The Show Must Go On – and it DID!
Just over 5 months ago New Zealand plummeted into chaos as Covid-19 arrived on our shores – and the Event Industry was thrown into total turmoil as the “go hard, go early” mentality meant that events around the country, just like the Wedding Show, had to be postponed, or cancelled.
Before there was even talk of a lockdown, our borders were closed and event numbers were restricted – at first to 500, and then to 100…..it was obvious very early on that the 2020 Taranaki Weddings Show would not be able to go ahead as planned in May. As the announcements were made across every possible media outlet that event numbers were being restricted our hearts broke for couples all over the country who were finding out that their weddings, many of which were just a few days away, would be unable to go ahead. Weddings that had been months, years even, in the making – the devastation we felt for each and every couple we spoke to was overwhelming – and that was before we even considered the impact it would have on our local vendors, our clients, our friends.
One thing was very clear to me, Mrs TW, from the moment the first event restrictions were imposed – our little Wedding Community here in Taranaki was going to take a hit, the impact would be strong and our hearts and morales would be crushed. This was a challenge that none of us had ever imagined we’d have to face, it was the kind of thing we’d only ever seen in movies, but here we were facing it head on. We needed something to look forward to, we needed some light on the horizon, something to give us all hope that our Industry would come out the other side of this, that we would not just survive, but that we would thrive.
We knew instinctively that the 2020 Taranaki Weddings Show HAD to go ahead. It just had to. Not only did we need something to look forward to, but when lockdown was over, our businesses would be on the backfoot, we needed to come together, to collaborate – we needed the Wedding Show to be able to rebuild. Lots of people told us we were CRAZY to think it could go ahead in August – the two most common phrases used when I chatted with people were “over optimistic” and “living in a dream world”. We watched as Wedding Shows and Expos around the country were cancelled or postponed to 2021 – but we just knew we HAD to have hope. We had to remain positive. We knew the show HAD to go on – and did it EVER!
Of course, we had to make changes. We’re living and working in a different climate now – numbers would need to be reduced to allow people to social distance if needed, contact tracing needed to be put in place – the risk had to be minimum without compromising on either the Vendor or the Visitor experience.
I won’t bore you with all the nitty gritty details, we made changes, and lots of them but it was SO WORTH IT because the 2020 Taranaki Weddings Show was, quite honestly, the BEST one we ever held. Maybe it was because, for many of the Vendors, it was the first time they’d seen each other in months, maybe it was the changes we’d made, maybe it was being in a room full of people in love and planning for the future, maybe it was everything combined and SO much more – but the Goodie Bags were out of this world, the Vendors were enthusiastic, the food was delicious, the beer was flowing, the atmosphere was electric and the air was full of excitement and positivity.
Above everything else – it was a reminder that, despite everything that had happened, and everything that’s happened since – the 2020 Taranaki Weddings Show was a celebration of love, and of the future. It was proof that our Wedding Community is hardworking, passionate and resilient – to them, love is EVERYTHING and no matter what you throw at this little community we’ll come back bigger and stronger.
Things have been tough, they’re tough right now and they’re probably going to be tough for a while yet – but we can get through it, we will get through it. How do we know this? Because the Wedding Show had to go on….and it DID!