Excellence, Integrity and Teamwork; these are the values of the IET, and as such, are mirrored by the events team at IET London: Savoy Place, even in this new and challenging time.
While making the necessary decision to postpone all scheduled events until at least the end of June, our world has by no means stopped. This lull in immediate proceedings has given us the added opportunity to look deeper into the customer experience, how we can apply the latest technology for networking, and how we can adapt future events to cut avoidable costs for clients through digital alternatives.
Our team organises events all over the world, with some as far away as September 2023, so there is always important work to be done. Here’s how we’re practicing our values while working from home, with some top tips on living out your own businesses’ brand values.
Efficient planning means never sitting still. Now is a great opportunity to action that long list of ideas for development that tends to get overshadowed by more urgent necessities in every day working life. It’s time to scrutinise internal strategies and procedures with a fine-tooth comb to ensure efficient online registration processes for events, optimum website usability and tech-based state-of-the-art innovations.
While we talk about physical isolation, we remain limitless in the possibilities of imagination and innovation. A few weeks back, we were part of an online company town hall meeting for over 400 IET staff with a Q&A for everybody to get involved. The meeting was a great practice for us as we gear up for the rise of hybrid events. This is a time of both expansion and refinement to ensure that the moment our doors reopen, we’re accelerating at top speed.
Top tip: As a team, make a list of the ideas and actions that have so far been avoided because of time restraints, not budget restraints. Rank them in order of priority, breaking down both the immediate benefits and the long-term benefits to business. While we’re inclined to prioritise those things that offer a quicker ROI, we should not neglect the bigger picture.
We believe businesses have a social responsibility to consider the needs of the vulnerable during these difficult times, identifying ways to help with the resources they have. We have opened our doors again at Savoy Place to set up the venue as a rest area for emergency services and key workers for the next few weeks, offering moments of respite with fresh water and use of the private facilities.
In addition, we have spent a lot of time considering our environmental responsibility and are using this period of closure to explore new ways to make both the IET Venues and the events we hold more sustainable for when we re-open. This includes the removal of paper and plastic, working with our sponsors and exhibitors on giveaways, and reviewing our supply chains to ensure we are running the greenest events we can.
Top tip: Now is a great time to re-evaluate how your business can give back to your local community. Keep the momentum going, get in touch with local charities to understand their biggest needs, and look at how you can still deliver on your core values.
A virtual team catch up to stay focused, discuss priorities and assign responsibilities among the team is a great way to start the day, as well as sharing thoughts and cups of tea!
It is important for us that our team remains connected and grounded, and that we build on the great relationship we have when we are in the venue, running events. We normally spend a lot of time together and this hasn’t really changed just because we are working from home – albeit virtually.
Wellbeing has become more important than ever and as such, several initiatives have been implemented to build upon skills and communication, with a central resource hub made available to every team with online learning sessions and virtual discussion groups. Our next session will cover resilience in times of change, developing healthy routines and self-compassion.
Colleagues have also been invited to take part in The Global Wellbeing Challenge, a worldwide initiative to stay fit and mentally well during these extraordinary times. In teams, staff are required to log all activity that keeps them mentally and physically fit; for example, running, painting, reading, and each 10 minutes of activity is awarded one mile. At the end of four weeks, the team that has accrued the most mileage will win a prize.
Top tip: Tough times don’t last, tough teams do! Take the time to regroup as a unit, even when you’re not physically together. Check in on each other. Take part in fun activities. It will make the return to the office environment so much easier.