It’s rare when the world can all agree on the same thing, but we think it’s safe to say that 2020 was not the year any of us expected. We saw the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. Some unexpectedly thrived… yes, you, Mr. Bezos… and others experienced great loss.
We were tested, challenged, and pushed to our limits. Parks turned into triage centres, people panicked causing the infamous toilet paper shortage, and hearts broke as loved ones said goodbye through the screens of iPads.
We saw superheroes rise among us, some dressed in scrubs and others in grocery store name tags or delivery uniforms. Heroes that continue to risk their health daily so that our basic needs can be met.
Businesses suffered. Specifically those in the hospitality industry. We’ve never seen global unemployment rates in hospitality like the ones we saw in 2020. To stay afloat, hotels, restaurants, and venues had to abandon traditional business operations and come up with creative new ways to generate revenue – like outdoor dining in a dome.
Like the rest of the world, no one at Event Temple has ever experienced a crisis like this before. As a software company that serves the hospitality industry, we were forced to pause, dig deep, and demonstrate a resilience none of us knew we had. We had to slow down, pivot, and grow together as a team.
As we reflect on the past year, we wanted to share stories, company break-throughs and lessons learned that we will carry with us into the new year and beyond.
Focus, Focus, Focus
When the government lockdowns first started in March, we saw in-app activity slow down. While we were nervous at first, we decided to take it as an opportunity – less app activity meant less development noise. Our dev team became laser focused. They looked at ways to polish and improve the in-app experience while also expediting large-scale projects on our roadmap.
When users slowly started to log in again, they came back to an app that was even easier to use and had more integrations and powerful data. The influx in reviews and positive customer feedback reinforced our decision to focus on what we could control – making the best sales and catering software on the market.
Create And Innovate
Our very own Customer Success, Katie Knight said it the best, “I’m amazed by the innovations that have been introduced in the hospitality industry in such a short time.”
It’s true! We saw a lot of creative solutions come out of the industry we serve from both the property side and tech side.
This year, Event Temple partner AllSeated, released exVo – “The next generation of Expos, Meetings and Events, tailor-made for today’s reality with both in-person and virtual attendance. It’s an incredibly immersive experience unlike anything out there, or anyone’s ever been part of before.” This new product is just one example of how the hospitality tech industry has worked hard to develop products to support the hospitality industry on their road to recovery.
We also saw hotels come up with creative ways to earn revenue while occupancy and travelling restrictions are still in place.
As CEO, Bob Graham mentioned in our year end webinar, “[As hotels opened up], I saw rooms sold as co-working spaces, so you could get out of the house. I saw a monthly LNR subscription where you could pay in advance and get access to the pool, the gym, a few meals, and your room.”
It’s been inspiring to see our partners and clients embrace the uncertainty and come out on top and we can’t wait to see what they continue to create in 2021.
Embrace New Opportunities
Every industry that was hit by the economic fallout of Covid-19, had to furlough employees or freeze their hiring. Businesses had to ask their teams to do more with less. We saw hotel GMs take on the responsibilities of multiple departments like front desk, housekeeping, and maintenance.
Our team leaned in and embraced new roles and responsibilities – demonstrating the flexibility necessary to be successful during a global crisis. One standout – Executive Assistant, Amy Nguyen – who took on marketing responsibilities, fully demonstrating our core value – Bias For Action.
Her biggest takeaway?
“You can learn any theory of different marketing strategies, concepts, and skills online. However, it takes actually “doing” it and of trial and error to fully see how it impacts your specific situation within the business you are in. Something that is a popular method for others that may be recommended to you may not actually work for you and your unique situation.”
Amy’s openness to dive in and learn new skills has heavily contributed to our success this year. We saw our team’s cross-functional relationships flourish as we embraced technology to stay connected and share ideas. While we would all prefer the war room over a zoom meeting, we found ways to continue to share our ideas and help each department grow.
Integration Specialist and Engineer, Cam Szarapka said it perfectly, “It was an outstanding experience where every member of the team stood up for the company in one way or another, and we’ve never been closer or more passionate to continue to serve our industry.”
Resilience And Grit
Account Executive, Trevor MacLean’s biggest learning this year? Resilience.
“I think this year has really shown how resilient we all can be. COVID really threw nothing but curveballs at everyone no matter what industry. To see the resilience of our customers, our team and our communities has been inspiring. As someone who is talking with those who are actively running their hotels and businesses, it is always inspiring to see the positivity, compassion and sense of community that is conveyed every day. 2021 is going to be a really big bounce back year for us all I think. Vaccines are on the way, and I think that we will be seeing people really enter back into social situations with a completely renewed gratitude and passion that we all may have never had before. I know I can’t wait to get traveling again and just hang out in a group.”
Grit is another one of our core values that our team had to live and breathe daily. Grit to Event Temple means persevering with faith while facing the reality of the current situation, regardless of what that reality may be. But we weren’t the only ones demonstrating this value. “It seems that in 2020, the whole world had Grit,” said Graham, “So congrats to you and to all of us, for living through something very heavy and hard in so many ways.”
Final Thoughts On This Past Year
“2020 was definitely a year for the history books,” said Marketing and Partnerships Coordinator, Sammi Fabbro, “There were bad days. Oh boy were there bad days. But there were also good days. It’s crazy to think that such a complicated world issue simplified my way of life. Covid took away a lot of noise and it allowed me to focus on the things that really matter – like family and connection. It reinforced my love for the hospitality industry and how it brings people together. It reminded me how fortunate I am to be a part of the Event Temple family and be surrounded by hardworking individuals who push me to be the best version of myself.”
This year the hospitality industry came together and showed resilience, strength and creativity. We are proud to be a part of this community and thank you all for your continued support. Together, we will come out of this stronger than ever!
And while this past year taught us lessons of innovation, strength and grit, today we say farewell to 2020 and look forward to seeing you all in 2021 (hopefully in person).
Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year,
The Event Temple Team