The overwhelming impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is being felt by individuals and businesses all over the world. This is a first for many, and businesses especially must navigate the financial and operational challenges whilst supporting their teams, customers and suppliers. All this, whilst securing revenues, aligning their businesses with continuing demand and identifying new growth opportunities.
In response to Covid-19, the Sneaky Experience management team re-evaluated processes and developed the following steps to oversee this period of change.
Sneaky took a step back and developed a 3-step process. Adopting this process and modifying procedures will demonstrate stability and strength, create confidence and reassurance; it will align Sneaky with its teams and clients, focussing on its business values and in turn it will encourage a more efficient recovery.
The first step is this process is the WHAT NOW stage. Following Government announcements, Sneaky immediately reached out to ticket-holders, commercial clients and our teams.
Our first priority was to ensure everyone was aware of the current situation and how we planned to bounce back, even though the planned recovery period was evolving on a daily basis. Rather than hibernating, hoping it would all go away, we addressed the disruption, responded to demand and uncertainty, and continued to seek out new opportunities (they are there, we promise).
Sneaky have a very open relationship with both clients and its teams; being supportive and in-turn receiving support helped enter the next stage together as a team and an extension of our client’s teams.
Having navigated our way through the first phase, we are currently in the WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE stage.
A period of uncertainty, unpredictability – and with new opportunities come competition threats in a saturated market. This is the perfect time to reassess our focus. Look at our portfolio of services; what can we do more of? What are our customers pain points, and how can we address them?
It has been a great opportunity to ‘spring clean’ and re-assess business priorities. The business plan has been modified. We assessed outgoings and cash-flow and basically if it wasn’t essential to the growth of the business, it was eliminated. Actually, a very good exercise and one we plan to carry forwards.
We continue to communicate with customers – this sounds an obvious thing to do, and being in the events industry, which has effectively come to a standstill, it may appear there’s little or no information to provide. This may be so, but rather than retreat into hibernation, it’s imperative our clients know we are there to support them, not to benefit from more business, but to work alongside their teams, sharing best practice, new processes and to work with each other in defining the third and final stage – the rebuild.
Finally, we’re in the WORKING OUR WAY TO THE LIGHT stage – a new normal; processes, responsibility, and clarity of purpose and vision.
Hallelujah – this is where everything we’re working towards now, will start falling into place.
Business as usual will be very different, in fact life in general will be far removed from what it once was. This may have some downsides, but equally many positive lessons will be learnt. Rebuilding the business, life, relationships will be progressive.
The working week will change for some; we anticipate an increase in efficient online meetings, replacing long journeys and time away from the office. Sneaky has always provided a flexible way of working with our clients, we appreciate families and other work commitments can take up a lot of their time, therefore many of our meetings can be early morning or in the evenings, once the kids are in bed.
Priorities will change. Our recruitment plan has changed significantly; requirements have been re-assessed and it has become apparent that that roles which were previously ticking along nicely will now need more development and investment if we are to expand.
Our portfolio of services will develop and diversify. Customers will have different priorities, and this is the time for Sneaky to focus on what matters and what will make a difference to our customers; safety, value for money, a more personal service, unique experiences. Whilst we already tick a lot of these boxes, it is imperative we stay ahead of our competition and continue to innovate and inspire.
Ultimately, the event industry will not recover until customers confidence is achieved. For that to happen, we need to be market leaders, providing support, value and assurance. To say the last few months have been a learning curve is an understatement; where we go from here will define who we are. Watch this space.