When we surveyed our membership two weeks about topics and themes they’d like addressed “Suggestions on Alternative Revenue Streams” got called out in the Top 5. Here’s a wonderful story of how SITE Ireland President, Richard Phelan of Dynamic Events, did just that.
In 3 months Coronavirus has wrecked havoc on the world of incentive travel and motivational events. Often, however, out of crisis comes opportunity, and sometimes we can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Here’s the astonishing story of how one company’s desperate search for new ideas led to an extraordinary pivot that’s actually generating revenues already, mere weeks after this new approach was started.
SITE President and Managing Director of Team Building / Experiential Learning company, Dynamic Events, Richard Phelan takes us the story:
“We first began to notice the effects of Coronavirus towards the end of February. It was at this point that multinationals in Ireland started to impose their own travel bans on its employees. This meant that business meetings, with people flying into Dublin from Europe/America, were cancelled. That, in turn, had a knock-on impact on the business meetings add-ons like hotels, meeting rooms, restaurants, activities. We’re team building and corporate event providers so we depend on those "add-ons".
“Very soon after this, our Government announced the “social distancing” guidelines which effectively shut down our domestic business too, so this coupled with international travel bans meant that we found our calendars going from being in very good shape to being empty for the foreseeable. We now have no events, and no prospect of an event, on our books for the next 6 weeks. In the same period last year, we delivered 62 events. How could we survive with such loss of business?
“Immediate action had to be taken. We spent the first week consolidating our outgoings, scrutinizing every cent to see where we could slow the flow of cash out the door. We spoke to suppliers, Revenue, banks and, sadly, we had to alter some employees’ working arrangements.
“Thankfully the government in Ireland is doing its best to support both employees and businesses who find themselves in a difficult situation. Once we put cost controls in place, it was time to roll up the sleeves and start to rapidly re-think how we do business as an event company. How does a company that provides face-to-face events and co-ordinate social gatherings survive at a time when people are no longer allowed to be in the same room as each other?
We looked at Remote Team Events. Team building is our core business. More and more employees are finding themselves working from home, isolated and disengaged. Therefore more than ever it’s vital to provide an outlet that connects remote workers in a meaningful way. With our partners in Wildgoose Events, we very quickly developed a series of virtual team activities that we can deliver using award-winning event technology and video conferencing. This type of event did not exist two weeks ago but now we find demand is growing quicker than the spread of the virus itself.
We now have three “virtual experiences” to offer our clients: The Daily Kick-Off - a creative self-led challenge that encourages employees to shoot their own short motivational videos for one another; The Team Quiz, a virtual pub quiz that enables teams to have a laugh via video conferencing; and, finally, The Virtual Away Day, where teams work together from home to answer questions and complete challenges.
Corporations are massively enthusiastic about the products as they respond to the World Health Organisation’s concerns about employee wellness and mental health during the current crisis. And the order book is filling up!