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2009, A year like no other


By: Maarten Engels

With the year approaching its end it becomes tempting to look back at this remarkable year. Not ignoring all other factors in life – as is easily done by self-diagnosed work-a-holic – this year has been marked by a global economic rollercoaster. Business had a very slow start in 2009 and is now ending surprisingly busy.

I can remember myself 12 months ago trying to figure out whether the recession as announced in the media would indeed occur, when I realized it made no sense thinking anymore about as we were actually already in the eye of the storm; a economic crisis so real you could almost touch it. Throughout the next months the lighting industry heard the stories about some companies laying off people, a couple closing down, most of us dropping in turnover; some even making virtually no turnover in the first two months of the year.

Perhaps like many others I tried to predict the future by philosophizing what the effect global slowdown would have on our industry, our products; our incomes. Would there still be somebody buying entertainment lighting equipment? Would people still like to spend money on entertainment at all? I thought of many theories that in the end I wasn’t sure either way anymore by the time we approached the summer.

Combining a by-default quiet summer season with a crisis is not a good recipe. Let’s not do that again. Well, at least we’d got a lot of R&D work done.

But then come September the turnaround came. Helped with a bombardment of tradeshows throughout Europe and US, the business picked up. And it kept increasing to levels that, at least we, had never seen before. So in the end it becomes the year with all-time record figures that we really did not dare to predict eight months earlier.

So a happy end at last for 2009. It’s getting time to stop looking back and start looking ahead at 2010, for which I will not even tempt to make any assumptions. Instead I’ll worry about things I do have influence on like our R&D planning; we have some nice releases lined up for next year.

Perhaps we’ve all worked hard enough to have earned nice rest from this hectic year. Whatever your plans are, let me wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration!