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‘Nothing lasts forever and that includes COVID-19’ say Zing Events

Andy Wells and Charlie Berry are the founders and owners of Zing Events, a corporate team building company. 

Since the company’s inception in 2012, Wells and Berry have been determined to bring fresh, fun and impactful team engagement, team building and development activities to companies all over the world. So far, they’ve seen impressive growth but no one could have predicted the unprecedented events of COVID-19.

Andy Wells and Charlie Berry.

Here Wells and Berry chat to M&IT about how they have had to incur huge changes, adjust to the situation and what this all looks like for the industry’s future.

How have you had to adjust your business in light of the current situation?

2020 was meant to be the year of high growth and team expansion however, COVID-19 put a spanner in the works and we had to completely rethink our targets, goals and strategy. We have had to make sure that the business would survive through the period of change but also make sure that we did right by our team.

These changes included:

  • Hard as it was, we had to cut down our expansion goals, for now, and continue with the team that was in place
  • We had to adjust our offering to work for remote working to ensure that they could still connect with their teams, boost morale and focus on wellbeing. First off, we brought to market three app-based solutions within a matter of weeks, which allowed us to deliver remote team builds
  • We created a completely new 90-day business plan to set new goals for our approach, sales and marketing to enable us to have a clear direction and purpose for the next three months

With this in mind our external offing and strategy for our clients have also seen huge changes:

  • In light of the lockdown and isolation policies, we’ve had to adapt from solely running live events to remote app-based solutions which have an equal return on investment for our client base. We started with three and now have eight different offerings, including a Virtual Escape Room
  • The ‘why’ has never been so important. With money tight for most businesses but the ‘why’ and business objectives still of huge priority, we want to make sure this is even more obvious as an outcome for our clients. Our belief has always been what is the point in doing a team build if it doesn’t target company objectives and helps make a difference? So, now more than ever, we help our clients see this benefit and suggest the best possible events for obvious return on investment

What do you wish you had known before COVID-19 hit the world?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and whilst we have managed to work together as a team to mobilise a number of fantastic App-based team engagement activities – obviously, had we known about COVID-19, these could have been developed in advance and alleviated some of the pressure we’re under at the moment to meet demand.

However, as a company we are always planning ahead and whilst nobody foresaw the consequences of COVID-19, fortunately, we were already running Zing Events across a number of Cloud-based platforms which actually meant the move to work remotely, and in isolation was not too disruptive from a business perspective.

In your opinion what will the future of the corporate team building industry look like?

Nothing lasts forever and that includes COVID-19. While Live events and experiences are temporarily on pause, they will return – and most likely with a newfound enthusiasm as teams will want-and-need to host activities which bring everyone together again, and functioning as a team.

Prolonged periods of working in isolation do cause loneliness and heightened anxiety – and teams will be craving the opportunity to do face-to-face team building for the betterment of their Wellbeing and company performance.

The pandemic has opened up new opportunities for virtual ‘gatherings’ and we believe there will be an element of teams continuing to do virtual team engagement activities, especially when it comes to large global teams. We will continue to develop team engagement activities that can be run solely from someone’s home, but also activities that can still connect teams that are working both at home and in the workplace.

This is the time to break the mould and embrace the new normal wholeheartedly if we don’t, we are missing an opportunity to develop our industry and offer our clients what they need!