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However, for many, it’s a means of trying to imagine what life is looking like in 2022 and beyond, specifically when it comes to work/life balance, business, and the act of going out and meeting people; be it for business or pleasure.

This is particularly difficult when we continue to be bombarded by a continually changing ‘pandemic environment’. We’re used to having regular briefings on what we can and can’t do; they are inevitably followed by a series of clarification points and exposition where we seek the many different nuances we need to understand to go about our lives in a safe and legal way.

In our minds, this new normal isn’t a line, where what was before has changed into what it is now. It’s not a moment where we revert to what we were all used to before and carry on regardless. Life is too turbulent, unpredictable, and changeable; and that is exactly what this new normal really is. You know that constant feeling of flux and instability you feel? That’s the very essence of new normal.

The truth is that everything is changing; and for us, this is what new normal really is.

So, when it comes to the parameters of how we can go about our business, especially here at The Eastside Rooms, where our product is all about bringing people together for amazing experiences, how can we begin to approach how best to do things?

We came upon a solution, a very simple one. It’s really a three-way decision between what our clients want, what we can deliver safely and securely, and finally, what is in the best interests of the delegate.

Not only are we constantly well within government guides, but we also far surpass them in terms of responsibility. At the same time, we are also taking control of our own destinies and, most importantly, putting the accountability back into the hands of the people most qualified to have it, meetings, and events professionals.

This approach has several benefits, one of which is the ability to take on changes we have made to our products and services, instigated as part of the pandemic contingency procedures, that benefit the customer. Maybe we should all have been washing our hands more than we were; maybe leaving windows open to let in more fresh air isn’t just a good idea to fight the pandemic, but because it allows better health outcomes, more oxygen, and higher levels of concentration amongst our delegates.

And it’s the same with cleanliness and hygiene. Like many within the industry, The Eastside Rooms were quick to instigate deep cleaning activities that fought spread of pandemic; we turned particular attention to high use areas such as the buttons in the lifts, door handles and stair rails; we invested in cleaners that were more affective against viruses, and we upped the frequency of cleaning.

In 2022, guess what, we’re keeping this all in place. Not because we must, but because they are a really good idea, they work, and they are the right thing to do. We all know that we are now living in the age of the pandemic and these measures offer reassurance to everyone, whilst underlining the basic principle that we care about the people that come to our venue.

New normal is a collision of the confusion of what happened before, with the unsteady planning of what is to come. Those in business, with the responsibility of looking after people (like us) need to be decisive and in charge of our own destinies, especially when it comes to enacting our duty of care towards our delegates. Likewise, we need to work together with other responsible people, like our customers, to make sensible decisions.

Nothing is set in stone, everything is flexible, we need to be agile, dynamic, and ready to flip on a second’s notice. But by working together this can be achieved and will lead to better outcomes and closer relationships. In the meantime, we can continue to learn, take on good behaviours and make them stick.