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In a Dark Moment — A New Movement

By Bob Priest-Heck

I think we are already seeing that the legacy of this pandemic will be the way people forced into isolation were determined to find safe ways to connect. Musicians offering free concerts from their living rooms, where fans comment in real time and request favorite songs. Teachers figuring out how to reach their dispersed students through distance learning. Congregations worshiping together on YouTube, or Facebook, or whatever platform serves their purpose. People persist in connecting.

The obvious irony, of course, is that being pushed apart brought us together. Human beings don’t like being pushed. Not by terrorists. Not by acts of nature. Not by COVID-19. Movements are born when people are ready to push back.

We’re seeing this in the Live Events industry. It’s pretty gratifying. When I first started worrying about the new coronavirus, my immediate concern was understanding the impact on my company and my employees. But by the time of my first blog on this pandemic, when events were being cancelled and our customers were trying to figure out the right thing to do, it was clear that this was a bigger problem. Clients, suppliers, fierce competitors and colleagues all struggled to find solutions. And out of this struggle, a movement started taking shape. It’s an unlikely coalition of leaders coming together around the shared, vested interest in protecting and, when the time is right and it is safe to do so, jump-starting the LIVE Events industry.

Self-serving? Yes. And no.

Our shared purpose is two-fold. First, to ensure millions of workers and thousands of businesses reliant on events get the relief they desperately need to continue working in an industry they love. Second, to restore an industry that is a vital accelerator to economic recovery. Once it is safe. For everyone.

Through participation in trade shows, travel to conferences, and attendance at performing arts and sporting events, customers are generated across the travel and hospitality industries. Food vendors, janitorial services, and represented labor in the host cities all benefit. And as I’ve written about elsewhere, by providing a forum to connect professionals to the latest technologies and research, we are an incubator for the very innovations that drive business and, perhaps, will lead to solutions the world needs to preempt the next threat to our welfare.

Speaking on behalf of Freeman, we are proud to stand with a coalition of businesses who are ready to lead the movement to accelerate economic recovery. Many people. One voice. Ready to Go LIVE Together. Please join us.

www.golivetogether.com #goLIVEtogether

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