To all those of you working to the Julian Calendar, Happy New Year!
So, in London, 2012 got off to a spectacular start with an impressive display of pyrotechnics designed to galvanise us into a frenzy of excitement about both the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. But whilst these events should provide plenty of opportunities for agencies such as ours, will it really prove to be a bumper year for those of us involved in the world of entertainment?
Last week there was an article in the Metro about the Enstone Flying Club. 20 volunteers are involved in building a squadron of 12 new Spitfires but, in their attempts to keep the legend of this much loved aircraft alive, they are having to make them nine-tenths scale of the original to avoid costs escalating into millions.
One was minded of the profession we know and love; nobody can organise an event like the British and the performers and creatives we produce are respected throughout the world, often achieving iconic status. In spite of this, we frequently hear of, read about and experience ever decreasing budgets from clients demanding ever more for their money. It may well be that, from the point of view of our industry, those significant dates in June, July and August never take off and the brouhaha is short lived as the reality of the continuing recession kicks in.
So, what to do? Each of us is aware of the contribution made by entertainment and theming in transforming a run-of-the mill function into a memorable experience which cultivates goodwill, generates business leads...in fact achieves pretty much anything that's required. More often than not this is thanks to a group of talented, dedicated individuals who are brought in to realise the event from scratch, making sure every detail is perfect and that - even though nine-tenths or less of the necessary budget may be available - they fly high and deliver 110% plus every time.
After all the gloomy financial predictions to which we were subjected on an almost daily basis during 2011, there's nothing wrong with a little optimism about how great the 30th Olympiad or Elizabeth II's 60th anniversary celebrations could be for our sceptred isle. But are all of us arts professionals about to embark on a supersonic trip or will the next 12 months, unlike the New Year's Eve fireworks, turn out to be a bit of a damp squib?
Photo courtesy of http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/