Albert Einstein once said, “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity” and that could be said of the recent cancellations of so many events and how offering online performances, classes and shows have created new opportunities.
As an event manager I know first-hand the months of preparation that go into organising any event. My most recent show was the semi-final of Strictly Come Dancing Bantry on March 7th and what a show that was, the buzz around the town was all about Strictly. People were hyped for the final, which was due to take place the following weekend, none more so than the 22 dancers, their dance teachers and the organising committee. I remember each day following the Semi Final felt more like a week, as a group, we were in constant contact, watching the news updates daily, almost hourly and looking for direction to make the best decision regarding if the final should go ahead or not. However, 2 days before the final show, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar announced that all gatherings over 100 people were to be called off. It was very disappointing news, we had come so close to the main event and we had all worked so hard to get there but it was almost a relief also, that the decision was taken out of our hands and the show was to be postponed.
The response from the dancers and their coaches was what struck a chord with me. Almost immediately, the tone within the group changed from disappointment to excitement, as we started planning how we could make the new show bigger, better, brighter, more exciting with new routines and new challenges. The WhatsApp group was on fire with messages of enthusiasm and motivation with plans for a comeback final that will blow people’s minds.
But more than all that, the messages of support that the group continues to offer each other as a world pandemic is evolving is nothing short of amazing. Those messages have helped keep us all going through these times of isolation and social distancing and make the whole situation easier to deal with. As a group we have taken on new challenges to do at home, which have been merged into videos for social media to keep us connected with our audience. Dance teachers, Theresa and Josie said “Inside our hearts were breaking when the show was to be postponed, but the support and enthusiasm through the Strictly whatsApp group while social distancing was so infectious and upbeat, making us all smile every day. The friendships in the group have blossomed and what was already a very strong group is certainly a Strictly family now. Plans are in full swing for a comeback final that will blow people’s minds.”
Not everything has stopped but much has changed, we are simply adapting to a new way of living in the here and now. Our social media feeds are bursting with events we can join or view online. With gigs and concerts being cancelled or rescheduled, artists worldwide are taking their performances online to keep people’s spirits up and they are welcoming us into their homes. These are performances we may not have enjoyed, if we were not living through these exceptional times and for this and all the new opportunities, I am grateful.
Just like all the organisations we have seen adapt and create a new way of reaching the public over the past month, so too PLANTastic is adapting and supporting our clients to bring their events to new levels.