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Ready For 2022: Reimagining Business After The Repercussions Of The COVID-19 Crisis Much of what we believed in pre-2020 is broken, and to capitalize on what lays ahead, we need to act fast, be nimble, and prepared to flow with the constant movement and disruption across our industries that will be in play for many years to come.

By Dan Bolton Edited by Aby Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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If 2020 was the year that everyone wished they could forget, then 2021 is the year in which we all need to dig a little deeper, remember, reimagine, realign, and learn.

It's pretty safe to say that recently we have seen widespread disruption across many industries around the world, with arguably my industry, the events and entertainment industry, most affected.

As business owners, we are used to periods of disruption and one of the most consistent things in any industry is the perpetual motion of change. We are constantly needing to adapt and react to a plethora of operating conditions that impact our businesses negatively, but also more importantly, positively.

Whilst 2020, in my case, was the most challenging year both financially and mentally, 2021 has so far shaped up to be a year full of incredible opportunities that are emerging from the ashes of our industry's complete global shutdown, as we prepare for rebirth and regrowth throughout 2022 and beyond.

With an industry down on its knees, a displaced and exhausted workforce, as well as a constant flux of regulatory changes, there was no underestimation of the challenges ahead and effort needed to dust off and get back up and running. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Throughout 2021, the sole plan and purpose have been to bring everything back together, and rebuild all those things that were broken, not just as the world came crashing down in March 2020, but way before then.

Our workforce and teams have been realigned and restructured to serve the ever-increasing demand that is ramping up as the world continues to reopen, doubling from 10 to almost 20 in the space of the last six months. The events industry relies on people, and since day one, we have always remained committed to ensuring that we invested in retaining and attracting the right talent throughout the turbulence, who can then ensure we are best placed for when we break through the floodgates of opportunity.

With work from home directives starting to dissipate, we are reimagining our workplace and creating environments that allow people the flexibility to work around their personal and professional commitments. One of the greatest things we learnt from periods of isolation is that people want to be together, so the importance of the office is stronger now, more than ever. People just want that environment to be different. Instead of a space filled to the brim with desks and workstations, we need to be creating environments that allow discussion, communication, and collaboration in the real world, and no longer over Zoom. These need to be environments where ideas and creativity can flow, and where people are empowered to challenge the status quo.

Related: Making The Case For Mentorship (Especially Now, In A World Still Reeling From The COVID-19 Crisis)

Aside from the physical changes, there is also the requirement of mental evolution. Our mindsets have had to move on, as we prepare for the torrent of opportunities and growth that we do see hurtling towards us at the back of this year, and well into the next.

The world is more competitive than ever. Much of what we believed in pre-2020 is broken, and to capitalize on what lays ahead, we need to act fast, be nimble, and prepared to flow with the constant movement and disruption across our industries that will be in play for many years to come.

We need to embrace the madness, relinquish the fear, and surrender ourselves to the opportunistic fate that lie ahead, as people emerge from their hibernation, and once again embrace all those experiential elements that make life worth living. We now need to inject some fun back into our lives.

It is without a doubt that here in the Middle East, the opportunities are plentiful as the dust begins to settle. The postponed Expo 2020 Dubai is approaching ever closer, the FIFA World Cup in Qatar at the back end of 2022 is awakening, and the giant that is Saudi Arabia is emerging as a dominant player within the events and tourism industry.

Saudi Arabia especially is embarking on its path of unmistakable change and opportunity that has my industry at the heart of this breathtaking evolution and transformation. These are unmistakable opportunities that new and established businesses that have survived the challenges of the last 18 months are best placed to capitalize upon.

No one can deny that what we have all gone through has been tough. There were times that the pain and suffering seemed insurmountable There were days when the constant barrage of challenges seemed like they would never cease.

But like all things in life, it was temporary, and change is inevitable. What does not kill us makes us stronger. Battle-scarred from the experience, we all stand together, ready for the next chapter, as we come back bigger and better than ever, leading the resurgence of new and improved events and the entertainment industry.

Related: To Address The MENA Region's Most Pressing Issues, Startups And Their Larger Business Counterparts Need To Come Together

Dan Bolton

Owner and Director, Dan Bolton Creative Management Agency

Dan Bolton is the owner and Director of Dan Bolton Creative Management Agency.

A member of the British Business Group Dubai and Northern Emirates, Dan is an artist director and creative producer with over 21 years of experience and an extensive global network in the live events, entertainment and performance industry. Specializing in artist management, choreography, and the conceptualization, creation, and delivery of live performances, he has worked alongside brands and clients to create unique and compelling performances for events such as ceremonies, corporate launches, public spectacles, and more around the globe.

Bolton’s credits include the Jakarta Palambang Asian Games 2018 opening and closing ceremonies where he was the associate choreographer and chartist, artist director for the inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2017, part of the flash team for the 2017 Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations, creative producer for the AFC champions league final pre-match opening ceremony in 2016, along with a host of other leading international shows that include the London and Athens Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the Manchester and Glasgow Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies. 


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