How do YOU see 2022 playing out when gazing into the crystal ball?
Here at West Entertainment, we’re incredibly excited for the next 12-months and we’re feeling optimistic that better days are coming for travel and for entertainment – the two dynamic industries we serve – and love!
We recently gathered our team and asked them to identify themes that they believed would define the coming year in global business. When we peered collectively into the future… a single word came sharply into focus: Flexibility.
Over the past two years, as businesses have recalibrated to survive in a world in upheaval, it has been those that embraced change and adopted a certain plasticity that stayed most relevant and remained afloat… or even prospered. Now as we enter the third year of the pandemic (how did that even happen!?), and the light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter, it will continue to be the businesses that build flexibility into their DNA that come out on top.
But don’t just listen to us! We’ve found loads of evidence that flexibility and resilience will continue to be essential themes for business (and life!) in 2022.
On the airline side, operational challenges posed by covid have meant that routes can open and close with very little notice. Airline route planners and service supply chains must continue to be flexible and accommodate sudden changes in volume and demand. Flexible booking policies are now commonplace amongst airlines and cruise operators, enabling passengers to book with confidence and change plans if needed. On the flipside of this, many industry-watchers are now predicting that airlines could soon begin to tighten up their change policies. It’s clear that savvy passengers will continue to book with airlines and cruise companies that offer the most wiggle room and peace of mind. From this perspective, it’s not just airlines that will benefit from flexibility 2022, but travellers will too.
One of our earlier blogs from April last year did a great job describing some of the ways in which content production companies got flexible in terms of how they released a backlog of content created by the pandemic. In 2020, hybrid streaming/in-theatre releases (also called day-and-date release) became a major thing and theatrical release windows looked set to close forever.
In a blog penned for 8020 Consulting in August 2021, Finance Consultant and Film producer Chris Routhe wrote:
The distribution flexibility that the day-and-date affords is a matter of subjectivity. Disney CEO Bob Chapek remarked, “We’re really celebrating that flexibility…we’re trying to offer consumers more choice.” The National Association of Theatre Owners had a much different take following the July 9th day-and-date release of Black Widow, calling the hybrid release a “pandemic-era artifact that should be left to history with the pandemic itself.”
Talk about different views!
But in the IFE world – we are seeing more great movies and TV than ever being made available to our airline clients. We are literally spoiled for choice. Many studios have now agreed to go back to a much shorter window of exclusivity for theatrical release down to 45 days, to reward their direct-to-consumer SVOD platforms shortly thereafter.
RIP to the 90-Day Theatrical Window (msn.com)
Trends in consumer electronics directly impact what people expect from entertainment when travelling by air or cruising. The consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held recently in Las Vegas and flexible tech drew loads of attention. On display at CES were a slew of screens that bend, but don’t break.
LG Display introduced a new vision for the vision for the notebook industry with a 17-inch Foldable OLED for laptops. Barely showing a crease where it folds, this surprising innovation gives users the flexibility to use the device as a laptop, tablet, or monitor.
Also, from LG came a concept called LG One: Quick Flex. This is a 43-inch, display complete with built-in camera, microphones, and speakers. LG is calling this a an “All-In-One Display for Effective Communication” that can be used anywhere, anytime, for video conferencing, design, demos, collaboration and more.
And 4K remained a hot topic – and as our IFE market recovers, we will start to see more airlines seeking to utilize this technology as a differentiator.
The cat’s out of the bag when it comes to workplace productivity. The pandemic has taught us that, in many cases, teams can work effectively from just about anywhere. Many of us have set up comfortable workspaces at home and gotten used to not commuting anymore! Yet while we don’t NEED to be at the office, the ability to return and the desire for in-person collaboration means that a lot of workers are likely to now thrive in a more flexible setup, where they can dip in and out of the office. It’s not just about office vs. home, though. Here is a great article about how different types of flexible working can help companies recruit and retain top talent.
At West Entertainment
We hear our customers loud and clear when they say they want… scratch that… NEED flexibility from partners like us so that they can stay flexible themselves. Things are looking more like normal, but we’re not there yet and we all need to be able to bend.
“That which yields is not always weak.”
― Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel’s Dart
That’s why we’re making some key promises to all our customers:
Get in touch with us at Hello@westent.com. Let us show you how our flexible approach can help you go further.
1582 Deere Ave, Suite A, Irvine CA, 92606
2454, Office Block B, Musaffah, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Phone: +1(949) 577-9760