Today marks the 2-year “anniversary” of a very difficult day in Hype history. News around the country flashed on every news outlet of a virus that was spreading quickly and was causing mass cancellations in the events world. It all seems like a nightmare still when I remember the intense feelings, I had this very day in 2020. We were faced with a decision, (1) keep going as we were and “hope” that it all blows over, or (2) make quick and thought-out plans to keep the company thriving on the other side of this.
We went with the latter and though it was emotionally crushing to have to downsize and close our office doors (for what I thought would be a short 2 weeks), we are here still and stronger than ever. Watching the faces of my team that day still brings tears to my eyes (even as I type). No one truly understood the magnitude of what was in front of us. Was I making the right decision? As a leader, you need to listen to that inner voice that seems to always know what is right, even when it feels wrong.
It was this very week in 2020 that one of the largest events in the industry, SXSW, made a tidal wave… no, a tsunami of a decision to cancel their event due to an overwhelming amount of concern of spreading COVID-19. For the first time since I started Hype, our calendars were wiped clean. Absolutely, clean. No work. No income. Mass cancellations across the country and we were just at the very beginning of what turned into a very wild ride.
Schools went remote.
Businesses closed (some indefinitely).
Mothers and Fathers were forced to work at home with their children.
Masks covered our struggling smiles.
Travel was taken from us.
And so much information being thrown at us.
It appeared we may never get out of this.
But guess what, we are here – we are at the light at the end of the tunnel.
Life is getting back to “normal”, and we are navigating what it is like to come out of what was a very traumatic time. Yes, this is a newer world we are entering but what remains the same is what we give to this world. We have become better and stronger than before. The last 2 years taught us never to take anything for granted. To be grateful for what we have, and has taught us that in our darkest days, there is light ahead. As a company we laughed, we cried, and we become closer because, in a time when we were told to isolate and close off from the world, we needed to find a way to stay grounded, stay connected, and preserve.
I knew on this day in 2020 that I was not going to let Hype be shut down and honestly, I was willing to go down with the ship if I needed to. I knew that if I continued to remain strong and true to what Hype was built on, we wouldn’t just survive this time, we would thrive in it!