My 13-year-old son discovered the value of money early-on. Quite the entrepreneur, he was taking out trash and running light errands for senior citizens in our neighborhood back in 5th grade, mowing lawns in 6th and now that baseball’s back, he’s spending evenings and Saturdays calling balls and strikes in Pinto League baseball. Having three kids grow up playing baseball/softball, I knew how unruly coaches and parents can be, so I had his back, sitting directly behind home plate for his first few games.
Anyone who has watched 7- and 8-year-old kids play baseball knows that it’s two hours of beanball and compound unforced errors. But this year is especially raw because there was no baseball last year. Everyone is starting fresh. Boys are showing off shiny new cleats at the chagrin of the few that are forced to wear an older brother’s hand-me-downs. Dads are pressed against the backstop, filming first at bats while moms are cheering strikes like game 7 of the World Series. There’s some serious crash coaching on the fly. Adjusting batter stances in between pitches while first graders make dirt castles at shortstop. Every pitcher is a knuckleball specialist, throwing some serious junk out there while batters are swatting at flies. Coaching this level requires herculean patience and everyone is trying to figure this game out and their role in it.
With this thought in mind, I imagine as we emerge from COVID that our industry is going through a similar process. Just as these kids are trying something new, we’re all trying to figure out new rules of engagement and back to touring plans. At the same time, this is our opportunity to emerge new, different, better and unique. Hopefully you’ve spent time during this lull to re-envision your travel program. Some of this is forced upon us, with travel restrictions still in place internationally some of our trips are a no go so we must find suitable replacements. But beyond that, if you took a fresh look at your business, what would you do differently? How would your target change?
With a pent-up demand, group travel is poised to be more popular than ever.
Everybody here is starting over, so seize the opportunity to reinvent yourself or reinvest in your business, in yourself.
When we look back in 5 or 10 years, we’ll realize that many great ideas were launched in the year that travel took a hiatus, and that fortune favored the bold.
It’s not too late to get those new pair of cleats and start stealing bases.
Jeff Gayduk, Publisher