“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” – Warren Buffet
Is Trinidad and Tobago Carnival recession proof? The short answer is no.
The traditional logic is that sin wins when the economy loses. Cigarette sales skyrocketed during the Great Depression, and tobacco stocks are still a smart buy in any recession [source: Gibbons]
But in contrast to popular wisdom, people tend to spend less on so-called sin industries like alcohol and cigarettes during recessions. The reason, some experts say, is not that people stop indulging during bad times, but that they cut back some or downgrade the quality of their favourite vice. [source: How Stuff Works]
And that’s what we’ve been doing in T&T too. Here are some examples:
- Cooler Fetes have grown in popularity (lower admission and you drink what you bring. If things are bad with you, you can lean on your friends)
- Feting on The Sea Aka Boat Rides, allow for the feeling of luxurious escape without breaking the bank
- Cutting back on the number of Fetes you attend. There may be two must attends but after that, the rest are expendable
It would not surprise me if the DJ party appeared this year. No Bands. No Stage. No fog. No decor. No buffet. No lights. No dancing girls. Only music and booze, the latter which you can bring or buy.
And those Carnival shows where the average age is north of 50? Those need to be re-thought. The audience has died.
My suggestion to promoters who are all saying “pick me! pick me!” in this recession? Speak to your tribe. Narrow your target, because mass is the enemy. People don’t want mass. They want to be around like minded people. They want individualisation. They now buy spectacles and bras online.
The more differentiated your Fete or event is, the better chance you have of coming out of Carnival 2017 with your pants on.[Image courtesy: Sentiments & Bubbles]