As 2021 comes to a close, I look back with amazement at how fast my company adapted to circumstances beyond our control. We are a team that thrives on the thrill of delivering flawless experiences, carefully planned and executed — so I vividly remember our discomfort as we faced wildly unfamiliar territory during our “building the plane while flying it” phase in Spring/Summer 2020. I look forward with great anticipation to be back in-person with our clients, helping them tackle new challenges as event expectations have shifted and expanded.
Most of all, I feel grateful for the true partners that we have. It’s hard to describe what an amazing difference it makes to have a client that is invested in their AV team.
One of the silver linings of the pandemic (it definitely needs some silver linings), and most notable changes I’ve noticed this year is a shift in the way many clients now perceive and approach AV in their event planning. For many, AV has been a fairly well known function when planning events. It might be how we landed on the “AV order form” that made AV routine and sometimes may feel like almost any AV “vendor” could fulfill. We’ve always differentiated our company by partnering with our clients to offer creative AV solutions and exceptional service. Maybe because we’ve all had to pull together and tackle the industry’s evolving challenges and expectations, as I reflect on this year I am very appreciative for the deeper level of partnership and trust we’ve experienced with our clients.
Our team was more front-and-center than ever before in the planning and realization of events. Because AV became the venue in addition to the delivery mechanism, clients often involved us much sooner in an event’s development. Helping shape the attendee experience was, and is, one of the best parts of our work.
As I think about 2022, I’m excited by the trust our partners have given us – not only through our services and our solutions, but in making our team feel valued. While we always strive to deliver great events, a higher level of connection with clients — our feeling like part of the event team — makes us even more invested.
It also has some very practical rewards for clients.
- This allows us to put our focus on making an upcoming event the best it can be for our client and their attendees, rather than spending energy on quoting multiple scenarios, and round after round of revisions.
- It also allows us to book our preferred team – the people we like to work with who are great at what they do and who we work well with.
- We have time to explore the best way of accomplishing client objectives, and to internally plan with the right people and the right gear to make that happen.
One of the ways our clients have always felt supported by us, because of our partnership thinking, is our ability to “see around corners” — thinking through what is needed to bring the client’s vision to life and recognizing when things need to be rethought, in order to deliver the best attendee experience. They also feel reassured by our calm approach to problem-solving … every event has challenges, that’s part of the thrill of life. What we do to overcome challenges, and how we do it gives our clients a sense that we are not a vendor, but members of the team who will do what it takes and help lower the stress of an “in-the-moment glitch”.
We know a strong partnership takes time to develop. The trust-building that happens over the course of an event is hard for me to describe, but definitely one of my favorite parts of the process.
I hope the year’s end brings you many meaningful moments. I’m looking forward to growing our long-standing relationships and building on the new ones that were jumpstarted when we came together in such unusual circumstances.