by Frank Silverman
I start this column with a bit of sorrow because usually I’d be giving one last push for the Martial Arts SuperShow. I’d talk about all the great topics to be covered. I’d bring up all the fantastic speakers and seminars and training ops. I would, of course, give a few reasons why all Martial Arts Industry Association members should attend — not just to further their own education for the benefit of the industry as a whole but also to show support for all the hard work that MAIA and Century put into the event.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 got the best of the SuperShow again this year. As I type this, Las Vegas is on its way back to normalcy, but many venues still are not fully open. In some ways, the success of the Show is what doomed it: Caesars Forum, which was supposed to be our venue this year, has maximum occupancy rates that are far lower than the numbers we draw. The social distancing requirements that will be in place in Vegas for the foreseeable future also would have hindered the usual proceedings at the Show.
The upside is all this is that the 2022 SuperShow will be even bigger and better! As we teach our students when we explain why patience is a martial arts virtue, good things come to those who wait. We just need to wait one more year.
This means that people will have more time to make arrangements to attend the greatest martial arts business show. With extra time to prepare a budget for the event, the financing is bound to be easier. Of course, your students will be happy to see you attend because it helps you improve your school and your community.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of not holding the SuperShow this year is that we school owners can focus 100 percent on the summer months. It’s essential not only to prepare for a boom in in-person attendance as life returns to normal but also to maintain our current virtual-training options. Why? In years past, a summer vacation for a student’s family likely meant that student would spend a week or two disconnected from the martial arts. Now, with virtual training, it doesn’t have to.
As you know, summer leads into back-to-school season, and more than ever, we need to make it a good one. It’s anticipated that most of the country will have returned to in-person learning by then, and spending extra time to prepare is a must. For those who hold or have considered holding a martial arts camp, now is the time to do so if ever there was one. The extra revenue will be welcome, and organizing a camp adds value to what you offer your students, which increases retention.
Here’s the grand-finale pep talk: 2021 is shaping up to be a great year. The public is experiencing a pent-up desire to get out and be active and social, and our schools are uniquely positioned to meet their needs. COVID-19 is not out of sight, but it is in the rearview mirror, and that’s a huge relief for all of us. Our schools can thrive in the current environment while we prepare for a brighter future, one that includes attending the 2022 SuperShow in Las Vegas.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I look forward to shaking every single person’s hand at the next event. That used to be metaphorically speaking, but now I mean it literally. Have a great summer and an even better year. We hope to see everyone soon.
To contact Frank Silverman, MAIA’s executive director, send an email to [email protected] Find him on Twitter and Facebook at @franksilverman.
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