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Insights - episode 6
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Episode 6 - Success story with special guest Mr. Adrian Brooks

Nadia:  Welcome to the sixth edition of insights we're together with my colleague Dr Roberta Lepre and our special guest today Mr Adrian Brooks. We're going to analyse and assess another success story. Adrian is the Chairman of Production Park as well Backstage Academy. 

He has an interesting story to share with the audience. He has set up his business way back in 1980 and ever since his business has been on a growth path in the entertainment industry and obviously that particular industry at the moment has been greatly affected so we're going to explore ways even though there are a number of different variables of how this industry particularly has been affected, how we can mitigate perhaps, or how Adrian and his team are looking forward and looking to the future, into the future so Adrian I think I will allow you to introduce yourself and your business to start with if I may, thank you for joining us, first of all myself and Roberta. 

Adrian:  Thank you very much, thank you for the invite. Yeah well as Nadia mentioned I’m Adrian Brooks I started in business a long time ago. The main part of our business has always been working in the live events industry and over the years that's presented challenges to us but we had managed to grow from a tiny business to quite a substantial one. Indeed just before the latest sort of Corona virus episode, I think we can call it now in our lives, business was going really well and was continuing to grow year on year and we were making plans up until early this year but what we considered look like continuing exponential growth. But of course that hasn't happened in fact the absolute complete opposite has happened.  In a perhaps a more profound way than we even imagined back in march, very significant, and of course in the UK at least at the moment the Corona virus continues to be quite prevalent. I think we know it's now it's now only on that slope back down it's good, and we can start to think about how we might take advantage of the recovery when our virus has gone away.  

I think that there are two options, I suppose, for us when we look forward. I think there’s the option that doesn’t include the vaccine or a cure which is going to be really, really difficult I imagine and a lot more protracted in terms of time I think that’s the one we really have to think about and consider carefully because that’s the worst case scenario and I think it's always best to look towards the worst case scenario and if you can handle the worst case scenario then you're going to be in a lot better shape if things are not that bad. So that's what we're thinking at the moment as a business. That's where we're at. 

Nadia:  In terms of timing, Adrian you've been through other recessions um your business definitely has gone through different peaks and troughs along the years from the 1980s to date. How different is this pandemic and what are the challenges brought by this pandemic which is different than other recessions that are the challenges that were put forward to the business? 

Adrian:  Well I can answer that quite easily really. Those two other major recessions that I’ve experienced the first one being in 1990 which I think we probably all remember quite well because it was serious. There were maybe minor little blips along the way from 1990 to 2008. 2008 I think was even bigger than 1990 although I remember 1990 at that time being a very significant problem for us. 

I think we got to thinking that there wouldn’t be any more of those boom and bust periods and we would just go along steadily and grow and that's what we did from 1990 all the way through to 2008 when there was an almighty crash. But that crash was all about finance, and it was all about [unintelligible] so there was suddenly no money or no liquidity left in and so that did have a profound effect. But that was fixable by printing more money, getting more money into the system sorted that out. That was the 2008, I think, version of what we're hoping that the cure for coronavirus might be. That was that was to print more money, this is to find a medical solution. 

In a way it's no different at all is it? Actually you know, what's happened is that the commercial world has taken a real hit, all across the world. And so it doesn't matter whether that was about finance or whether it was about health. I think health is more concerning because we all want to be well and if we all feel well we will all react in a good way and everything will be fine so there's a subtle difference in so far as it's about our well-being as well as just our wealth. 

And that's the tricky bit because we don't know we didn't know that how long it would take for… we didn't know whether printing all this money would work there were lots of people who said “quantitative easing what's going to happen?” You know, you get inflation and our money would be worthless and in a worse position so people were nervous about that. But people are I guess a little bit more nervous about this one because this one truly affects everybody doesn't it? It's all about health and well-being. 

Nadia:  So we have two variables here, the health and well-being as well financially so we have the economic and the health aspects. And as you mentioned Adrian it's not just one industry but it's across the globe basically and across different industries. So we have different companies and different industries reacting in a different manner. There are some companies that are doing well. Especially within the pharmaceutical industry but there are some other companies within industries such as yours that are definitely facing a number of different challenges.

I had the opportunity Adrian to visit you at Wakefield and I must admit it's a best-in-class production and operation. You have a wonderful team and then Wakefield a number of full-timers, you have a backstage academy. What were your initial sort of, how are you dealing with this transition? Obviously I know that the UK government, similar to the Maltese government, they kind they went in with handouts and then supporting different businesses so I think that was also very beneficial. But how, it's interesting for us to understand a little bit, what were your plans initially, you're the Chairman, you're the one leading the organization how did you manage to engage as well, the employees and keep them motivated or what was your message? 

Adrian:  Well it's it it's very difficult listening when you when you’re faced with a scenario that's changing all the time so we were hearing the news and thinking maybe back in, well as early as last year we knew that something was going on in China, and we were worried a little bit. But I don't think we took it seriously enough, with the benefit of hindsight, I think we thought it might be just like SARS, just like the other ones and I don't think, I don't know whether anybody had the knowledge but certainly if they did they didn't share it with us. 

So we kind of thought it was okay and it would it would have an effect but not be a radical change to how we do things. So for a while we didn't think very much about it I remember going over in early March to Analytics in Pennsylvania and meeting American partners over there and it was then I really started to realize that either the Americans are overreacting or we were not really getting it in the UK. Because they were very, very aware of what was coming and it was when I got back from that flight that I realized.

And I had an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live and it was the afternoon of the budget. So they wanted to know what we thought in Wakefield, oddly enough, but that's where they decided they'd do the interview, what we thought about, more specifically what I thought about the budget. And I’d just travelled back before…It was actually in a pub in the centre of Wakefield called the Calder and Hops, Radio 5 Live had taken over the Calder and Hops, all the locals were there as well which was interesting, sort of. 

Nadia:  You had an audience Adrian.

Adrian:  We had an audience. A certain ambience during the interview. And I said I’ve just come back from Pennsylvania is that an issue? Should I still go in to interview? They said, “Yeah, its fine, don’t worry, you’ve not been to Northern Italy or anywhere like that”. So at that time, my antennae were up into America


Nadia:  Of Course.

Adrian:  And I’m back and during the interview he said “let's not, let's try and not mention the c word” you know because it was all about the budget and what we thought the budget meant. And I said that I felt that this government that we just voted in with a massive majority, and actually realized that they'd only borrowed the vote of all of us who live up North. 

And we want a bit more of a similar balance between the North and the South in the UK because we always feel that the southeast gets most of the investments and we get what's left. And so Boris Johnson promised us that he absolutely loved the North and he won this massive majority side, I said I thought that was very positive and I did think that because he knew he'd borrowed the vote for us then he would probably fulfil his promises, that he'd made in his manifesto.

And I also said, and I sense and then I dropped the c word, were it not for this thing that's just around the corner here I think I sense that this budget is the end of austerity because we'd have a long period of austerity from 2008 in the UK. And it continued and continued I remember they told us at the beginning that it would take about three years, but it took a lot longer it took something like 12. And anyway here we are 12 years later just thinking that we're over it and everything's fine and the Prime Minister wants to support them, yeah, and we've got all these plans for the North, you know, for where we are in Wakefield for what we're doing and how that might help change the landscape of our little part of the world. And then suddenly, yeah, it’s just as the Americans said, “this will crunch your numbers”, it certainly has crunched the numbers. 

Nadia:  Of course, so basically Roberta did you want to ask something? 

Roberta:  No I was just observing how despite all of this he is just recounting his experienced still with a smile on your face, and I think that's extremely positive. We've spoken also a lot about positivity in our previous editions. I was also very much struck by what you mentioned earlier when you said that you were planning for the worst case scenario, also in the context of this still positive approach, that's very happy. Do you feel or do you see that others are still taking the same approach or are people being hopeful, hoping that things are going to go back to what they were quicker than it may be realistically possible? 

Adrian:  I would say Roberta that this is a true, a real mix in how people are thinking some people are extremely positive and I understand why they are. It's because they're doing very well, because even in something like this, you know, there will be winners, as Nadia said, there’ll be winners and losers and there are some companies that really are doing very well. If you if you sold bicycles in the UK, trust me, this would be their biggest boom you've ever seen. Absolutely everybody is going around buying a bike, you know, so if you're a bike retailer… there was a guy who I was speaking to, I’ve known for a long time. 

It's third generation this business so granddad set it up in something like the 20’s you know, 100 years ago maybe. This is without doubt the busiest period they've ever had, by a country mile, you know and so it's not just pharmaceuticals, it’s some other areas too. But… I think the real losers are, or potentially the real losers, are all of us who are in the, let's call it entertainment, whether it is just entertainment… it isn't because it includes things like leisure and tourism and all of those. 

They're the ones that are really going to feel it well it's not, for us probably the worst I guess aviation looks pretty awful at the moment. I think cruise ships don’t look very good, but large scale live events, you know, if they are your specialist, emphasis on the large scale as well, then that's where this worst case scenario view has to come from.

Nadia:  How are we going to bring people back to an arena to watch a concert and things really? 

Adrian:  Yeah that's exactly it isn't it, how are you going to do that? So I think there are a number of challenges in there, in all of that. One is do the banners actually want to go and get involved in this and I think the answer is yes and the artiste, the answer is yes, they do. So, and we sense that, so then it's how you can do it and when you can do it, and you can only do it when it is safe to do it. And the silver bullet of course is going to be the vaccine or the cure or both. And I guess they'll come some time together anyway I guess. 

Nadia:  But in the interim I think what you're saying Adrian is interesting in the sense that finding ways perhaps, it's not a question of a wait and see approach, there is something because you still need to pay the employees, you still have overheads, and you still have obviously financial commitment. 

Adrian:  You do 

Nadia:  How can we find an interim solution, perhaps?

Adrian:  What I am quite pleased about is how the Chancellor of the Exchequer has handled this problem. I’m not saying that the whole the government… I 'm not particularly political as a person anyway. I think people who live in Malta tend to be more politicized than the Brits. But we can be quite passionate. I'm not, I'm so much involved in doing what I do, paying the wages every month for you know, what they do is somewhere else really. 

But I’m pleased about what how the Chancellor of the Exchequer approached it insofar as he allowed us to furlough our staff and he allowed us to and in doing that he agreed to pay them eighty percent of their salaries up to a count of two and a half thousand. This seems and feels very fair, so that's good so that took a lot of the pain away from having to make people redundant, lose people in the short term and all of those things and I think his plan, is it's not clear yet, I think his plan is that he will allow us to take them back maybe on shorter working weeks when we pay them so I think the concerns that I had about how do we pay the people while we're getting back up to steam you…

Nadia:  There’s an element of flexibility so you can restructure, perhaps, your work patterns or the business model which might not make sense…

Adrian:  Yeah, and I think that'll help all businesses you know, and not just ours but everyone because you can't just start running from a standing start it takes a little while, to get the supply chain has to get back in working order. So I think that route, from an economic point of view, is great and will work. From our own perspective what do we do? Well it's got to be a similar thing you can have a similar approach we can't suddenly open up all these arenas because they hold six up to about 16 000 people in quite a confined space really.

It's too many people at a time like this so you know how few would you be able to have in a room and make a success of it? It's not going to be sixteen thousand is it? It might be sixteen hundred but how do you make sixteen hundred work? So my thinking about this is that we could build a great stage in a great facility and leave it there, because what we have been doing always all the way through from the beginning is we've been going on tour. 

So we would go, we would build a stage set here in Wakefield typically, it might be we might then move it to one of the Northern arenas perhaps where the tour would begin and then every night we'd take it down and move it somewhere else and of course that was a very expensive thing to be doing. A very expensive thing to be doing. So if you can stop doing that and you can leave the stage set in the arena for longer…

Nadia:  Perhaps you have different artists then Adrian? 

Adrian:  Exactly yeah that's right so yeah and maybe you have matinees like we always used to do during the summer at least. Have matinee performances then you can perhaps sweat the asset more than we are used to doing. And that would work I think and will allow us to gradually build back up. And of course that approach won’t suit the mega bands, they won't want that they'll still want the biggest shows and I guess the customers will still want to go to those biggest shows because there were no signs prior to the Covid-19 thing of that slowing down. 

You know the Rolling Stones have averaged ticket prices, and this was before the reseller market which is a significant market too and the resellers don't sell at the normal, the actual average ticket price Rolling Stones tours was £177. That's how much people were prepared to pay for a ticket to watch the Rolling Stones. And they sold out in seconds. That that tells me that there's an appetite and of course for somebody like the Rolling Stones you could do a lot smaller venue with a lot fewer people and you might be able to charge I don't know maybe…

Nadia:  A higher price? 

Adrian:  I don't know, but you know what? Five hundred? £5000 maybe, you know, I don't know?

Nadia:  You’re thinking a little bit outside the box Adrian, and finding new ways of entertaining people. Definitely there is there is this need, even in Malta, following almost since March, early March, we were on partial lock-down, and we were lucky perhaps that that we could go for walks still, for walks outside, but still we were confined to specific places especially at home. So obviously people are looking forward to get out when it's… to start mingling and socializing again. 

So I assume that even within the entertainment business you would, people are looking forward to join and go to a concert or two. So finding a way of managing this is pretty innovative as well for you and it gives perhaps as well, also a way forward to your employees and to your team maybe a sense.

Adrian:  Yes for sure, yeah. The other interesting challenge we're looking at, that's one aspect of the business that you mentioned earlier as well, we have the backstage academy…

Nadia:  Indeed I was about to ask about that because I’m pretty sure you've managed to transfer most of the courses online as well now. That's an opportunity. 

Adrian:  Indeed we have, and that's worked fairly well so we're pleased about that. But the breaking news on that front is that our courses until such times we've satisfied the Office for Students that we really ought to be a university in our own right we are reliant upon the University of Bolton to validate our courses. 

We're going through that process with the Office for Students and it's going well and it won't be too long it's all before we are we can actually become our own degree awarding powers University body, which should be great. In the meantime we are working with Bolton who've been great. When I first looked for a University partner it was difficult to find because our approach is not so much an academics approach to training it's more hands-on it's more I guess like the apprenticeship system rather than the degree system. So there's a great deal of practical, well there's a large practical element to what we do. So some of the Universities found it difficult to understand how they could actually measure that in terms of academically measuring I suppose, but Bolton were quite keen to get involved and that's because they think more innovatively perhaps, than some of the other organizations. And of course last night the news broke which is, I was just speaking with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Bolton before this webinar because Cambridge University announced yesterday that for next year, that's starting in September, for next year all programmes will be online effectively.

Now we all we do want you all to come to Cambridge, obviously, and have the joined experience but when you get here everything's going to be online, and at the moment all of ours is online, and for this semester all of Bolton's is online too. But George has just announced and so, Cambridge is always either number one or two of the best, or maybe three if things go really badly, of the best Universities in all of the United Kingdom, and George, let's see what the University of Bolton is always perhaps, in the bottom three. So there's a there's a big difference between Cambridge and Bolton in terms of their appearance at least.

So George's response is all ours starting in September, when we're starting as normal, all ours are not distance learning, they're not online, they are just as they were so we’re changing the working week from instead of, and I always had, I think part of the problem I had when I was talking to Universities about asking whether they’d support me with my plan, I couldn't understand how, you know, you only got sort of three or four or five contact hours a week you know, you know you're paying a lot of money for this and this is what you actually get, to speak to a lecturer for three four or five hours. 

Not a lot is it? And I was saying so, we could do it faster quicker and then it'd be cheaper and then if it were cheaper it'd be better probably, because um yeah faster cheaper better is just wonderful and it's something you can't achieve in any commercial area I’ve never come across. But I felt he could, in degree education, you know in awarding degrees so, and George kind of understands that too so he wanted to work with us maybe shorten three-year degrees to two years. 

Nadia:  It's quite amazing. How would you replace, Adrian, the hands-on because that's quite an important piece and in your course and your industry? 

Adrian:  Yes, and for us to do justice to our students and to ourselves, we've got to maintain that the very highest quality. And of course, where we used to have, and in fact last summer I think we had maybe 18 students in Malta for the summer doing work experience programs with Tech, who you mentioned earlier Nadia, because obviously there's a need for people in the peak weeks in Malta. Just like there's Ibiza, just like there is in Moscow, just like there is all around the world and so our students have the benefit of those wonderful work opportunities as well, which you've got. 

So we've got to make sure the technical side of what we're delivering to them is exceptional in terms of quality, and that's all about having the right technology of course for them to work with, because you need that. It's about having the right spaces for them to do it in. And it's having the right lecturers and trainers to teach them and work with them, and it's also about having enough space isn't it? 

To do all that with social distancing in mind. So we've jumped right behind, I've been talking to George, the Vice Chancellor of Bolton, obviously all the way through this period and I’ve spoken to him more as I think you do with your partners in a crisis period than not. Probably more in this last eight weeks than I did in the last eight years and that's the same with lots of the key people who have the management team here. And because things are constantly changing, I think the reason I’m mentioning that one is because that's just new today, you know so eight weeks ago it was Oh no, what’s gonna… what we gonna do and so you start flapping and there's all these variables and how do you plan with lots of variables, because you always think, well we might as well just sit back for a while to see what happens because I can't end Covid-19. You know, it's not possible is it? So you have to wait to see how it develops.

Nadia:  So communication is even more frequent Adrian as well. 

Adrian:  That's right, that's the bizarre thing about it. I think yeah and I think it's probably brought us all closer together, not just not just the management team in in my business but all of us all around the world you know? I don't think you'd have been doing this necessarily had we not just been in lock-down for several weeks. And so there's some really, really positive things going to come out of it. And we are all you know naturally social beings I know some people say that, well you know I don't mind being locked down because I’m miserable anyway and I’ll never go out and things like that.

Nadia:  I never heard anyone saying that.

Roberta:  Oh I hear that a lot. 

Adrian:  Oh it happens yes, a little bit, I mean yeah I suppose some of them were saying that.

Nadia:  I think there's a limit for people to stay in lockdown there's a limit for everyone because at some point we’re all social human beings. I do agree we all need to interact in one way or another, but what this has brought is, yes, more constant and frequent communication perhaps shorter meetings, more succinct to the points yeah, but yes changes were happening constantly and a lot of variables like you mentioned. New variables that actually were developing along the weeks, and still are, across different countries and communicating with all the different stakeholders is definitely necessary.

Adrian:  Yeah, yeah, and just finishing off our thinking about the Backstage Academy, you know the tricky bit there for us is how many students will come next year? We don't know. This is about the time when we get to know where they've decided they're going and we know that because we track it. We thought it's going to be good, we'll be all right again next year because there's this many applicants. But because now there's no, you know on the one hand if they don't go to University, what are they going to do? 

Because you can't travel the world easy easily right now, so you have your gap year to do that. It's not like there's loads and loads of jobs so you can save a few quid so you can afford to, because there aren't lots and lots of jobs. So on the one hand you might say well I will go anyway because there's nothing better for me to do? And that's all fine isn't it, as long as you and your family can actually afford that. But if you and your family can't afford that then that's a problem and I think this is why when you think it all through, Cambridge can be as stuffy as they are, and they can be as arrogant if you like, and so this is how we’re doing it and in essence we are taking no risk whatsoever because we know you. Because we're Cambridge and because all of our students have got loads and loads of money. Bolton can't think like that, and Backstage Academy absolutely can't think like that, because our students are, generally, they’re wonderful of course, but they're not from the wealthiest backgrounds. In fact they're generally from somewhere less a lot and it's those that I worry about most, you know, as we should in all walks of life really. We see that what's going on is not acceptable in certain areas yeah so yeah.

Roberta:  Do you think Adrian, that offering educational opportunities online is going to make them more accessible even from a financial viewpoint to a wider audience?

Adrian:  I absolutely do Roberta yeah. Without this, and you know even though I painted rather a dark picture about where we were in our industry because of the virus, in some ways it still done some great things too because it's made us put those programs online. It's made us do that distance learning stuff. That means it's so much easier now to put those programs out there because you know technology has allowed us to do that, so when we were thinking of having a physical presence for Backstage Academy and we were kind of focused on that in North America, Malta too, that's why we've been talking to Malta, and well that's one of the reasons, the other reason is we happen to like Malta a lot, but we shouldn’t say that sort of thing because that shouldn’t influence our decisions [laughs].

Nadia:  But it’s an important part of it as well.

Adrian:  Of course it is.

Roberta:  Part of our USP, Nadia?

Adrian:  Part of the USP, yeah, exactly and yeah we should think about Malta in this context too. So looking at the physical, North America; Russia, very keen; further afield actually out into Asia, keenness there; South Africa with Freddie Knight um lots of yeah lots of things going on. Pursuing this actual Backstage Academy and that's what we want, obviously that'd be utopia because we want people to be able to learn hands-on and do all that we do in Wakefield. 

But there's a route to that and that's yeah and that's really interesting because we've written these programs, we can deliver them now, we should probably make them free for everybody out there to just you know, come on and make a big thing of it. And then of course Backstage Academy will do well won't it, and when's the Backstage Academy in Malta or a Backstage Academy anywhere else, people will go. And that's correct so maybe it's you know it’s made that easier to do or made us focus on it, at least, whereas we weren't really. 

Nadia:  It’s accelerated your plans. 

Adrian:  Accelerate the planning let's say that, yeah. Yeah, so that would be a big win at the end of this we'd be able to look back and say, “Did you see what happened to us? We've put these programs up online, worldwide, we’ve now got 7 million students.” Yeah which would never have happened so that's good. 

Nadia:  So with the benefit of hindsight, Adrian, having more than one source of revenue like yourself and the Backstage Academy, and you had the opportunity to sort of risk... to manage your risk a bit better. Is it the case or is it…? Because obviously in one way or another they're related, so obviously even Backstage Academy will be hit financially. 

Adrian:  Yeah I think all our income streams come from pretty much the same sort of area so yes. So it's not like we have diverse income streams from different places. And I'm not sure, you know, whether I prefer to be in that position because I think, I think there's a basic fundamental that if you find something you like doing, you’ll do it a lot. And if you do something a lot you'll get very good at it and if you get very good at anything you'll make quite a bit of money doing it, there's no doubt about that. 

And that could be that is just everything I think, and that's something I try and tell the young people that… don't do something you don't want to do, you know, because if you don't like doing it you'll never be able to so find something you want to do. And that's the difficulty in a way, it's inspiring them to find that thing that they want to do. So I get the idea of having diverse income streams but it wouldn't work for me on my business because I’m too passionate about what I do. It's the interesting bit would be the diversity in the income stream through something like the e-learning platform that we just mentioned where we're doing exactly what we're doing and that money keeps dripping in however it comes.

Nadia:  So you're using a different channel basically, because now you have the digital channel where you can reach your audience, and a wider audience in different countries. But it's an interesting insight Adrian because basically I remember discussing the same the same thing at Weatherspoon’s during one of our visits in Wakefield and I appreciate that ingredient because indeed whatever you're passionate about if you do it consistently and constantly then you're better at it, and you're actually even more specialized and you can eventually charge more money for it.

Adrian:  For sure, yeah that's how it worked yeah. And I was thinking about Malta, you know it's got this wonderful landscape, seascape, climate, people, history, culture, you name it. It's got those tanks as well where they used to film all the films and I think Malta can reinvent itself through this. And that was part of the thinking with Production Park, being at Malta, having some studios, rehearsal facilities, education facilities, all those things I think could be good for [Malta] because all of our economies are going to have to make plans for how to rebuild after Coronavirus. We all need a plan, and I’m sure that in the UK we're looking towards you know things that the government would describe as oven ready, so things that are ready to go.

So we're talking about our innovation centre that we want to build here South Kirby and we want some money from the Government because it doesn't stack up otherwise. And we've never been good at doing that, we've always just done our own thing. And because we've been profitable and because we've reinvested it we've been able to make steps, take steps forward. But we're now asking for Government support and I sense, even though we're in lockdown but because there's more conversation going on between more perhaps key people, I sense there's money out there you know and I think if the Maltese government were brave during this process or at this time, and started to think about what the Film Commission want, and the ideas about the Production Park, about Backstage Academy, I think that's South, Southern…

Nadia:  There will definitely be opportunities Adrian, I believe like you mentioned, because   companies and countries alike, they, we all have to go into rebuilding. And supporting companies like you mentioned, that are willing to reinvent themselves that have plans and structures. So I think Governments, especially in Malta as well, I mean they were very prominent in assisting companies from the outset as soon as the corona virus hit, but in the longer term then, the rebuilding and the restructuring piece becomes very critical. This is something that myself and Roberta are working to support a number of companies locally and abroad as well, and I think this is transforming sustainable businesses, rethinking business models…

Roberta:  With innovation, obviously at the heart of sustainability because I think something, at least from the Maltese experience, weren’t doing too great in terms of innovation, but perhaps that's also because we were comfortable in the sense that things were moving and moving fast. So there was no driver perhaps for that innovation and now with our backs against the wall we just needed to react and we have seen that the Maltese have reacted and adapted very, very, quickly and very efficiently as well.

Nadia:  I'm looking for a daydream to our Malta conversation and giving our next chat because I’m pretty sure that there will be new opportunities coming along and in fact we would like to thank you for sharing your story and I'm pretty sure that meeting you and your team Adrian, you're very passionate. You have developed such a successful business along the years I must say and whoever would like to listen to Adrian's story in detail, there's also a podcast which I'm pretty sure is interesting for the audience who would like to know even more about Adrian and his humble beginnings. And basically it was a very interesting conversation Adrian, even in the sense that within industries that are struggling and really have been hit very hard like you're… like the one that you're operating in the entertainment business. You're positive like Roberta mentioned, you have a positive outlook and you're looking at the future with new ways, new opportunities and looking for new ways also of engaging your team and other stakeholder. So that's extremely positive. 

Adrian:  Yeah and I think, when I think back you know maybe we were a bit complacent weren't we? After 12 years of things being all right, having conversations about things like “let's put our training courses online” and not actually doing it you know. And so this is taught us that you can't, don't ever be complacent. Don't do what you don't like doing because I guess that breeds complacency, and find something you like doing and do it well. Be prepared to try and reinvent yourself, and Malta’s going to have to do that as a country of course because tourism is not going to be easy we know that, and business tourism isn't going to be easy either. So we're going to have to give a really good reason for why they should come so yeah, there's lots of lots of challenges.

Nadia:  A lot of thinking, lots of challenges.

Roberta:  Sometimes I feel we procrastinate because we wait until we want to get something perfect before we launch it but we have also seen that it doesn't need to be perfect, we just need to get started and refine along the way as well. 

Adrian:  I agree with that too, yeah. It's easy to talk yourself out of doing anything isn't it? The trick is not to do that, the trick is to go through it and see what happens.

Nadia:  When is it good enough? So when it's good enough, we need to launch, you need to try, you need to do things. It's good to plan but it's good as well to execute and not be complacent. And on that note Adrian, really we would really like to thank you for being with us today thank you for joining us.

Roberta:  Thank you. 

Adrian:  My pleasure ladies. I enjoyed it immensely. 

Nadia:  Hope to see you soon.

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