With all the drama of the news at the moment, businesses have had to take some difficult decisions about staying open and carrying on as usual. Like everyone else, we have been monitoring the situation closely as the safety of staff and clients comes before everything else. Who knows how things will have developed by the time you read this.
It’s a time to reflect on the importance of human contact, even in this digital age when, for instance, more than half the people who bid at auction now do so online.
In the past ten years we have seen sales affected by snowstorms and ice, while others have been badly affected by floods several times, including in the past few weeks. However, this is the first time in my 60 years in the business that something like a pandemic has intervened.
Once this threat is lifted, it will be interesting to see what has changed for good and what will revert to the way it was before. No matter how technology progresses, in my view auctions will only flourish in the long term with some form of face-to-face contact. Other aspects of business and day-to-day life are less predictable.
As this crisis teaches us, the challenges ahead are sometimes unexpected, but we will adapt because whatever else changes, or basic values remain the same.