Disruption, uncertainty, and a small landmark

13 May 2020

There was really only one option of what to write about in this month’s Editor’s Comment, and that, of course, and unfortunately, is the spread of Covid-19, or Coronavirus, and the immediate effect it’s had on our industry.

I won’t attempt to add anything too profound to the column miles of analysis and comment already written on the pandemic—the last thing the world needs is another non-expert voice adding to the clamour and confusion.

But from a purely practical perspective, I can say firstly that I was disappointed not to have been able to make it to this year’s Modex, which went ahead in early March. We took the decision as a company that from a health and safety point of view, spending several hours on a plane and even longer mingling with hundreds and thousands of delegates at an exhibition was an unnecessary risk, to us and to those we would meet.

It was a disappointment not to be able to attend, as I say, as Modex is a very well-established show, and offers a useful way of catching up with the latest from many North American companies in our sector. Having said that, it was certainly a wise move not to travel, as very shortly after the show finished, flights back to the UK and Europe began to be disrupted. As much as I enjoy ‘soul food’, there’s a limit to how long I’d want to be stranded in Atlanta on my own.

So, if you were at Modex and wondered where I was—I’m afraid I was still here in Britain. And if you saw our unmanned stand at the show, again, my apologies— it was one of the many logistical issues caused by the outbreak. I will, however, be contacting as many exhibitors as possible over the next few days and weeks, to compile a review of the latest technology that was on show at Modex. So, if you were there and were showcasing a recent innovation, please do drop me a line or send over a press release.

Here in Europe, the popular Logimat show was cancelled; it had been due to take place during the same week as Modex, in Stuttgart, Germany, but the decision was made to cancel this year’s event.

Cemat, which was due to take place later this month in Hannover, Germany, has been postponed until mid- July. Many events—both trade shows and entertainment events—are being rearranged for late summer or autumn, so while many countries are experiencing some level of ‘lockdown’ at the moment, it sounds like the second half of the year could be much busier than usual, which I’m sure will come as a welcome relief after the current situation.

All of which rather overshadows the topic I had planned to cover in this month’s comment piece—the fact that, as you’ll see if you look at the spine of the magazine you’re holding—this is the 200th issue of Hoist.

It’s a testament to the great work put in over the last decade and beyond by my predecessors and their colleagues that the publication is still in very good shape, with unrivalled original content each month. Long may it continue, and thankyou for reading.