As we put together our holiday card and year-end blog, we found ourselves, once again, a bit stuck on what to say. The “please deliver us from this mess” was our theme from last year to some degree, and we saw how that turned out! 2021 provided just as many—if not more—challenges for our staff, business, clients and industry as 2020.

At the same time, we’re so grateful for all that 2021 gave to us—as we look around at the decimated business landscape, we know it could have been worse and we’re so grateful to be here as a company and thriving, thanks to our wonderful, loyal clients and our new partners that we’ve managed to connect with during this harrowing business climate.

So, rather than a “year in review” recap email, we’re once again turning our eyes to the future with optimism. With zero Pollyanna-ism intended, here’s what a few members of our team are hoping for as it relates to the sentiments we listed in our wish for the new year.

HAPPINESS: In the Ethics, Aristotle pointed out that everything we do is done to achieve a further end, something we consider good. But the highest end is happiness, which we pursue for its own sake. He described happiness as being found in virtuous conduct, “virtuous” being the ancient Greek concept of areté, goodness or excellence in carrying out one’s function or essence, and in contemplation. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyia described this state of a mind at peace, with no further agenda or desire, detached from the cycle of craving or anticipation of an outcome, as being in the flow.

For a happier New Year, maybe we can spend more time in contemplative practices that bring us into the flow, and at our jobs, doing things well for the sake of excellence as an end in and of itself.

Lori Kurtyka, Lead Copywriter and Content Developer

SUCCESS: Last year was a nailbiter of a ballgame. There were more curveballs, changeups and fastballs in 2021 that no one, no matter how good a hitter (miss you in DC Trea Turner), could have foreseen them all. The good news is that there was actually a game! With so much uncertainty for our team, our clients, and our work, I think it was still quite the successful year with the return of in-person events. Sure, not all shows were able to take place in person, but the events industry showed it could still play ball and create success, no matter what the conditions. It was sheer joy to attend a client’s show last September  and see more than 20k attendees getting business done on the expo floor. As we step up to the proverbial 2022 plate, I think we can all start this new ballgame knowing what we’ve conquered, and that the tradeshow industry is resilient, strong and ready for a home run of a year.

Cheers to an exciting, successful event (and baseball) season!

Julia Ruxer, Account Manager

HEALTH: Throughout the pandemic, if there is one thing that truly stands out for me it is that if you have your health, you really do have everything. The pandemic has put a lot of things into perspective for me. And taking care of my own health has been top of my to-do-list during this time. And it should be on the top of your to-do-list as well. Whether it is making that dentist appointment you have been putting off, finding stress relief or seeking out mental health resources, focus on making your health a priority in 2022. An apple a day can only keep the doctor away for so long.

Wishing you a happy and healthy year!

Kristen Garman, Account Director

LIGHT: I was drawn to this one since I am the Pollyanna of the group. Looking for the light ahead, while brushing off the burn from the dumpster fire behind, so to speak. Personally, a friend said that rather than resolutions she picks a theme word for the year. With light in mind, I picked the word “compassion.” We were very lucky as a company and family over the last two years, and I think I can afford more effort in compassion and sharing some light to turn that luck outward. Professionally, light just reminds me of gratitude. Gratitude for our company and leadership for literally doing all that they could to keep us afloat during very trying financial times. And gratitude for our clients who are amazing partners and who were ready to get back to business together as soon as possible once circumstances allowed.

Happy hopeful new year!

Julie Parsons, Vice President Strategy and Marketing

KINDNESS: Kindness–a word so often used with the best of thought and intent in mind–but one that truly sounds and feels so much better when put into action. A smile of kindness, or simply a kind word can leave a positive imprint for the recipient that can carry their day forward. 

True story… was in the food store self-check right before Thanksgiving with 2-3 items in hand… not in a rush, but happy to finish up and get on my way. Father and older son in front of me turns and insists I jump in front of them… I was thankful, and it immediately put a smile on my face. I have since bumped into them 2-3 times and now always say hello along with a knowing thumbs up. Yesterday, same store – same line… store was crowded with the oncoming storm. I was able to pay that embedded kindness forward to another customer… his eyes lit up at with what I thought was such a small gesture, but truly meant a lot to him.

Kindness… so simple to create and easier to spread… will always render both parties feeling the renewal…

John Murray, Project and Production Manager

ENERGY: The start of a new year always brings with it the excitement and hope of all the possibilities that lie in store. (And after the last few years we enter 2022 like we are owed a really great year!) There is a renewed energy in the air that comes after a few quiet weeks at the end of the year, putting our power pants back on and getting geared back up to hit the ground running, with a refreshed mindset to plan and prepare for (in person!) shows in 2022 and get business done.

Having spent so much time working from home for the past almost two years, a year of that with a pod of four kids attending remote school in my dining room, energy is something I have needed to channel again and again. I am constantly amazed by the endless energy my kids possess and wish I knew how to bottle it as a magic elixir that could surely cure all ails.

Wishing you an abundance of energy to start the new year!

Elizabeth Ellen, Global Creative Director

JOY: While 2021 certainly had its ups and downs, there is nothing like a moment of joy when all is right in the world. Whether that means making a clutch catch in a game, finally learning to swim, jumping off the high dive for the first time, riding a dolphin, or seeing loved ones after too much time apart, it was amazing to see pure joy through my children’s eyes. I experienced my own joy while attending my first concert in two years, and had professional moments of joy from seeing colleagues again in person, recording my first virtual presentation session, and of course when my clients’ campaigns succeed and when they are happy with our work. Here’s to many more moments of joy—both personally and professionally—in 2022.

Rachel Gellman, Account Manager

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