Adapting the usual schedule to the new normal

23 November 2020

I’ve worked on industry magazines for more than a decade and half now, and you get used to the various cycles that dictate what needs to be done at any given point in the month or year.

There’s deadline week, of course, when you have to focus on finishing the current issue of the magazine: from checking that pages look good and aren’t missing photo captions or any other salient information, through to writing an editor’s comment, which is preferably done not at the last minute.

You have to keep an eye on upcoming issues of the magazine too, making sure your writers are briefed on the features you want them to write for the next couple of issues.

There are also times of the year that herald certain events. This autumn, some of those regular events have taken place, and some have not.

As always around this time, we’ve put together our media pack for 2021. If you’ve not seen it before, it’s a compilation of information about the magazine, including our editorial plans for the year, as well as details on how you can invest commercially in our various opportunities—which now include, I’m pleased to say, sponsored webinars, after the success of our initial events. If you would like a copy of the media pack, or to discuss these commercial options, please contact our sales manager Joe Woolerton.

Conversely, in a typical October or November I would be looking at hotels and flights for the upcoming trade shows taking place in the first half of the following year, and trying to get my reservations in before all the hotels within a 20-mile radius of each exhibition venue become fully booked.

This year, it’s a case of ‘wait and see’—some shows have already been postponed to, provisionally, later in the year, although if there’s one thing we’ve learnt about this current ‘new normal’, it’s that if you make plans, you had better be willing to un-make them too. I’ve discovered that this year through, amongst other things, having booked a total of four holidays, none of which have come to fruition. A trip to Egypt was due to take place about a week after the UK locked down; a folk festival up on the Isle of Lewis, off the north-west coast of Scotland, was cancelled this year; and just for variety’s sake, my recent plans to go to Cornwall had to be delayed after the cat got ill. You’ll be pleased to hear that Harris is now fine again, although my suitcase remains resolutely unused.

Hopefully, though, the usual programme of trade shows in our industry will go ahead. In the UK, the annual LiftEx show was due to take place in October— again, another casualty of the disruption of Covid. Let’s hope that by this time next year, things are approaching normality again and LiftEx 2021, along with all the other key events in our sector, are able to happen.

Regular readers of this column will be aware that we ran the first online Hoist conference last month, as a means for the industry to get together while physical events can’t take place. If you missed, you can catch up on all the presentations online for the next few days, up until early November.

Daniel Searle, editor