Hands up if you were one of the ones who thought ‘by Christmas, we’ll all be back to normal’…? I certainly did. When we were forced to close the office back in March, I honestly thought we would be back in a couple of months. As creative people, we’re ever the optimists and I think we all did too.
As one of Wales’ largest events agencies, we were faced with the same devastating questions as were many people back in March- events, gigs, sport: all dried up overnight. What do we do? How do we respond? How long will this last? Regular questions at our meetings and no immediate answers in sight.
If you’ve ever worked with Orchard, you’ll know despite our scale, that we’re very much one big team. Like never before, everyone pulled together to create amazing ideas and innovative approaches to delivering during lockdown. It’s in our nature to be curious and to find new ways to deliver and that’s how we saw it- one of our most exciting creative briefs ever!
When life gives you lemons, grab a beer and get your thinking cap on. From delivering national advertising campaigns, remote directing and Covid-safe filming, to creating high-quality virtual events with A-list celebs, we’ve helped some of Wales’ biggest brands deliver their marketing and engagement events in a sensitive and powerful way that gets noticed. Have a look at a virtual event that we recently delivered for one of our clients and see for yourself - Motonovo Finance’s 2020 Staff Awards.
But we won’t hide behind a mask to pretend that we’re ‘stronger than ever’. Covid has, and continues to have, a massive impact on the live events and entertainment industry and because of the uncertainty, we’ve had to make some really tough business decisions. Decisions I never thought I would ever have to make and certainly didn’t enjoy making. We tried really hard to avoid losing some of our brilliant Orchard talent but unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to some of our team. It’s been hard but one of our strongest values is transparency and honesty- so you won’t see us trying to sugar coat it by splashing aggressive marketing messaging to say, ‘we’re bigger and better than ever before’. Instead, you’ll see us raising a massive glass to our amazing team (and friends) who are the life blood of Orchard. Those who have kept the cogs turning despite some crazy challenging times (shout out to WFH mums and dads). Those who have supported Orchard and our clients unconditionally. Those who bring Orchard to life.
Like many, we’re using this as an opportunity to reset- to ensure we adapt to what you, our clients, need from us going forward. We know it’s impossible to know what will happen right now and we know budgets dwindle and plans get moved constantly. But rest assured that we’re here, still offering all of our quality services from integrated campaigns, to immersive technologies, from PR and social media to digital content, media planning and buying to creative, and film production to now virtual events. If you’re a current client of ours, you won’t notice a difference in our service or delivery, it’s just behind the scenes we’re crafting carefully.
So please join us (every day is a Friday now, right?) in raising a glass to our team and to you- our clients (past, present or future). We’re all getting through this together and this will just become another chapter of our story. We will get there and boy, what an event it will be on the other side…