The New York Times is reporting this morning that some small business owners are no longer able to get loans from banks due to the highly volatile nature of the markets, while those who are eligible are choosing not to secure loans for fear of falling into debt in the midst of a financial crisis. Since this industry is made up predominantly of small business owners—and I include designers, programmers and technicians in that mix—I'm wondering how all of this disturbing news from Wall Street and Washington is affecting the entertainment technology industry.
Granted, it's sometimes hard to gauge such things in this market, combining as it does the disparate worlds of live theatre, touring productions, corporate events, architecture, and houses of worship. If the past is any indication, such troubling economic times usually hit the corporate market first, followed by the concert market. Venue construction has such a long shelf life that projects currently in the pipeline usually don't get completed for several years. Houses of worship rarely tends to suffer in any climate, while theatre, well theatre always seems to suffer in any climate.
I'm sure this will be a big topic of conversation in a few weeks as we all descend upon Las Vegas for LDI; I, for one, intend to ask as many exhibitors and attendees as I can what their take is on the economy and how they think it will play out in our little world. Ironically enough, early reports on pre-regisration for LDI are positive; whether that continues in the wake of the current crisis remains to be seen. We honestly don't know how it all will play out yet.
But until we hit the show floor, I'd love to hear from you folks out there now to get a sense of what you think about what's happening in Washington, and how you think it will affect not only this industry, but your job, in the coming year. Please feel free to post a response here, or, if you â€˜d rather, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Times like these, it's good to get a sense of where we all stand.