“The event sector consists of go-getters.

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this fourth wave. Last year I was still sure of a second wave, and at Sylvester we had the whole arsenal of online tools and MEEPLE platform ready for it, but this fourth wave? No,  “totally unexpected” you may call it.

Nor did I expect to end up on the infection statistics myself. I – like most during October – let it go a bit, but in November I was still very cautious again, and look: It’s my turn! Fortunately, my vaccination limited the damage to two days of a good cold and 10 days of isolation. Thank you, Pfizer. Thank you, vaccination centre of Kampenhout-sas with all those enthusiastic volunteers.

But despite a fourth wave, alienating telework and succession of quarantines and isolations, there is also some celebration at Sylvester in Haacht. Last week, we won a golden BEA award for best public event (Liberation celebration Antwerp) with, in addition, two final places for digital events. Thank you, expert judges of the Belgian Event Awards. This week we received the news that we may also attach the scalp of a new Certificate of Excellence to our belt. A customer award, so to speak. Thank you, customers, for all the positive, enthusiastic reviews. The fact that we receive praise for our productions, as well as for our pleasant approach and cooperation, makes me very happy. And finally, there is also our video cell which is growing like cabbage. The more event coverage, the more video.

Is it one of those periods that is labelled manic-depressive? The fact is that the government’s approach to the fourth wave is very disappointing, and not at least for the event sector. Beware, I would not like to sit at the table of the consultation committee myself; in fact, I have some compassion for them. After all, it will always be wrong for someone. But there is little statesmanship to be seen, as if everyone is constantly calculating how many votes can be won or lost with this or that decision.

And so, for many event and cultural projects, it’s game over, yet again. Horrible stories. But fortunately also countless stories of infinite resilience. Anyone who was at the BEA awards could see that the sector is one of go-getters, not quitters. In misery, you recognise strength.

The same applies to Sylvester. This fourth wave too will not make us crack. Maybe we will have to bend a little, but then we will rise up again. With new ideas, concepts and formats, new innovative tools perhaps, new ambitions and goals. Also new projects for video, TV and events. We are already working hard as blood is thicker than water. The switch from physical to online and hybrid has opened up new possibilities we want to explore even further. Last year, we had a taste of being pioneers, and yes, maybe we are used to it by now?

But for now, let’s first take some time for reflection during the end-of-year days. Looking back once more at the why, the how and the what perhaps? Why do we, at Sylvester, do what we do? Ideal days to take a break from all the hectic activities. Corona does make you think on that front too.