2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for businesses and individuals around the world. From March onwards life as we knew it was turned on its head. We had to shut up the Skout office and working from home became the norm for the team. Little did we know at that point that things would be that way for the rest of the year and moving in 2021!
While it has undoubtedly been a strange and frustrating time, and indeed devastating for so many, the Skout team has responded with resilience, optimism, and great unity. We wanted to end the year and wave a relieved goodbye to 2020 with a look back at all the positive developments, successes, and memories we’ve enjoyed along the way. Here they are:
- Client wins
Where would we be without our fantastic clients! Despite the difficult circumstances, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to get the opportunity to pitch for new business and win some incredible new accounts. 2020 has seen us welcome data services provider, Qbase, market intelligence firm, Tridge, leading IT solutions provider, Stone Group, AI insight software provider, Datasine, and reward and employee reward platform provider, TerryberryReward. We’ve also branched out to work with Winshuttle France and Miele Ireland and welcomed back warehouse integrator, Conveyor Networks (soon to be Breathe Technologies). Not bad going in a global pandemic! We can’t wait to continue to build on the fantastic relationships we’ve established and work on the many exciting projects in the pipeline.
- Marketers meet-up
Before everyone was fed up of doing video calls and that virtual family pub quiz still sounded like a good idea, we hosted an informal Zoom gathering to bring together the marketing experts in our diverse client base. It gave us an opportunity to connect, share experiences, and learn from each other as we got to grips with running marketing and comms operations remotely. Click here to read what we discussed.
- A brief return to the office in September
Ah, September. Remember when Boris changed his guidance to encourage businesses to head back into their normal places of work? Although it was brief, it’s a fond memory for the Skout team. We were reunited with our furloughed colleagues and things felt a little more ‘normal’, for a bit anyway. It was lovely to see everyone in the flesh again – albeit from a two-metre distance and armed with antibacterial wipes and hand gel! The beloved grazing table was off limits, we never went anywhere without cleaning materials in hand, and a handful of us had to work in the meeting room so we could all social distance properly, but it was worth it to catch up with each other properly and have a proper team meeting which involved not one ‘YOU’RE ON MUTE!’ Bliss.
- Our Christmas giving campaign
December is usually a really busy month for the Skout team, with celebratory client wining and dining to pack into our busy schedules (it’s a hard job but someone’s got to do it!) alongside the usual activity, meetings, and deadlines. This year, however, felt very different. Not only were we unable to do this, but in light of the year’s events, we felt it would be much more appropriate to make a donation on behalf of our clients instead. With one in five people in the UK living in poverty (a pre-pandemic stat) we’re well aware that this Christmas will be especially difficult for many. That’s why we decided to select a food bank based near each and every one of our clients to make a donation to this Christmas. If you haven’t seen the Skout team out and about on their virtual adventures on our social channels yet, go and take a look!
- Our virtual Studio 54-themed murder mystery
What do an eccentric rock guru, a Charlie’s Angel film star, a diva, a New York novelist, a provocative popstar, a rollergirl, a distinguished politician, an artsy film director, and a club owner have in common? They were all in the VIP area of Studio 54 that night when the giant disco ball came crashing to the floor, killing the club’s infamous architect in its wake! The night’s glittering elite were rounded up as suspects and required to work with the investigator to uncover who was at the root of this deadly dance floor move.
As Christmas parties and outings were off the cards this year, we took part in a Studio 54-themed digital murder mystery for our virtual Christmas party. Everyone made a great effort with their 80s-character costumes but it made for a dodgy-looking group of suspects!
So there you have it! But, best of all, when I asked the team for their input on the year’s highlights, the answer was unanimous – us lot! Rob responded, “For me the main highlight has been you lot – as a team really pulling together. We were a strong team before but I genuinely feel that the challenges of 2020 have made us more cohesive and supportive. I feel there is more sharing of knowledge, more suggestions and ideas across the business, and better communication.”
Aw. We’re going into 2021 still working from home, still sick of video calls, but stronger as a team and ready for the fun, hard work, and challenges the new year will bring. But not before a well-deserved break!
Stay safe and have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.