Night Live are all offering cobbled-together programs recorded in the hosts’ place of quarantine and assembled with bits from other quarantined performers.

I love that they are putting it out there — they’ve done some nice work and I appreciate the sense of solidarity. But something has been bugging me and I figured out what it is. I really miss the sound of laughter from the live studio audience.

Likewise, when a guest musician puts it all on the line with some heartrending song and there’s no audience feedback, the silence is such a letdown. Even though I’ve never seen these shows in person, I miss that sense of sharing the experience with others. This confirms my belief that human beings are hardwired to enjoy live events socially. Further, when we’re a bit out of our depth, we often rely on fellow audience members, the mavens among us, to inform our own reaction.

Historically, theatres and opera houses would hire professional claqueurs to lead the applause at appropriate moments in a performance. This was especially true when a new piece was being performed and the audience literally didn’t know what to think. When they heard the enthusiastic applause of fellow audience members, they naturally joined in and everyone had a better time.

Many early radio shows and TV sitcoms were performed in front of a live audience so that the writers and producers could see what worked. They then amplified those laugh points with “canned laughter” and, over time, the concept of sweetening the track with a professionally recorded laugh track became common practice. The shows just seemed empty without it.

For similar reasons, even when we can’t make it to a college football game or a favorite pro-sport event, many of us will find our way to a sympathetic bar and watch it on TV with other fans. We feel the need to share the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

It’s all about the shared experience.

This should inform our approach to the design of virtual events. Without the sense that we are part of something bigger, there’s a risk that jokes will fall flat, poignant moments will feel lame, and the call to action will ring hollow. If we create virtual events building on a live platform, as part of an expansive experience, it’s relatively easy to capture and share real-time feedback — that’s vital.

And we can use technology to enhance the interactive aspects of the event, for live and virtual audiences, by digitally inviting real-time comments and questions, enabling audience chat platforms, and inventing competitions in which virtual audience members can earn points by participating and becoming de facto influencers. They can become your virtual claqueurs.

Until we can safely experience live events together, this kind of real-time interaction is imperative. And after it’s safe to get together… it’s still imperative.

The Sound of 2,000 Voices

Choir or cacophony? It helps to sing from the same sheet music.

As the events industry frames the plan about how and when we all start gathering again, will your voice be heard? There’s a better alternative to just whistling in the dark or having a shouting contest with people who disagree with you politically. Join a choir. Amplify the strength of your voice by singing with others who share your convictions.

Last month, Freeman united with business leaders from across the industry to launch Go LIVE Together. This movement, which began with 84 founding members, has grown to over 2,000 representing thousands of businesses. We add to our numbers every day. I am personally gratified and humbled by this response, and I know the other organizers of our coalition feel the same way. It means that our intentions and our course of action have been validated by the people who know best what must be done.

We are bound together by the belief that nothing in the world will ever replace the power and need for live events. To that end, we have joined forces to:

  • Enable events and trade shows to open safely, once stay-at-home orders are lifted, by following common guidelines. These standards will adhere to the best medically backed scientific practices for protecting workers and attendees at live events;
  • Raise awareness with government officials, so that they understand the true impact events have on economies and job creation. We will illustrate the benefits that a safe start-up will have on healing the U.S. economy;
  • Seek relief by supporting legislation to rebuild the industry in a way that serves to accelerate economic recovery.

There’s a beautiful holiday tradition in Japan in which people come together to form a massive choir, 10,000 people strong, for Daiku concerts in which they sing the choral section of Beethoven’s jubilant Ninth Symphony, the “Ode to Joy.” Of course, the choral arrangement is written for different vocal parts — soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone. There are soloists leading some sections. But 10,000 people come together and sing one song and it is amazing. Powerful. Joyful.

Let’s raise our voices in that spirit. Let’s share our message as if we are a vast choir, singing one song in unison.

It’s been estimated that 6.6 million jobs in the live events industry have been affected by the pandemic. If only a fraction of these people work together, we will be a mighty force. Imagine what we can accomplish. Imagine how far we can be heard.

You can add the strength of your voice to ours — bringing your ideas and convictions — by joining the movement at GoLIVETogether.com. Use the facts we’ve gathered and the tools we offer to spread the word through social media. When it’s time, reach out to your elected representatives.

By all means, join the chorus. Who knows what music we can create when we raise our voices as one.

When It’s Okay to Go Outside Again

Being safe and feeling safe may not be the same thing.

Is it safe to go outside yet? It’s a question we’ve all asked at some time or another. Whether the object of our fear was a tornado that drove us to the basement, a high school crush so intense we hid in the restroom, or an extended lunch spent avoiding a boss waiting to assign anyone some thankless task, we’ve all sought refuge from time to time. And there’s always a pivot point where we feel it’s okay to make our move back to the daily norm.

Unfortunately, we’ve been sheltering a long time from COVID-19, and the signals have been kind of vague about how long it will last. We are all eager for the “all clear” sign. But will we trust it? I suspect that the longer we’re in quarantine, the scarier it will be to come out.

This must be a consideration when those of us in the Live Events industry start planning for a rebound. We need to think about a global population reeling from the trauma of a pandemic caused by the kind of casual human contact that typifies participation in a conference, trade show, exhibition, or ticketed entertainment event.

There’s a precedent for this kind of lingering fear. After 9/11, many people were reluctant to fly. The global response was to add elaborate security measures that forever changed the boarding procedures — and a way of life — for all of us. In the wake of 9/11, the anthrax scare rekindled fears and additional security measures became part of the new normal. Mass shootings and other terrorist actions further heightened our sense of vulnerability and fear. Today, we don’t really blink twice when asked to step through a scanner at the airport, or through metal detectors at a sports arena or even our kids’ school. On some level, these new routines are reassuring, even if they’re annoying.

So what should we be doing now to anticipate the feelings of people whom we hope will rejoin us at our events when it’s officially safe to come out? How can we make it feel safe to mingle at live events where large crowds will be gathered? A recent TrendWatching report points toward “ambient wellness,” wherein those hosting live events “embed health-boosting measures into the very spaces that their customers pass through, making staying healthy effortless.”

We are working with our events partners to establish new, industry-wide safety standards. Convention centers and event planners are already considering measures to ease congestion, promote better air filtration, provide wellness booths, and even screen people for temperatures. Most likely we’ll be given hand sanitizer at the doors. And the wearing of face masks may become a sign of respect for fellow event participants that are as ubiquitous as a lanyard and credentials. It’s vital that we consider both what is required to keep people safe — and what it will take to help them feel safe.

A coalition of businesses representing various aspects of the Live Event industry is working to solve this and related challenges. Together, we are advocating for additional funding to support safety standards. And we are considering other programs that might encourage attendance at Live Events, once sanctions are lifted, because we believe this is needed to accelerate economic recovery. This has everything to do with learning to be smarter, more generous, more innovative citizens of the world. As we state in the Freeman manifesto, we “stand in support of the human commitment to create prosperity, economic impact, knowledge, learning, and social connection.” The live experiences we produce collectively, as an industry, create a space where innovation, change, and purpose come together.

Although people in the coalition represent diverse organizations, each is a champion for the power of live events and the need for live, large-scale human connection. It’s how good ideas spread and how innovation become contagious. If you’d like to be part of this movement, visit golivetogether.com. It will help you stay informed about opportunities for action and provide access to tool kits you can use to engage your employees, partners, the media, and legislators. You are also invited to join Go LIVE Together colleagues who are connecting via the usual social channels: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn.

Until it’s safe to come out, don’t! But there’s so much we can do right now to get events back on track. We don’t have to be afraid. We just have to act responsibly, be proactive, and collaborate on solutions. Let’s help people come together in a way that is safe. Let’s do what we can to help them feel secure. Let’s go LIVE together.

Designing LIVE — Our Better Angels

There are inherent advantages to the self-policing nature of live events.

One benign outcome of the pandemic is that is that people have become more comfortable with the various technologies that let us connect virtually. Further, I suspect that as people spend more time connecting through social media, they are gaining both an appreciation of and a wariness regarding how it contributes to the larger conversation.

I am a huge advocate for integrating virtual connections into live events. But for me, the isolating nature of the pandemic has underscored the irreplaceable nature of face-to-face. In considering what we value most about “LIVE,” Bruce Mau finds it revealing to compare it to the most ubiquitous marketing channel, social media.

“Imagine social media in the light of day, without the sinister dimension of unbridled, anonymous nastiness,” Bruce says. “LIVE is governed by our better angels, by etiquette and conventions of social conduct.”

Certainly, the anonymity afforded by online platforms brings out the worst in some people. These are avoided in LIVE events, whether they are conducted virtually or face-to-face.

In LIVE, not only are there consequences for bad behavior, but there are ample rewards for those who contribute in meaningful ways. Events transform the experience from merely a place, at a moment in time, into a custom experience where people choose to gather with purpose. They attend conferences, expositions, and branded events because they hope to get something back. They seek new business solutions. They build their network of experts and influencers. They investigate best practices. They feed their curiosity about new innovations. They find inspiration. All of these things are more readily available to those who walk in the door with an empathetic mindset, eager to collaborate and open to the ideas being shared.

Some of this correlates to a sense of accountability that doesn’t always apply to virtual sessions. It’s easy to become distracted and lured away from a screen, but one positive outcome of the global crisis is that people have been forced to adopt habits that let them become better about focusing and contributing in live-but-virtual situations. We are learning to treat participation in live virtual engagements with the same respect we give face-to-face meetings, where we have invested time and money to attend. In reality, anytime we commit to being with people — in person, on the phone, or through a web platform — we have skin in the game. It’s called “building relationships,” and we can’t do without.

Ironically, the incursion of digital marketing into our personal and professional lives underscores the meaningful and uniquely sensory connection that is only possible through the human medium of LIVE events. And the beautiful thing about LIVE events is that they can easily embrace digital technology to expand through virtual connectivity — including audiences who are unable to attend in person.

By designing LIVE with our better angels in mind, and including enhanced virtual participation from the beginning, we can reach beyond our immediate audience to connect with more people than ever before. In this sense, LIVE becomes the platform for launching new, hybrid solutions that allow us to be more inclusive and diverse, while leveraging the benefits only LIVE can offer.

I miss the energy that I can only find on the floor of a LIVE event. And I can’t wait to get back to the important work of designing events to be even more inclusive, more broad reaching, and more personally relevant. That’s what’s possible in the new era of LIVE.

Getting Back on the Bike

It’s what we do after we fall that matters.

The other day, attached to an email from an old family friend, was a video — an old home movie shot on a spring day, probably on Super 8, with no audio. It shows a little boy on a big new bike. His mom gives him a shove and he pedals a confident loop around the front yard. But, when he stops, his legs can’t reach the ground, and he falls hard, with the bike on top of him. He looks at his mom, shakes it off, and walks the bike back to try again. The banana seat comes up to his ribs, and he has to use the porch step to climb back on. The next fall isn’t as hard. Soon, he’s riding like an old pro.

I haven’t thought about that bicycle in years, but the video brought it all back. It was a beauty. When I pedaled really hard, the handlebar streamers fluttered out and I imagined I was flying. I don’t really remember falling down, but I do remember worrying that I would. I was afraid I couldn’t learn to ride that gorgeous bike. And I remember my mom assuring me that I could.

This object lesson in falling and getting back up came at a good time for me. It’s been many, many years since I’ve faced something where I actually worried about failing. But this pandemic and the economic fallout — defined largely by what we don’t know — is a confidence shaker. What if we don’t have what it takes? There is so much riding on each decision and each action that it can be paralyzing if we let it.

Here are a few lessons we can all take from a little boy, a big bike, his mom and a spring day. We only fail if we stop trying. We will learn the skills we need and someday we will master the bike because we will grow to fit it. It will take us to places we’ve never been. And that sense of freedom will be magical.

Today, around the world, we face a challenge that is bigger than any of us can face alone. It’s seriously intimidating. We also face an opportunity to explore new things and to liberate ourselves from outdated assumptions and business practices. Many of us in the Live Events industry share an audacious vision that requires us to get back on the bike and keep riding. We will most certainly fall a few times, but we can help each other back up. And we can keep pedaling until our fear becomes joy.

Our industry-wide movement is adding members every day. You can join us at www.golivetogether.com. You can learn about opportunities for action and toolkits you can use to engage your employees, partners, the media, and legislators.

Bring your worst fears and your brightest hopes. We’ve got this.