JJ Trichardt, Managing Partner, All Events Services

Reflecting on the toughest year that the Middle East’s live events industry has ever faced, AES managing partner, JJ Trichardt, shares some reasons to be cheerful as we head into 2021.

There’s no doubt that 2020 was the hardest year we’ve ever faced. It was a year which saw us completely diversify the business and do everything we could to keep the industry going at the height of COVID-19.

We brought out many new products,from disinfection tunnels to thermal scanners, which we deployed on events such as Tomorrowland Around the World. This technology proved that it was effective in order to monitor, control and minimise any spread of COVID-19. Of course, the use of this tech alone is not enough to guarantee that the disease doesn’t spread, but it showed that it could be done.

It’s our responsibility to create a safe area, so our audience can feel confident coming back to watch live shows again. Even once the vaccine has been rolled out and the disease has been brought under control, there will be a level of rehabilitation before people are ready to come to regular shows again. However, I think that in Dubai especially – a city where live events have always thrived – that won’t take too long.

At AES, we’re always willing to take on a challenge – that’s what gets us out of bed in the morning. We like to dream big and, most of the time, we land big jobs where we’re blessed by clients who believe in us and know that we can get the job done. We don’t want to be the biggest staging company out there; we just want to do big shows and prove what can be achieved when our integrated technologies are used to their maximum capabilities.

I have so much respect for all the other companies out there who are doing their best through these difficult times. There’s always an element of competition, but it’s healthy and we all want to see each other do well. Rather than working against each other, we try to promote synergy among suppliers and competitors so we can get through this together – because we are in it together.

My deepest condolences go out to anyone who has lost a loved one to COVID-19, but now we must push to ensure that the events industry lives on. Our industry was always there to support whenever there has been any need, and now we are hoping that through innovative ideas and hard work, the community and the world will come back and support the live events industry once again. We were there for them when they needed us, and now we need them to be there for us.

We’re all about building stages, building bridges and connecting people. Stay positive, we’re all going to get through it.

This article originally appeared in issue #028 of TPMEA, which you can read here.


Photo: AES