What is your word for 2020?

Every year, word smiths choose a word of the year. Last month, Collins Dictionary unveiled its word of the year: “lockdown.” Merriam-Webster went with “pandemic.” Meanwhile, Oxford Languages 2020 said that 2020 could not be summed up with just one single word and chose multiple words such as Covid-19, unmute, remote working, coronavirus, social distancing, mask, mask-shaming, super spreader, mail-in, reopening, BIPOC and Black Lives Matter. All of this related vocabulary, political and economic volatility, social activism, the election, and the rapid uptake of new technologies and behaviors due to the pandemic crept into our lexicon this year.

Ariana Huffington offered up a different word of the year, and we feel especially attached to this one: resilience. It certainly encapsulates, in a deeper sense, the shared experience of billions of people this year.

We agree with the word “resilience” because unlike quarantine and pandemic, resilience is going to be just as relevant when the pandemic is over. As Huffington eloquently wrote, “Resilience is the quality that was summoned in us by all the challenges of 2020. And it’s also the quality that’s going to carry us forward into 2021.”

We couldn’t agree more! Resilience is what has gotten us through this year when in March every event was canceled around the world! Resilience is what has gotten us through (and is still getting us through) this challenge. Resilience is identifying the skills we have to thrive and continue onward such as creating a makeshift remote hospital at the Javits Center in New York City in the spring; creating hundreds of beds for patients with our partner at Gilman Brothers in Connecticut; innovating and building PPE double hooped bed tents for COVID patients and hospitals; building protective desk shields for schools and; building desks for remote learning and work from home use when the supply chain ran dry last fall. Resilience is taking an entire live events industry and reinventing and transforming it to go virtual – while still making it fun, rewarding, and safe. Resilience is innovating how to make events safe again.

Resilience is working with Washington, DC, and continuing to lead the charge to support the SBA PPP loan program, because we and so many other small businesses were (and still are) in need of help and assistance. Resilience is pushing on to progress toward another COVID relief bill to see action before the end of the year to work with the House and Senate delegations to let them know how badly we need a PPP extension.

One of the key parts of resilience isn’t about bouncing back, it’s about bouncing forward. It’s about using adversity as a catalyst to get better and become stronger.

What we’ve learned in 2020, is that we simply can’t do without it. Right now we’re all waiting for a vaccine to bring the pandemic to an end, but that doesn’t solve all our challenges. We need to continue to fight on, to fight for the events industry, to fight for our company and our employees. This year we have all tapped into deeper resources in ourselves, and across our company than some of us didn’t even know we had in us.

So, what is your word of 2020? Is your word resilience? Because ours sure is!