This time, a year ago, we could not foresee what 2020 would really bring to us, but I bet that we all made plans and had dreams about where the roads might lead us, what old and new friends we are about to meet, or we were looking forward to new accomplishments.

You know by now that probably just a small fraction of our wishes came true or none at all, as we all were hit in a way or another, by the COVID-19 pandemic. But now it is not the moment to look back at what could have been, at what did not happen or what could have been different. Instead, let us take a moment and congratulate ourselves for being brave, for being present, for doing our best when times were some of the worst. And, at the same time, let us be grateful because history proved us that everything could have been worse.

Individually and as a business community, as EPTDA, we all did our best to fight the consequences and conquer this challenge. We all went through changes, some of us maybe never really thought that there will be a time when the EPTDA Annual Convention event and other big events, with a long tradition, will not happen due to travel restrictions and lockdowns. But we adapted ourselves and helped other adapt as well. Digitalization was maybe the second most used word of the year – yes, now we can say that we might suffer from “Zoom fatigue”, that technology and digital meetings cannot replace the real human interactions – and it will never do. But without it, imagine how 2020 would have been for you and your companies?

As long-time member, volunteer and now President of EPTDA, I witness the power and the importance of a community. We worked hard to stay in touch, to come up with projects and ideas that could provide at least a small support to you. We know we could not provide the right answers or solutions to everybody, as this crisis affected each region differently, but we will continue working on this matter.

We cannot predict what 2021 will bring for EPTDA, but we did plan different scenarios that will help us remain an active and valuable community on the PT/MC market. The EPTDA leaders and the EPTDA Bureau are working on improving and delivering the most relevant solutions and projects for you. It goes without saying that we hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

No matter what the future will bring us, it is important to keep our spirits high and when we cannot do this anymore, to look around for inspiration, within our families, friends, our businesses, colleagues, and leaders, within ourselves. If you made it until here, you could do it further! You are not alone and, together, as a community, we can overcome this challenge and, next year, this time, we can look back and be grateful for all what we have accomplished despite the odds!

On behalf of the EPTDA leaders and EPTDA Bureau, I am wishing you all a much better, brighter, and happier 2021! Really hope to meet you live, to shake your hands and to have a good time while being together in the same room, same place, same hour!

EPTDA President – Des Spillings

Connect with Des Spillings on LinkedIn.