The impact that COVID-19 is having on the hospitality industry is palpable. What has happened over the past few months is difficult to describe. Looking ahead, it’s even tougher to predict what the meeting and events sector might look like.
What Goes Up, Did Come Down
Just a few months ago, I was sharing with industry leaders how the industry was proving to be stronger than ever. Then, suddenly I was assisting them with massive company furloughs and layoffs! COVID-19 threw the entire hospitality and tourism industry into an epic crisis.
Nevertheless, now we have the opportunity to better understand the hospitality industry, which is critical for professional speakers. The pandemic has forced us all to reexamine our thinking. And how we service our customers and audiences when we return to the big stage.
So, what does that look like? What will be predictable beyond this untrustworthy and undependable crisis we are facing?
The Elephant in the Room
While helping industry leaders make challenging decisions, I asked for suggestions or expectations. How might things be different when the meetings and events return?
While I heard many interesting views and perspectives, there was one strong and common piece of advice that stood out like the elephant in the room. So, when the time comes and professional speakers prepare to return to the podium, heed this advice!
Neysa Morrissey, CEO of Morrissey and Associates summed it up, “Don’t talk about COVID-19! Don’t even write a book or elaborate on the many global tragic situations. Many people are devastated by the loss of a job or a family member.”
Neysa suggested, “Unless you are a pandemic expert hired to speak about COVID-19, stick with what you know. Help an audience focus on the topic that you were hired to speak about. Unfortunately, its been a difficult time for everyone. Audiences will be looking for a positive message instead of trying to twist how Covid-19 helped us all. Therefore, allow them to recover from the devastation with confidence and stronger morale.”
The Future is Here
As we move forward with our new routines after the pandemic, audiences will be waiting to access your expertise and talents. Focus on the audience’s present needs. They will be eager to learn immediate solutions. Messages of hope and the promise that things will be getting better for them.
Get your audience away from the past, enjoy the present to plan for a brighter future.