AINsight: Words To Live By

 - May 1, 2020, 11:57 AM

We have all been learning new words and phrases that help us define our new reality. “Social distancing” is an interesting phrase. It means I am not able to hug my grandchildren but merely drive by their houses and wave, among other things.

Reactive pricing” is a phrase I used in last month’s blog that describes throwing a dart at the wall to arrive at an offer price rather than using comps and research to develop a responsible offer. I talked about “heightened sensitivity” as a method to bring a gentleness to a transaction in this very strange time we are in.

Today, I want to talk about “community engagement.” Something very interesting is happening with respect to a new community in our industry. The webinar formats with Zoom and other platforms are all the rage. This is not new, but in the past when I would join a tele or web conference there would be maybe 25 people attending. Today, it is not unusual to attend with 400 to 500 other people.

There are some wonderful gatherings taking place in the business aviation space. AIN is hosting fabulous content-generated webinars made up of the best and brightest industry professionals. Alasdair Whyte of Corporate Jet Investor is also having weekly chats, and NBAA is building content that always leaves me more informed. Stewart Lapayowker, an aviation attorney, is hosting an internet radio show called Plane Talk, while Keith Swirsky’s law firm holds regular webinars.

What I am so thankful for is the sheer opportunity to gather with my friends and colleagues and even competitors to share our new realities of each day. In fact, these gatherings are creating a new level of community for us all. For some this interaction can fill voids that are very lonely.

Many of you are not sure what this will all mean for us as industry professionals and the industry at large going forward. These gatherings can give us insight as to how others are coping, as well as what other regional or global segments of our industry are doing to develop business today given this current environment.

In our hearts, we know this will not last. We know our industry will be back in the skies. We know it will be just a matter of time for our economies to open up again. Business leaders and high net worth individuals will be back crisscrossing the globe, our country will be back to doing business and using business aviation to get out ahead of their competition, in front of their customers as well as traveling safely to vacation locations and family outings.

But in the meantime, my hope is we will not lose the community we are currently creating with these gatherings. We are getting to know so many more people in our industry than we did just a few weeks ago. We are learning about new people that can become important resources for us all as we go back to a more normal work environment.

Because we are making these new friends, we are also potentially even building what our industry has been striving to create—a more transparent environment for ourselves and our clients. I assure you this new gathering opportunity is creating a community that will last well beyond this pandemic.

Sure, we will not have the time once back to our more normal days to spend hours each day on a Zoom call. But even when we get busy, hopefully we will each pick one or two of what have become our favorites and continue to join in. Let’s be sure we all take a bit more time to check in with each other and not lose touch. I am always available to talk, call me—303-588-5728. Stay healthy and safe!