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The entertainment industry is no different from any other. We are on the cusp of a new era, which arguably will involve more change than any of us ever have, or ever will have experienced. Is this an over dramatisation or over statement? I don’t think so. How we manage the change will define where culture and entertainment fit in our society. For those interested in such matters, John Kampfner has written a thought-provoking piece in today’s New European (05/03/20).

Let’s look at the bigger picture. From early industrialisation in the mid nineteenth century through the entire twentieth century, we have pursued a path where fossil fuels have been the dominant source of power. Arguably, we have either found out rather late or more likely have not listened to the experts and we now find ourselves in a place where irreversible climate damage is inevitable unless a more extreme form of action is taken. We should have started this process of change twenty or thirty years ago but in simple terms, the pursuance of wealth and power was more attractive than the health of the planet.

Guess what – the health of the planet has now gone to the top of the agenda and anybody embracing this phenomenon in business will gain a commercial advantage over those who don’t. Sorry to sound cynical but Planet brings Profit. We used to be worried if competitors were cheaper, faster, slower, shinier, smaller, larger, louder, silent and so on. This has changed. If your competitors have greener credentials, you are in deep trouble. The perception of green is interesting because it is the first criteria ever that provoked a purchaser to pay more for a product when they know they could buy at least as good from somewhere else for a lower price. Ethical sourcing didn’t really achieve this – green sourcing does.

In our industry, the formalisation of Health & Safety was a big process of change. Then came quality control, which some have adopted and some haven’t. We now have sustainability compliance, which is bigger than anything that has ever happened before. It is utterly predictable that the day will come when businesses have to shut down or comply. How we all manage this process of change is up to us.

At the ABTT Theatre Show this year, we will be holding seminars, sessions, think ins, meetings or whatever you want to call them. We will be bringing in a number of people from outside the industry to help guide our thinking. At the moment we are setting this up in new format where the tone will be positive, stimulating and hopefully an enjoyable and productive exercise. Details will be announced after Easter so we advise everyone to lock the ABTT Theatre Show attendance into their diaries sooner rather than later.

We urge all visitors and exhibitors to engage. Can you really afford to walk on by?  Register to attend, turn up and join in!