Lessons learned after a year of Lockdowns…
These past 13 months since the first UK lockdown began have been a pretty bumpy ride. Every month has been slightly different to the last and I’m pretty sure the next year will follow the same pattern.
We’re more than happy to put our hands up here at Team Building Experiences and admit that it hasn’t always been a walk in the park. Trying to navigate a new business through these tricky times has been interesting to the say the least but whilst the lows have been very low, the highs have been incredibly high!
Now that we have a nation happy to embark on a range of Virtual Events, I think it’s time we take a look back and tell you ‘What A Year In The Virtual Events Industry Has Taught Us’.
1) Always be ready for technical issues…
Tech troubles can and will happen. Attendees may simply struggle to join the Zoom call, have difficulty accessing the chat or even working their cameras. Hosts may also experience issues during event delivery such as allocating breakout rooms, their microphone not working or even internet cutting out! Our advice for Virtual Events is to be prepared for the unexpected. If you have processes in place for when things go wrong, it will making managing them much easier.
2) No two customers are the same
Customers book Virtual Events for various reasons so be sure to communicate with the customer and find out what it is they want. I’ve worked with people who simply just want to book an activity, do it and leave. Others like to personalise with their own games, speeches and award ceremonies. It’s important to spend a reasonable amount of time with each customer and try to integrate their ideas where possible. Don’t just shut them down because it doesn’t fit into the standard product, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
3) Demand bounces!
Whilst there is always a steady stream of Virtual Events going away, demand does change depending on a number of factors. Typically when we enter a National Lockdown, demand goes up and when restrictions begin to ease, demand drops. As the Virtual Events Industry is pretty new, it’ll take a while to fully get to grips with demand for all of us in the market. A lot of organisations have seen the benefits of virtual events which means they’ve waved goodbye to all live offerings forever more, others may sway to some form of hybrid event and there’ll be a chunk of customers who revert back to in-person activities.
4) Quality doesn’t have to cost
Organisations are keen to provide their workforce or clients with the very best rewards. In a pre-pandemic world this meant travelling overseas, lavish hotel stays, lunches at top restaurants and fun-filled activities. But after attending the amount of Virtual Events as we have, you soon realise that quality rewards don’t have to cost as much as they previously did. For example, you can host a company-wide Virtual Comedy Night with 300 people enjoying famous comedians for as little as £3000+VAT. With no travel or food expenses, this highlights how quality events can be delivered virtually for a fraction of the cost.
5) Sometimes things will just go wrong…
This isn’t just related to Virtual Events, it’s applicable to most things really. There are things outside of the Event Organisers control and it can be difficult for both ourselves and customers to accept this. We try our very best to rectify any issues encountered but sometimes you do find yourself wanting to scream deep into a pillow! Take a look at some of the problems we’ve seen over the past year:
- Royal Mail Christmas Delays – both an increase in online shopping and a large number of RM staff having to isolate due to Covid-19 led to a number of our customers not receving their parcels on time.
- Power Cuts – not once but twice we’ve had a power cut cause an event to quite literally shut down.
- Damaged Goods – once the goods leave our hands and are passed on to the courier, anything can happen. If our kits aren’t stored correctly or have been thrown around, this can result in broken products and even bruised/spoilt fruit.
- Brexit Trade Delays – UK ports became gridlocked fairly soon after we left the EU resulting in a lot of our international parcels stuck at the ports.