The pandemic may not be officially over, but it’s certainly time for the industry to start its ascent back from the devastation that has been wreaked on what was once a dynamic and vibrant industry. With the holidays around the corner, there’s a feeling of optimism in the air, as vaccine passports become a way of life and Canada’s vaccination rate continues to climb — two realities that give us increased confidence.
As we turn the page on another year, one that has been equally as challenging as 2020 when COVID-19 suddenly arrived on the scene and became part of our daily lexicon, fuelling anxiety and panic in all of us, we take some solace that the worst is hopefully behind us. And, therefore, there’s no time like the present to start taking those first tentative steps on the road to recovery.
We’d be naïve to think it will be a smooth journey back. It will take months for employees to return to their regular hours and workload and it will take just as long for travellers to start feeling comfortable travelling again, and to return to the pace of the past. And, the decimated meetings-and-convention business is bound to suffer for a few years longer as the business world continues to find its footing.
Though the industry had experienced one of its best periods leading into the pandemic, experts expect it may take until at least 2024 before it bounces back to pre-COVID-19 levels. And, even then, the industry might look quite different from what we left behind in March 2020. The good news is that once COVID-19 is done with us, the pent-up demand for face-to-face meetings and travel will be quite significant.
For now, the team at Kostuch Media is thrilled to welcome the industry back to its first large event in two years – our annual Pinnacle Awards celebration. And, granted, while there hasn’t been a lot to celebrate in the past 21 months, the fact the industry was able to weather the storm is a remarkable feat of endurance that can’t be ignored.
As many of this year’s winners aptly demonstrate, even with the constraints of one of the worst periods in our recent history, so many individuals and companies were able to soldier on and manage to achieve incredible results, pulling deep within their reserves to emerge stronger. As we raise a glass to all of this year’s winners, let’s not lose sight that this is a resilient industry and one whose passion and love of people will propel it forward – even if it may take a little longer than we expect.
On behalf of the entire KML team, we wish our readers and advertisers alike the best of the holiday season, and as always, a touch of magic. Now, more than ever, we can certainly use it.