Client appreciation? There’s never been a better time.
I remember it so clearly. That night in February 2020 when it seemed the world had stopped for just a second. My wife and I were on our way home from a dinner celebrating the life of a dear friend who had passed away unexpectedly. And suddenly, we heard a word that has, in some way, touched every one of our lives since that day: pandemic. It was on the news, but nobody quite grasped just how much life as we knew it was about to change. A storm was coming.
The impact on TeamBonding was immediate. We started losing event bookings that same week. First, it was a 4,000-person team building extravaganza in Las Vegas. Then, one by one, other corporate clients reached out to let us know they needed to either cancel or postpone their events. Almost overnight, TeamBonding went from hundreds of bookings per month to practically none.
And we weren’t alone. We started hearing stories from our Catalyst Global Network partners in Asia that they, too, were watching all of their events disappear. It looked pretty grim.
On the other hand, we suddenly found ourselves with plenty of free time to chart a new path forward. We quickly decided to invest our time and energy into raising the bar for virtual team building events. After all, the types of programs we offer are a perfect antidote for the separation forced by COVID-19. We had the technology to deliver these programs. And so, we pivoted, quickly setting ourselves up to offer 25 different programs online. From trivia to mixology, from escape rooms to game shows, we focused harder than ever on finding exciting ways to bring people together under the challenging circumstances.
Working from home, everybody pitched in. We set up studios. Invested in technology. All of us looked at everything with fresh eyes, all in the hope that ongoing clients would see as much potential in virtual events as we did.
Once confident that we were ready to begin this new chapter, we updated our website to share the fresh vision we had for the future. And then we waited.
In June, we finally started to receive inquiries for virtual team building events. Existing clients were realizing they needed to put serious emphasis on bringing their teams back together in the “new normal,” locally, nationally, and internationally. Because so many already knew us, they also knew from experience that they could trust us. The calendar started filling back up.
And guess what? These events actually worked. I must confess, they worked even better than we could have imagined. Even in such stressful times, we all learned that it was indeed possible to help teams feel reconnected through events that featured engagement, challenges, food, and fun.
As we approach Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday), I am endlessly grateful for you, the clients who stuck with us while facing such unprecedented challenges. I’m also grateful for the way our team handled the big transition. They trusted me, and my vision of the way forward. Now, 18 months and 100+ virtual team building events later, we’ve reintroduced some popular live events whenever and wherever appropriate. Of course, it appears our virtual programs are here to stay.
In another nod toward evolution, we’ve also created a number of hybrid events that combine in-person excitement with remote participation. Every situation is different because every client is different. But we’ve all proven that we’re nothing if not flexible and adaptable.
Meanwhile, we’ve been able to maintain and even grow our sales, accounting, event management, and marketing teams. It’s been a white-knuckle rollercoaster of a ride, without a doubt. But here we all are. And Thanksgiving couldn’t be arriving at a better time.
Thank you for keeping my dream alive, and for trusting us to make teams better by continuing to do what we do best. It’s my heartfelt belief that together, we are better.
Founder, Creator of Opportunities