A Feeling of Unease

19th May, 2020

Lately I have been struggling with a feeling of unease, particularly when thinking about the future of the meetings industry. A lot has happened to us in a short time! Incomprehensible.

I usually dare to call for help from a brilliant philosopher, when things around me become too much to bear. In this case, it’s Voltaire who showed me a solution for thinking about the current situation.

Voltaire once said that - if you have tried everything to pull yourself up out of the mire and aren’t able to succeed - there is only one avenue left open to you: go to your garden and here you will find peace again.

Well, I am privileged to have a beautiful garden in the middle of a historic city. Every day, when the sun shines, I come here to think about the future of the meetings industry.

It was, and still is, a very difficult exercise. For instance, I think that there are two things that are of crucial importance to the life of a congress delegate: the ability for people to travel and congregate. And those two things just happen to be prohibited for the time being. How long will this prohibition be in force? This feeling of unease keeps coming back.

I shudder to think that I will have to miss physical contact more and more, that most of the communication directed at me will be electronic and that I will no longer be able to have a drink in the beauty of so many destinations in person. These are difficult emotions indeed.

But I have learned from my garden that nature is reawakened every year. One idea is constantly recurring in my thoughts and that is the virtual explosion of the digital society. Can I draw the conclusion from this that a new future will dawn for the conference world?

In conclusion, here is another quote from Voltaire: “Il faut cultiver notre jardin.” Which basically means that we should all take care of our own garden and everything will work out eventually.

Text by Marcel A.M. Vissers - marcel@meetingmediagroup.com
Editor in Chief of HQ Magazine 

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