Never Mind the Next Normal: Bring On the New Now

Posted on by Kaylee Hultgren

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By Carley Faircloth, CMO of Spiro

The world has changed. Humans have changed. And the way we design events and experiences has had to change right along with it. There’s an echo chamber on “the way things used to be” and “getting back to pre-2019,” but none of that addresses the current state of events and experiences. Rather than reflecting on a world that was, or trying to predict what the future holds, GES, a leading global provider of exhibition services, branded events and live event venue services, is taking a major step toward embracing change, identifying new growth opportunities and, ultimately, redefining what it means to “come together,” as it is NOW.

GES introduces its newest venture Spiro™, the brand experience agency for the NEW NOW.

So why did we launch Spiro?

Behaviorally speaking, when we observe culture, trends, drivers and choice, the only constant theme we can really identify is… change. And most of us are not exactly like, “WOOHOO! Change! I love getting comfortable then having it all disappear—give me MORE!” Being averse to change is in our evolutionary and biological nature—it’s how we survived getting eaten by predators and that change recoil is still programmed into our DNA.

However, the reality that change is a threat to survival, and something to be avoided, has also changed. Change is not the sabre tooth tiger coming to eat us for lunch, but at the same time our evolutionary biology has not caught up to the truth of our present reality. Now, being change embracing rather than change averse allows us to move beyond mere survival to… thrival (probably not an actual word, but it should be).

The more change embracing we become, the more change skilled we become—and being change skilled is the number one ingredient for resiliency, sustainability, viability, opportunity, possibility, longevity, profitability, creativity, relevancy, strategy and just about every other “y” word I can think of.

Now apply that change frequency to the world we live in now; post March 2020 has completely and irrevocably changed. Every aspect of the way we live, work, learn, transact, socialize, travel, consume, interact, communicate and connect has changed. Further, within these aspects, the economics have changed. The behavior has changed. The expectations have changed. The social norms have changed. The needs have changed. That is a lot of change on top of change to some very fundamental things we took for granted as static and stable in our daily lives.

In response to all this change on top of change, a whole new set of vocabulary emerged in 2020 that immediately became part of the business and civic lexicon, and ear worms in our social commentary—Normal, Next Normal, Back to Normal—implying normalcy is either something we can return to, or something that is happening in the future. If there is anything the past two years have taught us, it’s that there is no back to the old familiar—all we have is NOW. And NOW is ALWAYS NEW.

So Long, New Familiar Normal—Welcome to the New Now.

And, while all this macro change is at play in our human orbit, one more thing that we took for granted to be static and stable and has now irrevocably changed is the focal point of our professional orbit: the definition of an event and experience.

As digital mediums became a required mechanism over the past two years, the very definition of event and experience has shifted to something that is not constrained by time and channels. In the New Now, experiences meet audiences where they are—regardless of time, medium or geographic location.

The definition used to be: A gathering of people with shared interests in a specific location at a specific time. Events and experiences have a NEW NOW definition: a gathering of people with shared interests who meet in the mediums where they are.

And this NEW NOW has a new agency, Spiro, part of the GES Collective. We create global brand experiences that transcend time, space and distance, to redefine how humans connect. Check us out at

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