Sunday, June 16, 2024

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
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.

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