Starting the year back on the 6th of January 2021 we were in amongst another national lockdown and the future was still looking uncertain for many industries and businesses across the UK. Looking back upon the year, we have shown an incredible amount of resilience, adaptability and have relied on hidden strengths that many of us might not have known we had. There have been many ups and downs throughout 2021 but we look forward to 2022 with optimism.
Our business was no different to many other industries, we were unsure how the latest lockdown would affect trading, when would the vaccine be available, would our customers buying patterns change, how would we continue to work from home and how long until we would see the bounce back, if at all.
As the year progressed, we saw renewed vigor and optimism from clients across our three office locations and we slowly began to interact normally through face-to-face meetings, networking, and project briefings. We were no longer reliant solely on interaction through our computer screen. We were beginning again to reconnect audio retail outlets that were opening once again and continuing to produce live audio from our office in Newbury.
What stood out to me was how well connected we all were, and, in some instances, we were performing better in a virtual environment. More focus, less distractions, no daily commute but sadly no office social interaction, not yet anyway.
As we all returned to the office thankfully our client base also returned, and we started to see projects that had been delayed kicking off again and the conversations around content being discussed again, even discussing capturing and distributing content globally! Despite the pandemic we completed projects in USA, Holland, Norway, Belgium, and The Pacific Ocean! The return to work also saw the start of discussions around office upgrades, soundproofing office environments, COVID Messaging to staff through our audio contracts with large national retailers.
We made one of our top priorities our culture. Across 2021 we made it our aim to improve, influence and adapt our company culture. We looked at our core values and assessed all elements of our business, ensuring that we were laying foundations for the years to come. Looking back at the year I believe this is one of the most fundamental changes we adopted as a business that along with our company structure.
We are delighted to announce that the company has renewed its contract with IKEA Limited for a further 3 years. I am very proud that by the end of the contract term we will have served IKEA for 20 years.
The second half of the year produced significantly improved trading conditions across the group. Business and market confidence has improved; however, it is gratifying that the increased performance of the group has been facilitated by the numerous improvements in culture, structure and processes implemented across 2021.
September and October have been two of the best trading months in the company’s history, helped greatly by the video, animation and AV work done for participants at COP26 in Glasgow. We were also successful with tenders for some large-scale Audio-Visual projects in the energy sector.
Next year will pose its own challenges but we adapt, strive forward, and embrace what it has in store for us. See you all in 2022…
Written by Keith Robertson, Group Operations Director at AVC Immedia.