Promotion in a Pandemic

A promotion in a pandemic #promotion #pandemic #covid19 #events

This time last year I was on my first site visit for a large conference I was organising with my colleague and I was finally getting the chance to move on up and get more responsibility.

Before we travelled the news was featuring stories about a new virus spreading across the world but, as many did at the time, we never thought it would make its way to Europe so we continued with our site inspection, but how wrong we were. Not even a week after we got back, we were in lockdown with the outlook being ‘don’t worry we will be back up and running soon’. No one could imagine how the next year planned out.

We worked from home until April when most of the team were put on furlough, and in June I got the news, like so many others did, that I was being made redundant.

“OK, what now?”

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The global events industry was in shambles and no one was hiring. It seemed that even with a few years’ experience under my belt that I was back in the same position I was in when fresh out of University. Applying for jobs that were entry level, but this time competing with a huge number of overqualified candidates who had also lost out because of the pandemic.

I pride myself on my generally positive outlook, so I spent my time freshening up my CV, thinking of the possibilities and was lucky enough to get a job back in a pub I used to work at during my student years. As they say, “when one door closes another one opens”, you just have to find the door… I’m not going to lie, there were times when it was overwhelming. I would think about what my friends were doing, what stage in their life they were at and where I currently was, not seeing any opening doors. But I would catch myself, take a breath and say “stop it, you’re young and this isn’t the end of the world despite what the BBC Coronavirus briefing says”. I think this is the first advice I would give to anyone, “don’t compare yourself, your life or your career to anyone else”. Everything is totally relative; no one is in the same position as you, the things you have learnt from situations will be completely different to everyone else. Take a breath and look for that open door! One of my favourite sayings is that “you never know what you know until you meet someone whoknows less”. It took me having new colleagues coming into the office to realise actually yes, I know how to do that, and it really grew my confidence.

Luckily Dynamic Events are incredibly versatile and forward thinking, always acting and never putting us in a position to react. During the months I was on furlough and then redundant, they worked on innovating their business plan, making relationships with technical developers to find virtual conference solutions for our client needs. They also put a heavy emphasis on new business development and gained new clients to make up for any lost business from in-person events.

Virtual events production at Dynamic Events

So not even 3 months after I was made redundant, I was asked to come back in the office to support all of this new business and the virtual events that were coming in. In a lot of ways, it felt like a brand-new job due to all the new tech, clients and procedures. There were times when I had no idea what I was doing. But then I realised, everyone felt like that at some stage in this crazy virtual world, even the people who had been at Dynamic for decades, and we still made a huge success of it because it’s in our nature.

This brings me to advice number 2, “be flexible, proactive and give anything a go”. Got a new software coming in? Learn it, be proactive, become the Master of It. You have one thing that you are the absolute authority on, your colleagues will come to you for advice. Everyone has at least one strength that is needed from their peers, what’s yours? This also shows your willingness to learn and improve your knowledge which will only help in the long run! You never stop learning.

So, there we go, in just 8 months I went from being an event assistant in a world where everyone travelled, then into lockdown, redundancy, rehired and recently promoted to an event co-ordinator!

The promotion was a great achievement. An exciting and nerve-wracking step but one I am thoroughly enjoying. Which leads me onto advice number 3, and is something I need to work on, “don’t be afraid of failure!”. Trust that your experiences can lead you to the right answer, and if it doesn’t work, look on the positives; what did you get out of it, what did you learn and could use in the future. Look for that door!

No one knows what’s going to happen so don’t stress about things that are outside of your control. Trust that you will find a way to that open door because when you work hard enough, the good stuff follows. And if all else fails eat some chocolate, take a breath, put on a feel-good song and dance it out.

Congratulations to Kelsey!

What do you want to be?

Be kind
The significance of kindness in todays world is huge, notes from a creative events agency whos work was diminished due to the pandemic, and despite all odds bounced back stronger than ever in the virtual events world

Be Kind. Two small words that have diffused throughout the world as we unite in common, bizarre circumstances. Whether stated and shared as genuine sentiment or tagged and promoted as a marketing strategy – there is a certain profoundness in those six letters.

At some point, we all reflect on what we would like to be or should try to be – although more often we spend our time commenting too much on what we expect others to be, perhaps a deflection tactic to avoid thinking too hard about how we can change, challenge or improve ourselves.

For almost a year we have all had to adopt and adapt to some form of change – and not just one change but multiple and often bewildering. Many have faced extraordinarily tough times, obstacles and challenges – others have been less affected or have even flourished with a prosperous venture. Every story is unique, every journey is personal.

What is clear – and what we should have learnt – is that we are visitors in this world, life is precious, human beings need each other – and we need to Be kind to each other to continue to flourish as society.

At Dynamic Events, we had our own challenges, set-backs, sadness and uncertainty. We lost colleagues, navigated the devastated event industry and experienced individual personal difficulties. We moved swiftly to completely overhaul our internal strategies and felt exhausted with learning, reinvention and driving ourselves. But the absolute heart of what we do is to support our clients, showcase our collective personality and strength and Be innovative, agile, positive and valuable. And kind – to each other, our clients and our partners.

We have been fortunate and privileged that we have supported and guided our existing clients through this transition and have secured wonderful new clients who have given us their trust to deliver their virtual events – providing guidance, knowledge, reassurance, expertise, professionalism and personality to make the transition from in-person to digital.

As people, teams and society we can be perceived as many things.

So we decided to ask the team – what would you like to Be? Or us as Dynamic Events or even society? We didn’t say what it was for or to focus in a particular direction.

We asked the younger members of our team at Dynamic Events what they want to Be themselves, what they want the company they work for to Be, and what they believe society should Be.

The responses reinforce what Dynamic Events aspires to be and the culture it upholds – every one was overwhelmingly positive, and even when a negative was referenced, it was supported by a counteractive solution.  

Here are some of their words…

What do you want to Be?

Tara O’Shea – Dynamic office runner and Singapore Sling enthusiast

Jade Pearce – Dynamic office snack box queen and shopaholic

Holly Barrett – Dynamic office early riser and number one scarf-aholic

Kelsey Morton – Dynamic office tech wizard and part-time rap artist

Evolving, active, productive, present, positive – be here now, not dwell on what’s gone. Change to our times. Be mentally and physically aware and active. Focus on the positive and manage the negative.

Open to and not afraid of taking risks – and this from a self-confessed change-phobe, aiming to be braver and willing to take on the unknown.

To be able to read our clients’ minds – or, before we master mind-reading, to know our clients well enough to foresee and pre-empt their requirements and provide the help and guidance before they ask for it.

Confident and proud – we’ve overcome and accomplished big challenges. Take time to enjoy an amazing result, be secure and proud of what you have learnt and provided – and always, always show that confidence that you CAN do it.

What should Dynamic Events Be:

Interestingly, there were more contributions for us as a team, than individually. Among the bundle were:

Adaptable, committed, respectful, diverse.

Continuously creative and open to change – stepping up and always being ahead of the game.

Push the boundaries and keep marching outside our comfort zone.

Considerate of the work life balance – this year has taught us how precious and fragile life is. Take time to connect with the ones you love.

More social within the workplace, having more team days and activities, incorporate what makes us happy – strengthen the team bond. Happy people make kind people.

Proud of our team achievements – particularly over the last year. Recognise and celebrate our commitment, strengths, growth and how we are continuing to develop.

What should society Be:

Accepting, considerate and inclusive – staying open minded and open to change.

Connected.

Real – stop comparing ourselves, be more free flowing.

Kind, always.

And, our absolute favourite: Well, I wish humankind was as unpretentious and friendly as a bottle of Rizling vlašský by Matyšák. Simple packaging, smooth flavour, puts smile on your face and a great friend and support when you need it.

So, what is the purpose of all of this? Considering what we think things should be, but can’t always make realisable? It reproduces our values, it reminds us of our culture and it helps us reflect on our obstacles while manifesting what we wish to be. Having heard these words from the team reminds us of what a unit we are together, and how we will continue to succeed in the face of uncertainty.

The COVID Series: The times they are a changing….

And seriously fast. Take my new grandson, in a few short months he has gone from a tiny helpless bundle to, still helpless, but communicating, sitting up and very aware of his surroundings, the rate of change is remarkable and that rate of change has reminded me of the virtual conference market (notice the clever link!).

Back in January we had started to look at alternatives to live events, not because of the pandemic, which wasn’t a big thing at that stage, but because our clients had started to look more closely at the cost of travel and the impact air travel was having on the environment.

As event managers we were, at that time, working closely with one or two platforms to understand how best we could pivot our clients from in-person events to hybrid events and how those events paralleled the direction we were moving in with in-person events.

At that stage the virtual market was operating in quite a small market segment and progress was relatively slow, with vast disparities between some of the platforms. Fast forward to now and the change is mind blowing with an explosion in the number of platforms and an explosion in the functionality they are all offering. A lot of them have successfully monetised their offering and are becoming more professional in their approach to their businesses.

So where are we now? Take my new grandson, I cannot imagine what he will be like in a month’s time any more than I can predict what new innovations there will be in the virtual conference market.

What I do know and what we can clearly see now is a situation where the market is rapidly overheating, demand for the platforms, particularly over the traditional Autumn conference season, is massive. Virtual conference platforms are increasing their prices because demand is so huge, they can.

Some platforms are even turning smaller events away in favour of bigger, more lucrative events, so it is even more important to partner with agencies supplying the platforms with a number of events, particularly if you are in the smaller category of event!

I’m not clever enough to know how all this will turn out, however, I do know we need more quality players in the market otherwise it could end up in a bit of a mess, much like making sure the nappies (diapers for our American friends) are the right capacity for the grandson’s output, and that is a lesson learnt from bitter experience!

Until next time,

Malcolm

Malcolm Wallace, Managing Director at Dynamic Conferences & Events Ltd

Coronavirus – Reducing the Financial Risk

The UK events industry is worth £39.1bn per annum*

The Coronavirus has hit the event industry hard. Many events which were in planning for 2-3 years have been cancelled following the government’s decision to prohibit mass participation events from taking place to contain the outbreak. We are now on lockdown, meaning we have no real way of knowing when events can be postponed or which events in the future can still go ahead.

The larger the event, the bigger and wider the impact has on the whole global economy.

In the last few weeks our spring season of events have taken a huge hit; most have either been cancelled or postponed until 2021, Autumn events are being pushed back not specifically due to the virus itself, but it’s correlated financial impact on all industries and businesses.

As an event management company our goal is to be an extension of our clients. We become part of their team and our primary focus now is to reduce and mitigate the financial impact this will have on their bottom line.

Although we cannot stop the events from being postponed or even cancelled, we can reduce the impact to our clients financially and take away the stress involved in contacting delegates, venues and suppliers.

Here are some of the steps we have already taken as a team;

  • Communication – Over the past few months we have kept our client’s continuously and consistently updated on the current situation and the impact this has on their event.
  • Budget – Creating emergency budgets to show what the impact means financially if attendance was reduced by 20% or even 40%. Looking closely at the budget, analysing extras that would not affect the running of the main conference (decor, entertainment, venue and program changes) to cut costs without lowering value.
  • Contracts – Reviewing contracts with suppliers and venues, specifically cancellation and postponement policies, whilst working on instigating Force Majeure.
  • Inform – Communicating all information to our clients allowing allows them to make informed decisions about their event and the financial impact of any decision they make.
  • Innovation – Providing a solution for live events by presenting a virtual conference platform. We are calling this the “Dynamic virtual world”, an interactive, cost-effective, accessible and environmentally friendly alternative. See our Dynamic virtual world blog post here.

As a team, we collectively have over 100 years of experience in event management. With that comes a wealth of knowledge that puts Dynamic Events in a unique position. Our longstanding relationships, buying power, and mutual respect with suppliers, gives us an advantage to minimise the risk in a situation like this.

Therefore, we have limited and even escaped the financial implications to our clients by re-negotiations and postponement of events to 2021.

“Our long-term partnership with Dynamic Events team is based on mutual trust and a shared vision, and it is a collaboration that achieves excellence for our attendees. Postponing our conferences this year was not an easy decision since they create vital networking opportunities for our member firms. For obvious reasons, our two conferences scheduled to take place in Beijing had to be postponed to 2021. Thanks to the Dynamic Events team’s knowledge of worldwide destination and their contacts, they were not only able to postpone our conferences without any negative financial implications but were also immediately able to suggest alternative locations and programmes.” Paul Ginman, COO and Global Head of Quality – Nexia International, March 2020

The policies and procedures we have in place are purely to protect our clients. Through implementing rigorous contingency plans, this enables, and has enabled, us to react quickly to this current crisis. Whether the client wishes to go ahead with the event, cancel or postpone, we are well equipped to handle any decision they make.

We work with local and national public health authorities, as well as receiving regular updates by the World Health Organisation and continually updating risk assessments. This keeps our clients informed should the situation change, and the event is no longer safe to proceed.

During the event we have an emergency hotline available 24/7 for all delegates, identified isolation zones with venues and contingency plans to organise travel for delegates.

The key to our management is TRUST – our clients trust us as an agency and trust that we shall keep them informed and enable them to react to any situation. Often companies question the expense of having an event management company rather than employing a person inhouse, but our clients will be the first to tell you – we save them time and money. Not just from negotiating more favourable rates with suppliers but should things happen that are out of our human control, like covid-19, our contracts and terms with suppliers protect our clients. 

With our member firms located in more than 146 territories, our regional conferences provide a great platform to build relationships, learn about our strengthening network and portfolio of services and engage in collaborative conversations. When we had to take the decision to cancel this year’s regional conferences, the Dynamic Team kept calm and carried on doing what they do the best. They have managed to renegotiate all local supplier contracts to secure new dates in 2021 with the existing rates and have successfully negotiated for any deposits already paid to be credited against future events. Their quick action and the concise information they provided enabled us to make informed decisions which has been very much appreciated in these extraordinary and uncertain times.Adam Grainger, Chief Information Officer – Baker Tilly, March 2020

Solutions – Virtual conference platforms

We can offer our clients an alternative to having a physical event by creating a virtual conference platform.  The virtual conference will allow delegates to be actively involved in a secure online environment from anywhere in the world – 24/7.

Our platforms are totally accessible, fully interactive and customizable so that your brand is visual throughout the experience.  We can pre-record sessions, have live Q&A’s, hold group chats, share links, hold spaces for sponsors, and have virtual shops to promote merchandise.

Virtual conferences have huge benefits and are available at a fraction of the cost of a live conference

Our virtual conferences offer an enriching event experience with delegates, making them able to interact, debate and participate in online forums, chat rooms, as well as having on demand ‘pre-recorded’ seminars available.

Top benefits

  • AccessibilityMulti language, on demand, mobile platforms, available 24 hours.
  • InteractiveIndividual or group chats, voice, text, video links, search function.
  • SustainableReduced travel – CO2 consumption – reducing your companies carbon footprint; Paper, plastic and organic matter waste generated at real events will be removed.
  • CostThis platform is far more cost-effective than a live event and allows people to attend that may not ordinarily be able to.

If you wish to learn more about our virtual conference platforms or are planning an event in the future, contact my team on 01797223626 we would love to hear from you.

Welcome to a ‘Dynamic’ virtual world..

Virtual Networking Lounge, Group chat
Virtual Networking lounge, group chats

The current global situation that we all find ourselves immersed in doesn’t need explaining – these are truly exceptional times, and no-one can predict how this extraordinary time in history will continue.

However, at Dynamic Events, we believe that extraordinary times provide the opportunity and challenge to reflect on what is truly important and create positive solutions to enable our clients to continue their global conversations.

We all know that live events will return and can never be completely replaced, but until that time, we are looking to harness all the amazing technology that continues to connect us and allow enriching engagement, even when we can not be together.

The virtual event creates an environment that can bring teams and wider networks together – whether through delivering powerful presentations, facilitating group discussions, providing a platform for face-to-face interaction or engaging participants in an array of social, wellbeing or team building activities.

The team at Dynamic Events are spending time with each client to devise an immersive and experiential platform to provide real solutions to replace live events.

The possibilities to engage are only restricted by our creativity and imagination. At Dynamic we have been doing this in the live event space for 20 years – the Dynamic virtual world is an extension of our teams’ desire and passion to innovate and deliver.

We would love to talk to you about how we can support you.

Find out more out our virtual conference solutions here

Call our team now on +44 (0)1797 223 626 or email [email protected]