Two weeks ago, I wrote about the great challenge that I received from the @M18 team to come up with 21 differences between 2020 and 2021. I’ll start with my more generic predictions that impact all of us, not just our target audience such as hiring companies, job seekers and interim managers…
First, the ones that impact our health system:
- Very obvious: 2020 was the Year of the Pandemic, 2021 will be the Year of Vaccination. In my childhood I never looked forward to being vaccinated. Going to the doctor, getting a needle poked in my arm and walk out with a big blue spot that hurt like hell. Thank you to all the boys in my class who loved to make this experience worse by ‘friendly’ saying ‘hi’ whilst tapping my arm. This time it will be sooo different, I’m eager to get vaccinated ASAP and so does virtually anyone I’ve been talking to. Everyone is fed up with the situation, vaccination may bring us back to a more ‘normal’ social life!
- A cute one 😊, the impact on our new born babies. The UN estimates that worldwide on average there are 385,000 born each day, over a 140 million per year! What will happen to these numbers in 2021??? Euromonitor predicted in October 2020 that ‘younger generations (specifically millennials and Generation Z) in developed markets are facing bleak economic and job prospects amidst the pandemic’. They think that it is likely they will postpone or reconsider marriage and childbirth. They based these findings on statistics that followed the 2008-2009 financial crisis. I do think they forgot an important factor: or the consequence of the ‘stay at home’ rules. Without much distraction couples continuously enjoy each other’s company. Result: the Benelux hospitals are preparing themselves for the 2021 BABY BOOM! Time will tell who is right but I put my money’s on the latter. I know that my family is looking forward to the arrival of the next generation of nieces and nephews in 2021, and at M18 we are also happily expecting!!!
Then there’s the change in the world of entertainment:
- Streaming became THE subscription-based source of entertainment of 2020. We’ve all binge watched our go-to series on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Streamz…, and last year’s subscription rate exploded! In 2021 we’re not ‘off the hook’ just yet, and especially in Europe (where vaccination is lagging in comparison to certain other continents), we’ll continue to depend on this form of entertainment. 2021 will also be the year when another more recently arrived subscription will boom! Welcome to Retail subscriptions! It’s not a 2021 invention, but now large brands such as H&M and Nike are jumping on the bandwagon. We are still restricted in our shopping as in most countries shops are closed. Retailers are therefore starting to tap into this experiential retail component by offering specially-selected boxes of products to customers on a regular basis (weekly, monthly) for a modest fee. Personally, I’m not a fan of real-life shopping in the current circumstances, nor am I successful when trying to shop online for fun. So I’m certainly happy to try this alternative form of entertainment.
- In March 2020 all events such as FESTIVALS and CONCERTS were put on hold. Some organisations offered online alternatives but it just wasn’t the same. I’ve heard predictions that by this summer the football arena’s will be filled with spectators again, but do not yet see this happening. I do believe that 2021, especially the second half, will become the year of BOUTIQUE EVENTS! These are quality, tailor-made events for smaller audiences with a shorter duration, giving the performer the opportunity to move around between different locations and do multiple performances with varying repertoires on the same day. All shows can be streamed live, so that the audience from the first show can stay and watch the rest on a big screen. And of course the fans that could not get a ticket can follow all shows online
- In 2020 major sport events such as the European football cup and the Olympics were postponed, and Japan is starting to express their doubt about having the in 2021 (although the IOC this week confirmed their eagerness to have the games). I’m not always an optimist, but I do feel confident that UEFA Euro 2020 will take place in 2021!
Living in a house vs being at home:
- When 2020 started, we spent most of the time outside our house. During the day we were at the office or school, evenings were spent at restaurants, the cinema or theatre,… Then came the ‘Blijf In uw kot’, Flemish slang for ‘Stay at home’. Pre-pandemic our schedules were (over)booked with ‘out-of-home’ activities, 2020 made us realise the benefits of taking a step back and spending time at home. 2021 will bring a turning point when we can go out again, where we will no longer be obliged to live and work at home. Still, because we have ‘tasted’ the benefits of being at home we will opt for a better balance between going out and staying at home. In 2021 we will discover our Optimal Quality Time .
- In 2020 your house became your office, go-to restaurant, gym, home cinema etc while we could hardly travel or go out. This created the need to have a nice home which has been leading to a boom in demand for home cinema’s, swimming pools, sauna’s…,. Although plans to renovate have started to take shape in 2020, they’ll mostly be executed in 2021 for the most wonderful staycations!
Stay tuned for Part 2 where you can expect my vision on how I see the lockdown parties of early 2020 evolve into the ‘roaring 21ies’ 😉! Also, I would love to hear/read your views on these topics!