It has to have been an extraordinarily strange year when even those companies that did well out of it – think eCommerce, delivery services and mobile games – can’t wait to see the back of it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the patience, nerves, resilience and mental strength of all of us who have been unfortunate enough to live through it, but fortunate enough to have lived through it. And it’s not over yet of course. While the approval of a number of vaccines is obviously great news, it’s going to take a long time to work its magic on entire populations. Many parts of the world will spend Christmas in lockdown or semi-lockdown, and simple things we all take for granted, like hugging a loved one, are off-limits.
But you’re reading this on a B2B title, so I have to look back on 2020 through a commercial lens to see if there were any crumbs of comfort. And I can honestly say there were.
As a business, we had to pivot the events side of our offering literally overnight from physical to virtual, as we arrived in Australia to run physical events hours before a state of emergency was declared and those events were no longer allowed. In the space of 24 hours, we flipped all three to virtual events, and despite some prior reservations from our partners for those events, they were very well attended, and more engaging, interactive and useful than I think many of the partners or delegates thought they could be.
Of course, webinars have been around for years, they’re old school, and that was part of the problem, and the reason why one or two of our physical event partners were reluctant to get involved in them.
But they soon realised that in a locked-down world, virtual is as close to physical as you’re going to get, and over the past nine months we’ve hosted hundreds of delegates at more than 240 virtual events targeted at digital marketing and HR specialists all around the world.
And we know from speaking to our partners and our delegates that those events have resulted in partnerships and ongoing business relationships – in brand marketers finding the digital marketing experts they need to take their efforts to the next level. Helping those firms keep the lights on and moving forward, while they in turn help the brands get ahead of the competition in challenging times.
I’ve been encouraged, too, by our awards programs. We run two, the Effective Digital Marketing Awards, and the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards. The Digital Awards launched just before the start of the pandemic, the Mobile edition in the middle of the lockdown that took place around the world.
We expected entry numbers to be reduced as companies had more pressing priorities than winning awards – like working out how to manage the transition to remote working almost overnight. And we were not wrong in that assumption. But we never thought about not running the awards programs. Because when things do get back to normal, and the competition for new business heats up, an independent industry award for outstanding work, granted by your peers on the basis of the evidence you submitted to them, is one sure way to make sure potential clients will want to talk to you.
We saw some brilliant entries, as we do every year, and while we couldn’t celebrate the winners’ achievements in person, we did so, you guessed it, virtually, at two online Award Ceremonies that were attended, collectively, by more than 250 brand and agency executives.
To all of those who have supported us in any way during this difficult year, whether you agreed to be interviewed on Mobile Marketing Magazine; gave a keynote at one of our events; partnered with one of our events; attended one of our events; or submitted an entry for one of our awards programs, we want to say a heartfelt thanks for that support.
We’ll be back in earnest in the New Year. In the meantime, if you would like to be notified when either or both of our awards programs open for business next year, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll keep you in the loop.
Other than that, from all the team here on Mobile Marketing Magazine and Masterclassing, we wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas and holiday season.