Monday, September 27, 2021

A profoundly impactful uncertainty

Issue 88 editorial by Judith Rubin, InPark Magazine editor

The cycles of the pandemic have made it difficult to forecast what recovery will look like. Customer behavior shows that there is demand – in fact there is a craving, a need for the in- person, shared experience that the attractions industry provides.

We in the industry are likewise longing to travel and meet. Nevertheless, things are going to skew regional – and often virtual for a while longer. We are weary, grieving and afraid. The uncertainty feels existential. The fear is a hub with spokes. Uncertainty brings with it a certain artistic freedom, but even creatives in a creative industry need structure. Here are some ideas for tempering that core of fear to prepare for a recovery that’s not yet clear in its shape or details.

  • Recognize your strengths. Honor and reconnect with the core qualities that helped you and your business succeed in the past.
  • Recognize and leverage opportunity. We’re living outside the comfort zone anyway. A downturn is a time to learn and develop new hard and soft skills, build market share, re- invent. Discard things that no longer work. You can emerge stronger than before.
  • Cherish your network. Reach out to family, friends and colleagues. Appreciate them. Honor them. Keeping your relationships strong supports general well-being and positions you and your organization for business recovery.
  • Don’t try to make sense of things too soon. Things are what they are. It is a recipe for frustration to try to force meaning and then try to force a solution. Most of what happens is beyond your control. Focusing on a particular outcome can leave you unprepared for what actually happens.
  • Lead transparently and candidly. This is a team-culture industry, more horizontal than hierarchical. It’s a core precept that no one person has all the answers, that problems must be aired and discussed, and that solutions are interdependently achieved. Credibility and mutual trust are essential.
  • Be self-aware. Tap into how your mind is working and reframe things in a positive direction as needed. Pay attention to what you say and do, and how it affects others.
  • Be true to yourself. Tap into your core identity and values to inform your decisions. Value-based decision making is key in a creative industry that continually reinvents and innovates: Where there are not established standards or precedents, apply best practices, values and ethics.

Image courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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