The Wood Wide Web

Did you know there is a Wood Wide Web?

Underneath our feet, in the woods, grasslands & crops of the UK (which account for 69% of our landscape), there is a fungi known as mycorrhizal fungi. This fungus is a vast, complex, interconnected web of roots, strands, and pathways, all communicating with each other transporting information, nutrients, goodness (and badness). It’s very similar to the world wide web, otherwise known as the internet and it’s also very similar to the M&E market and your business.

Woodlands actually talk (communicate) with each other and there is growing evidence that their communication can be heard – if you have the right equipment. 

Now, if things are happening beneath our feet and all the flora is communicating with each other, then it stands to reason that what we see and experience on the surface is not necessarily only the result of what is happening directly underground. A bit like a doctor searching for the cause of pain as well as needing to know how to treat the symptom.

What we see and experience on the surface is only part of the story. There’s stuff going on beneath the surface that, unless we understand it, or at least try to, we will forever be treating the symptom. Putting out fires. Reacting.

And so to life in the Meetings and Events world.

We’ve been ‘reacting’ for a long while now. Operating in a world of chaos. The disorder is now subsiding and the data shows it. It’s time to stop reacting and start responding. 

We know that the old normal is changing. And that change will be constant for quite a few years. Habits are changing. Cultures have changed. The world has changed and the old rhythm of M&E has changed. But it IS calming down. The numbers show it.

To the data. The facts. The truth.

March 23 Booking trends

March ’23 saw a significant drop in bookings – the third drop in a row (excluding December). 

Is that alarming?

Is that a surprise?

It shouldn’t be either. The upward curve had to drop at some point. All good things must come to an end and the feast appears to have ended.

Just like the woods and the mycorrhizal fungi, things are happening deep within your clients. Deep within your systems, your people and your processes. I’m boring myself with my repetitiveness, but the devil really is in the detail. What is the market doing? What are your competitors doing and how does your business compare?

Are you growing big and strong with good stuff flowing your way via your own mycorrhizal fungal network, or are you under attack with the ‘not so good’ stuff?

If you don’t look, you won’t know.

And if you want to know more about mycorrhizal fungi, here’s a link to a fantastic book called Entangled Life: ‘How fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our futures’. It’s a fascinating read.

Oh, and here’s a picture of some mushrooms I foraged last year.

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