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20 November 2017

Reflecting on 2017

2017 has been an interesting year: Trump came into power, terrorism increased globally, natural disasters created havoc, and locally, gangs and crime have made the headline on way too many front pages.

Yet.

We survive. None of the above is any different to former years (except Trump, who would have anticipated that!). It's our perspective that changes. It's about what's relative to us and what we allow to filter into our minds; our frame of reference determines our outlook.

My outlook? I consciously choose to see the beauty, I choose to have gratitude, I choose to find the good in every bad. But I am also a realist.

So, my reflections for 2017:

The economy has been volatile which impacts our ability to predict which direction any industry will take. Past trends don’t make sense. So we have to find a new way of working as we cannot rely on past trends to forecast future outcomes. On the plus side, it does allow for a more creative approach to business.

The cost of living and doing business has increased, yet salaries sadly haven't kept up. This has forced entrepreneurs to look at operational efficiencies, which is always a good exercise to carry out. We often take this for granted and only look deeply into it in bad times. If one keeps their finger on the pulse at all times, you will run a tighter ship, be able to offer better pricing to clients and be able to improve cash flow. This, in turn, affords you the opportunity to give back to your team. Of course, they need to buy into the mindset of efficiencies for this to work.

Clients want more, for less. Event budgets are tight, but people have an elevated need to create memorable experiences, but they need to be achieved on a small budget. While often a financial challenge, it offers an opportunity to think creatively. To take the same concept, remould, rework, make adjustments or think of something completely new to achieve the event’s objective within budget. As event professionals, we manage expectations, get client buy-in for event concepts and deliver creative experiences to achieve desired client outcomes.

The world will continue on its manic axis, so how do we take these learnings to help us create a better 2018?
- take time out to work on your business
- take time to be with your clients
- take time to be with your team

And most importantly. Take time to breathe and deeply feel gratitude. After all, there's a reason that during the safety flight instructions, they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then help others.

I wish you growth, courage and wisdom for 2018. Focus on the good for in the words of the beautiful poem, Desiderata “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world."

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