2021 - The return of events

17. Dec 2021

It’s that time of the year again! Time to sum up a year that didn't turn out as we had planned. Things rarely turn out exactly as you plan with a pandemic still a reality in most of the world. A pandemic that we all have learned to live with but which has also hit the sports- and event industry hard. So it's good to be able to look back on a year when we made the best of the situation and the autumn where we actually got to experience great events in a way that until recently we took for granted.

2021 started with a number of ski races on-site, both in Italy and in Sweden. There was still a lot of uncertainty about how races could be run and local differences were huge. The first half of the year was characterized by a mix of 'real' races, virtual races and hybrid races. While we of course love to deliver our services on-site and experience that race feeling, thanks to our event app and virtual services we were able to deliver virtual events in cases where mass participation events were not possible. Something that was appreciated both by organizers who could offer the opportunity to race and especially by participants who could finally compete again. However, we were deeply grateful that during the summer we received more and more positive signals and got ready for an autumn with real races.

Then came the next big misfortune. A severe rainstorm and flooding hit Germany, including our headquarter in Bergisch Gladbach. Within hours, large parts of our premises were damaged and a huge part of our equipment was destroyed. After a whole year of reduced event work, we now had two huge piles of work in front of us: on the on side, the main season peak with many big events stuffed into a period of only 3 months and, on the other side, simultaneously trying to clean up the mess, that was left by the floodings and finding a new place to operate from. Moving our complete office and storage to our interim premises within 3 weeks after the flood, while at the same time still preparing and even executing on-site races, was a huge event on its own.

We were very proud of how we as a team faced all the challenges and uncertainties that the pandemic brought. How we stuck together and never lost our positive spirit. We can hardly describe our feeling about how we overcame this additional challenge. We realize that this team effort was extraordinary, and we are grateful for it.

We worked as a team, we grew stronger as a team, and once we were done evacuating and moving to new facilities, we shifted our focus to the big races of the fall. We got back to actual mass participation events with 5-digit numbers of participants and we are very happy that we could provide our full range of products and services and thus contribute to cautiously returning to the usual event setups. We experienced big marathon races in Germany, US, UK and Sweden. We delivered our services to OCR races, triathlons, bike events and a crossfit series in both Europe and the US. Well, in short, we got to do what we do love and do best again.

However, the latest developments of the pandemic remind us of the serious situation we are all still in. 2022 will not yet be a normal event season, but it will most likely rather be defined by a mix of virtual and on-site events and we are sure that it will be another big step towards normality. Providing the best solutions for any conditions, we are looking forward to seeing you and working with you back on the venues all around the world next year.

We know that this pandemic has been very difficult for all of us, and we are grateful for everyone who has been able to muster the strength, creativity and resources to organize an event of any kind under these special circumstances. We understand that not everyone in our industry was able to make things happen the way they wanted, or perhaps had to do without altogether. We wish us all the positivity, strength, creativity and resources to get back to doing what we love best in the future: creating outstanding sporting events that enrich people's lives and experiences.

Now it's finally time to take a break from this busy, eventful and hard year. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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