And just like that,
America elected Donald Trump as its new president.
While the final
votes are counted and the rest of the world - including the UK events industry
- comes to terms with the result, I can't help but feel we're living a
It's like groundhog
day after our Brexit vote.
It is frightening to
think of the consequences a Trump president will have on the international
scale. His contempt shows no bounds. He has managed to offend almost everyone;
women, Muslims, Mexicans and every immigrant living and working in the country.
He has stirred a wave of hatred that has drowned out common sense among
Yet, in a result
that is astounding, mindboggling, and makes my stomach curdle, the American
people have elected him as their new leader.
Trump claims to make
America great again, yet he is a direct opponent to the fundamentals of
democracy. If the polls had gone the other way, he would be red in the face
with anger, pointing the finger at the "biased" media (who
now thanks to him, require security if they attend his rallies, such is the
hatred that has been stirred against us) and claiming the entire voting process
was rigged. But of course, because the polls have gone his way, we have to put
up with his smug look of victory.
But I'm going off
track here; and I'm sorry. What does this all mean for the UK events industry?
Well, as was the
case immediately after the Brexit vote, no-one really knows yet. There are a
lot of nerves as our colleagues wait to hear from US clients, as we watch how
the international markets react (and almost comically, the Canadian immigration
website struggles to get back up and running). Understandably, many feel blighted on a personal level and particularly belonging to an industry that is overwhelmingly made up of women as well as a high proportion of LGBT people.
There have been a lot of quick wit from industry colleagues, particularly on social media, where peers have made Donald Trump hair jokes and Oompa Loompa references. Honorary mention should go to Wesgro, Cape Town & Western Cape tourism, trade & investment, who has kindly offered to help Americans relocate to Cape Town.
But, just as was the
case with Brexit, the events industry will inevitably forge on. The surprising
result in June taught us that if nothing else, we are resilient, positive and
adaptable to change.
While the US
presidential outcome will no doubt be a blow to the majority of us - if not on
a business, but on a personal level - we will do as the British do best. Keep
calm and carry on.