2020- It started like any other year
Dependable Solutions started the year with a blast while hosting two Dive Social Clubs– their regular after-hours parties. With local licensing executives and clients attending, the team in UK had a great evening with the finest quality of stout brewed in Porterhouse, London. The local team in California had a memorable Leap Year party at Springbok Bar and Grill, attending clients and cohosting with Nolan Heimann.
2020 also started off with on a strong foot to connect with licensing professionals through the Sports Licensing & Tailgate Show and CES. Our team also flew to Paris to attend and present awards at the French Licensing Awards on March 5.
And then the world changed as we were two weeks into March.
The world stood still as we witnessed our peers, friends and families getting gravely affected and infected by the fatal disease.
As the year took an unexpected turn, we immediately decided to not host our annual users’ conference, Licensing Automation Summit as well as canceled another Dive Social considering the health and safety of our staff and clients.
We continued doing business in this new landscape and checking in on clients to see how they were coping with COVID-19. There were two distinct, divergent paths we were seeing. Some of the businesses suffered severe loss while others had their business pick up well.
We were also working in unchartered territory for the first time ever.
How does any business deal with such unexpected and unprecedented change?
The ability to pivot
With lockdowns in place, everything went digital- e-commerce and digital interactions became the norm.
From Zoom meetings to streaming TV shows and movies to digital commerce to even more virtual meetings. As time is of the essence, Dependable Solutions pivoted and seamlessly transitioned to 100% working from home.
We took the opportunity to give our digital presence a makeover. We built dependablesolutions.com from ground up for a more interactive, user friendly site for better user experience.
The ability to re-imagine
In late May, Informa approached Dependable Solutions to sponsor a new kind of virtual trade show that would act as a supplement for the canceled Licensing Expo. And with two weeks in hand, in mid-June, Licensing Week Virtual was launched, giving licensing colleagues and professionals the opportunity to meet online when in-person events were not possible.
Virtual trade shows continued as Dependable Solutions hosted their own users’ summit with LAS Virtual on 15th-16th of September.
When visiting clients on site or having meals with them is temporarily on hold due to the pandemic, we left no stones unturned to get our clients together in one platform for interactive training, discussions, and more through the LAS Virtual.
And the month of October became the epitome of virtual trade shows with the Festival of Licensing was launched, when another major trade show, Brand Licensing Europe canceled, followed by another cancellation of Licensing Leadership Summit.
Connecting in a disconnected world became more necessary when the licensing marketplace was disrupted and challenging.
The ability to try new things
Dependable Solutions discovered new ways to connect and inspire their industry colleagues, clients and prospective clients by doing a first ever podcast with the the International Sports Convention and hosting informative virtual panels led by industry experts.
The ability to improve
Throughout this tumultuous year, Dependable Solutions always sought ways we could improve, and not only on our connections and conversations. Despite the unforeseen challenges 2020 has presented, it has remained a productive year at DSI.
Dependable Solutions brought significant enhancements to its solutions. In doing so, we added new functionalities, amplified existing features while providing superior customer service- to support clientele in every step of the way.
We wrapped the year 2020 up with two back-to-back virtual trade shows – ISC virtual week and The Licensing Awards UK.
Hindsight 2020: The ability to connect
2020 was certainly a year of change. But, in hindsight, we can see more clearly what was needed to adapt to the new normal setting of the world. The ability to connect. The ability to pivot and improve.
Pivoting is essential in moving forward. Nothing is set in stone. We must remain flexible to solve new challenges and help our partners to move forward.
Let’s continue the creative re-imagining of how business is conducted and how connections are made. Virtual events are much cost efficient to run than physical events. We suspect there will be a nice combination of virtual and physical events in 2021.
We can’t wait to go back to our in-person Dive Social clubs and look forward to seeing you there when it’s safe to do so. As we move into 2021, Dependable Solutions will continue to re-imagine how we engage in both virtual and in-person spaces, with clients and colleagues.
We will continue to try new things while also improving the things we currently do. From podcasts, updated website, to virtual lectures and improved product lines, we are not only a solutions provider but a partner to the industry.
And we want to support our partners in any way we can.
We have learned so much over the past year from our clients and our employees. As we take a moment to look back, we have realized the biggest hindsight from 2020 – it is the human to human connections that matter most.