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   Vol. 19 No. 62
Monday September 14, 2020
Street Smart Cargo Show
CNS Street Smart Show

     It’s time to Fall Back!
     It’s a great time of year, when the first hint of a shift in the weather and shorter days advance the sense of renewal.
     Sorry, but this move toward laptop webinars with six people crowded on a screen has gotten old in a hurry.
     I think face-to-face from a distance with the loved ones works: we enjoy seeing Uncle Claude, young Obhishek, Nilu and Zahir via Zoom.
     But for business, while meeting in person does open up our COVID-19 closeted world a bit, the specter of the on-screen avatar, while helpful, also feels at times like sitting in the audience of a burlesque show.

Seen One, You’ve Seen Them All

     Online meetings are useful for company meetings and even some key account appearances; however, the avalanche of group think webinars going on in air cargo right now can feel like the Burly-Q of another day. While titillating at first, eventually you are left with the impression that if you have seen one, you’ve seen them all.
     Let’s face it: some webinars end up as a boring sales platforms amongst the usual suspects with nothing new to say, or overlong dissertations on roast pig or some such subject.

Feed The Need For A Trade Show

     Whilst mounted by sincere people, webinars lack delivering the standard feel of the fast-developing air cargo industry of 2020—the dynamic, electrically-charged atmosphere that networking at a trade show can provide and desperately needs at this time.

Street Smart

     Street Smart is the ability to think fast on your feet.
     Scott Rudin wrote a book defining street smart:
     “You've put yourself at risk and survived. Or thrived. Or have scars. You've been tested and have a bank of courage to depend on when you are tested again.”
     Book smarts, as Rudin framed it, mean someone who is good at following the rules.
     “These are people who get straight A’s, sit in the front, and perhaps enjoy crossword puzzles.
     “They like things that have singular right answers.
     “They like to believe the volume, and precision, of their knowledge can somehow compensate for their lack of experience applying it in the real world.”

The Opportunity

     But in the era of COVID-19, a new thinking has emerged as a major guiding value. It’s not just thinking in or outside the box, but rather with no box at all.
     We’ve thought about how we can handle the lack of face to face and easygoing, back-and-forth networking that air cargo desperately needs right now, while watching people in masks strapping cargo all over the aircraft. It reminded us of a line in the movie Fight Club:
     “How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?”
     Well, right now air cargo is in a fight to figure out what to do as an industry at a time when the world is aware of our business.
     We are all of us—big and small—at the doorstep of a golden opportunity to change more than the public’s perception about what our industry can accomplish. We can also change transportation itself in all forms of air cargo as well.
     Air cargo has become the greatest driver of revenue—with the most flights—across the airline industry, by virtue of COVID-19’s effect on consumer travel. At this time of maximum exposure, we need to leverage our book smarts and also our traditional street smarts into a new deal to build a better air cargo industry.

The Great Outside

     In New York City, a major portion of my education was as a salesman walking the streets of Manhattan for Ballentine Beer. The experience taught me a lot about street smarts.
     Today I see restaurant after restaurant—not only in Manhattan but also out in the neighborhood boroughs—where street smart restauranters have set up sidewalk cafes to attract diners.
     To some, my city may appear like a poor man’s Paris, but in truth the sidewalks and streets of New York are alive and filling with more and more physical distanced (what the hell is social about social distancing?) diners as a welcome, charming new look for New York.

Street Smart Outside Cargo Conference

     So, I’m wondering: why don’t we organize an outside air cargo trade show in Palm Springs or Bavaria or Istanbul, sometime after a vaccine has been released?
     Put up some airy tents outside and build some strong, meaningful sessions and dinners so that everyone can get back to the future?
     I recall when CNS met a few years back in Palm Springs, thinking how much better it would have been if everyone could have conducted business outside.
     This is a call to the trade show companies that have long profited from air cargo events: create something radically different, extend a helping hand to put us all together for the good of our industry.
     Air cargo needs some street smart thinking.


If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Vol. 19 No. 59
Days of Futures Past
Ancher Handicaps Cargo Futures
chuckles for August 24, 2020
Pandemic Pulled Blanket Off
Dave Brooks Look for Opportunities
Cargo 1000 Goes American
United Krems a Cargo Superstar

Vol. 19 No. 60
True Confessions of a Freight Forwarder
Chuckles for August 31, 2020

Vol. 19 No. 61
Time & The River
Chuckles for September 5, 2020
Air Cargo Took off above the Himalayas
Why FlyingTypers

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