This happened at the start of the lockdown and the twice weekly sessions, the first concentrating on wellbeing and the second on educational and business development ideas, was intended to last until the end of May. But with the lockdown continuing for the foreseeable future, so will the Zoom events.
“Hats off to Prime, ProCo and others who are producing PPE, which is great if your business is set up like that, but we are not one of those,” says Stones. “What we wanted to do through the Be Brilliant Club is to inspire and motivate people we work with during these uncertain times, helping with mental wellbeing.
“The content is not designed for printers; it’s for creatives, agencies and marketing people, but we have had printers take part and there’s no problem with that.
“We had originally planned an eight week programme, but as time has gone on we have now extended that until the end of June, because of the growth in popularity of the sessions over the last eight weeks.”
And the sessions might extend beyond that even. “We would like to think that by the end of June, normality will have come back,” he says, “though if we are getting demand each week as it goes on we will look again.”
The events have been organised by Anna Liversidge, B&B’s marketing coordinator, shepherding up to 180 people to take part at a time. Some people are taking part in the motivational sessions, others in the Wednesday morning webinars which open the way to learning new skills or about different ways of working, including a well attended session about video marketing.
“We think that video is going to play a massive part in the marketing mix moving forwards,” says Stones.
The company had been using Zoom before the lockdown so could hit the ground running with the knowledge of how Zoom compares to other online meeting technologies and how to use it best.
The idea has been an extension of the company’s Be Brilliant Club, a gathering of marketing and agency people each year organised by the Rotherham business as an indirect sell, to highlight the creativity of print rather than to push its own capabilities. This has met once a year, though is unlikely to take place in September. “We don’t really think that people will be too comfortable so soon,” says Stones. “We think that normal events will resume next year. So we are thinking of continuing the online sessions, though with the frequency dropping to once a month, which will then feed into the InRealLife event in 2021.”
Zoom has proved an effective way for B&B Press to keep in contact with its customers and prospects during the lockdown period. The aim is not to win work, but to provide tools to help people with the lockdown and to stimulate thinking through introducing new techniques and ideas.