Entering 2020, Open Audience had for the very first time carefully crafted a 5-year growth strategy. They had thought long and hard about how best to expand, identified the new roles they would be recruiting and thought through how much to invest on what, and more importantly who would give them the money to realise their business goals.
It was easy to create a plan based on experience and knowledge of their expanding customer base. They congratulated themselves on how well they knew their customers, their key contacts, and the market they were operating in. More importantly, they genuinely believed they knew best how to turn passive delegates into active participants around the globe. As an audience engagement consultancy, they thought they knew the secret of true customer interactions.
How wrong they were! Covid-19 has for Open Audience, and many of the organisations they collaborate with, changed their view of the world forever. Suddenly it felt like the ‘promised land’ that they believed lay just over the horizon was no longer real or achievable.
So, what to do? Compared to the havoc facing the world, and the impact of this dreadful virus on the lives of many, their challenges are insignificant by comparison. Were they healthy as a team? Yes. Were family members and relatives impacted by Covid-19 recovering? Yes. Were their clients and organisations they had spent time with around the world safe and supportive? Yes.
It seems crazy to be thinking about a 1-year plan now, never mind spending May rewriting a 5-year plan for growth. Are we past the worst? Will we have a second wave of Covid-19? Will the world of live, hybrid and virtual events ever be the same? Will the ‘new normal’ transition back to the ‘old normal’ in 18 months’ time? Should we tread water until we see some semblance of order?