2020 has been a very difficult year for many in the events industry, but we are seeing signs of recovery to a ‘new normal’ in some areas – exemplified by our client Susannah Streeter.
The year began as planned for Susannah, as host and moderator at the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum. A number of other projects were in the pipeline, when COVID-19 intervened and cancellations and postponements ensued. Home schooling and broadcasting from a cupboard under the stairs for the BBC World Service were suddenly the order of the day – the glamorous life of an international broadcaster!
The summer ended up being quite eventful, nonetheless. Susannah appeared on Steve Wright in the Afternoon with co-presenter Zoe Kleinman – Presenter and Technology Reporter at the BBC – to promote their podcast. From virtual dating to elegant ways to leave a boring zoom meeting, the pair dispensed vital 2020 life hacks.
There was also a taste of things to come as Susannah served as a virtual moderator at The Recovery Summit, masterminded by Patrick and Esther Nelson at Speakers Associates, where she interviewed Nobel Laureates in economics, Joseph Stigliz and Paul Romer.
The big news of the year came in mid-Summer when Susannah revealed that she was leaving the BBC, after 17 years as a presenter, correspondent and reporter, for a high-profile role as Senior Investment and Markets Analyst at the FTSE 100 investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown. Working as a commentator and guest, Susannah has since been seen, read and heard on many major platforms including CNN, Sky, the New York Times, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail and even back at the BBC.
For Susannah and many of our other clients, September saw a major upturn in some parts of the events industry. She was a keynote speaker at the Radiocentre’s “Back to Business” event – pre-recorded in a theatre as the organisers were mindful of coronavirus precautions.
A week later Susannah travelled to Munich to host and moderate BMW’s Future Forum examining Future Technologies and Artificial Intelligence.
This Saturday sees another highlight with Susannah appearing on “Pointless Celebrities” at 5.30pm on BBC1 with BBC colleague, the lovely Nikki Fox. Recorded some time ago, the schedulers are gratefully plucking this one off the shelf after the summer COVID hiatus. It was filmed in front of an audience at BBC Elstree and Susannah and Nikki had a lot of fun competing against six other radio and TV personalities to try and raise money for their chosen charities.
It may be some time before Susannah and our other clients are back in front of a full, live studio audience, but the events industry is at least finding new and ingenious ways to overcome the restrictions that this coronavirus has forced on us all. Bring on 2021!