Does every cloud always have a silver lining? Only in fairy tales I hear you say. Well, we are definitely not in a fairy tale, probably closer to a nightmare! But we have found a silver lining to the Covid cloud and it has all happened because of Covid.
Over the past 25 years, since Claire and I leapt into the void and started DCE, we have grown most years but as other event companies can testify new clients are hard won and difficult to find and so a large proportion of our growth was inevitably organic.
I started my first business while I was in my mid-twenties and apart from making some huge mistakes along that particular journey, I also learnt a lot about running a business. One of the biggest lessons wasn’t rocket science but underpins our current business 35 years later and that is how we, as a company, best provide the service our clients look for.
Again, you wouldn’t think that this was difficult, client needs an event, virtual or in-person, we provide the platform and logistics, BOOM, job done. But there is more to it than that, that is a very 2-dimensional statement. The reality is that how you provide that great service is equally, if not more, important.
Fundamentally people like to work and buy from people they like and so it follows that we need to ensure that our clients like our company to continue wanting to work with us. This starts with our team. When we are looking for new event staff it is not just about their capabilities, having an event management degree, or experience in managing an event. It is to do with whether we think they will be liked and be capable of creating a rapport with the clients they will be working with.
It is also to do with having a positive attitude, a lot of our team training centres around being able to offer solutions so that you never need to say “no, it can’t be done”, more “it can be done this way”.
So, last year Covid opened a new market in virtual events and the silver lining generated lots of lovely new clients. Our amazing team worked their magic and in addition to managing their events solved the problems thrown at them and built relationships.
And now? Well now we are seeing 90% of our new clients rebooking events and referring us on to other new clients, a very silver lining indeed!