The flexibility and decisiveness at UP Events
Follow-up interview by Events.nl
Interview with UP Events employee Pim ten Broeke
Mahlee Plekker, editor of High Profile Events.nl, visited us in February 2020. At that time, Corona hadn’t reached us yet. A lush summer lay ahead. But 2020 turned out differently… How does UP Events weather the Corona crisis so far?
How are you doing now?
“It’s okay. It was a rough time, though. But now we are already full of energy.”
What did you do during the lockdown?
“We have started to upgrade our venue and site. All office employees worked from home, of course. But with a maximum number of people on the floor, we continued to work with all kinds of improvements. There were, of course, no guests. So we could build and try everything undisturbed. For example, we have built a new BBQ Bar, in which we now also have our own kitchen. We also renewed the Archery Tag field, repainted a lot of woodwork, upgraded the Hangars (Loodsen) and did countless other jobs. Of course we kept as many people as possible at work with this. But where normally all our attention lies with our customers, it was now possible to focus on improvements and changes on the event floor. In this way we also keep our activities interesting for former visitors.”
“With the colleagues working from home, we mainly thought about what we could do to get UP Events through this time. Instead of a BHAG, we started with our Weekly Audacious Goals. That resulted in many ideas. Not every idea turned out to be immediately feasible of course, but many of them were. Our online team building game Project Arrow for example. A thrilling success for which we already have plenty of bookings for this coming winter. We have 3 more online games in addition, so we were able to adapt our offer to this sudden change in the market in no time.”
Did you then restart quietly?
“No not at all. Full blast. From the May Camp for kids up to and including June 1st, when the terraces opened again. This allowed us to focus our sales pillars on other target groups. Or maybe: more specific customer segments. For example, UP west Amsterdam was launched just before 1 June. Complete with menu of homemade burgers and a new ordering procedure. We also paid a lot of attention to the communication of our Summer Camp for children aged 8-13 years. These registrations really went through the roof; no less than 2.5 times more bookings than last year. That is 160% growth (compared to 70% growth in 2019).”
“In the meantime, Project Arrow was doing very well and companies were starting to dare to do a sporting activity outside with us. We approached sports clubs to organize a club day with us. And have a good concept for organizing digital or hybrid events. This way we can set up a complete studio with live stream. We can then have lunch delivered to the home of the participants as well.”
“You just have to do something to keep your head above water. Sitting still and worrying is simply not an option for us. With these types of events and activities we stay close to ourselves and our quality.”
Did UP Events come out of the Corona crisis reasonably unharmed?
“No definitely not. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to some of the colleagues. A very sad decision. But anything else is simply not possible. The company has to survive the winter and start rebuilding again next year. We believe this will happen, because people have a “can do” mentality here. We are just preparing for a difficult winter. We have to. Our employees are very involved in the company and we have organized it together in such a way that we do not have to compromise on quality.”
In summary, what have you learned about yourself and your company?
“That UP Events is very flexible. Because we can develop a new concept like UP west within 2 weeks. At one point, the introduction program was canceled for many schools and associations. Then we came up with solutions on how this could take place. As a result, we were still able to fill the site on several days, taking all Corona rules into account. A fantastic experience. Then it sometimes seems as if nothing has happened.”
“Also, because no one can predict what it will be like in November – January, we also have to remain lean & mean. We have once again been able to show that we are extremely decisive. Should there be an online game? Then we will make that now. Do we want to approach a different target group? Then the next day a mailing is sent out. Always with an eye for detail, to maintain our high quality level.
“And finally; that we are still on the right track. As a young scale-up we are an important player among the big boys. We have a strong growth strategy. And that will help us to return to the level of the beginning of this year. Just watch us go UP 😉. ”