What is normal?

When the world ultimately returns to normal, albeit an as yet unknown “new normal”.   Where does all of this leave live events? Both in the UK and globally.

Much comment has been made about Zoom, especially its exponential growth during the lockdown; that businesses across the globe will realise that face-to-face meetings of any size are redundant; that drab (and not so drab) offices are surplus to requirements as we all embrace a new WFH culture; that AI and automation will bring an end to the need for many to trudge daily onto the factory shop floor. Let’s take a quick look at each of those.

Evolution uses Zoom once a week on a Friday morning for a remote social get-together for the team, to enable us all to say hi and see each other’s happy smiling faces. It can be a bit “clanky” at times with the odd mac glitch preventing somebody from joining, but in the main it works. It’s a purely social thing, no work of any nature comes up as some of the team are in furlough and email and the good old mobile phone works just as well for the rest to communicate (as it always has done).

Zoom is not new, the service launched at the start of 2013, more than 7 years ago – yet how many of us have only just started using it?

There are plenty of fore runners and competitors to Zoom: work-based models such as Cisco Webex that enable colleagues to speak directly to each other across the world. I am no expert, but I would expect these may be much more secure systems and possibly relatively expensive in terms of the kit needed? Microsoft Teams is an alternative option too… we have that included in our software licence package but have never felt the urge to actually use it. And of course, there’s Skype, which launched a full decade before Zoom and enabled everybody to easily and cheaply connect with friends, relatives and associates wherever they may be. Zoom has its plusses I’m sure, its ease of use (even a 0.1 on the IT scale like me can use it) and the fact that it is free to use for limited sessions. Beyond that, i‘m not convinced Zoom is a “Global Gamechanger” in terms of human behaviour any more than its predecessors have proved to be.

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