Though we, as a world, as industries, as businesses, and individuals, in most cases, are experiencing something unlike anything we ever have before; we are a resilient people with tremendous drive and an innovative spirit. These characteristics can be slowed and dampened but cannot be destroyed.
My company, Fern, like others large and small, in the live events industry, are facing an unprecedented crisis as people are unable to meet together. I hope that everyone makes it through and is strong and healthy on the other side (including customers, suppliers, and competitors). This outcome may require some reinvention along the way.
The history of Fern gives me extra confidence in this hope being fulfilled:
- Started during a recession or right before one, sometime in 1907 or earlier
- Survived 21 recessions, including the “Great Depression” and the “Great Recession”
- Survived two World Wars and numerous other wars and conflicts
- Survived epidemics and pandemics, including the 1918 “Spanish Flu”
- Survived 9/11 and other national tragedies
- Survived multi-generational ownership by two separate families
Though for most of that time we were a much smaller company, we were, in fact, producing national and international shows in the 1910s and ’20s. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN FERN’S PEOPLE THAT MADE IT DURABLE and it will be this time too. We have members of our team currently who have helped the company survive seven recessions, fought in wars, and heroically overcome various personal crisis’s. Most of our team who helped us navigate the “Great Recession” are still with us today. We’ve grown tremendously since then and have added vast talent in strategic thinking and technological ability who complement the incredible experience of our long-time veterans. Today we work out of 16 locations and have dozens of additional remote employees and, in a typical year, produce over 1500 shows and events.
So, though this crisis is unique compared to the challenges of the past, it has significant rivals in Fern’s history of outside-of-our-control foes, and we expect it to have the same fate as each of those. Members of our team from every location are still working. They are meeting the needs of client’s future events and executing plans that will help us return strong again when this is behind us. I’m proud of every member of the team, especially those who are currently sidelined as I know this challenge is more significant for them as they want to be showing their exemplary dedication and delivering Fern’s unparalleled service. As we’ve become larger, we have been cautious never to lose our family feel, and we love our family. As with other immediately distanced relationships, we look forward to being back together with each other and with our clients, their clients, and participants.
Hang in there; new beginnings are ahead. We are more durable than we know, history is a good reminder.