Crush is hands down the coolest Disney Pixar character ever. The 150-year-old sea turtle and duuuuude of the ocean has a laid-back surfer attitude that lets him go with the flow. But Crush is no drifter, he’s more than happy to help Marlin and Dory find their way when he encounters them on their search for Nemo.
I love surfing. I love the sea and I love Finding Nemo. It’s 17 years old, the same age as my eldest child, but it’s full of timeless life lessons. From the moment the tsunami of Covid hit the events industry earlier this year, ‘Just keep swimming’ has been a mantra we’ve quoted over and over again. Grit and determination has been required at every step of the way since life sent us in a very different direction.
So the digital wave. There’s a tsunami of choice out there and for me, the trick is learning how to navigate our way through. From choosing the right surfboard, to positioning on the wave, visualising how to do it right, from dry land is vital. As with any endeavour, we start with the destination in mind for a digital event, but success is a journey and the doing is just as important. So, once we’ve worked out where we want to end up, we’ll plot the most effective route and also choose the very best vessel to travel with.
There are so many ways to traverse the ocean. There are so many methods to deliver a message and to connect a remote audience. It’s really important to us that the ride for everyone involved is smooth and enjoyable, with a strong, robust solution that will enable conversation and collaboration along the way. We know at times, the new world can feel frightening; as you grip white-knuckled on to the sides of a speedboat, never knowing if you’re about to get splashed, soaked or even thrown overboard. But by making sure you’re in a well-designed craft, with experts on hand to smoothly steer you through, there’s actually an opportunity for fun, discovery and experimentation, to try something new and make new partnerships.
Think of all the friends Nemo and Marlin made during their journey to find each other. The opportunity to meet people we never expect we’ll come across is one of the huge benefits of live events. We can enable these opportunities in the digital arena as well. Technology is a great enabler for building communities. Social networks are a powerful tool for forging connections. Stories can go viral, reaching far beyond one’s original contact pool.
Covid-19 has caused huge disruption to the events industry. It has been a case of sink or swim. But disruption leads to creativity which we’ve seen in abundance over the last six months. There’s a whole big world outside of our comfort zone. It wasn’t until Marlin was forced out of his comfort zone that his eyes were opened to a whole new perspective. When the storm subsides, I think we’ll find that the world does look different, but that the fusion of what is playing out now, mixed with what we achieved before, is pretty special and we’ll be changed for the better.