Craving Connection

by Deittra Heritage, VP Client Success, UgoVirtual

Humanity says, “We want to be back together!” WBUR, Boston’s NPR Station, recently released a great article regarding society’s desire to “double down” on social engagement. This quote from the article: “I want to reach across the table and double dip in your guacamole” made me literally laugh out loud and rush to my fridge to see if I had an avocado.

In reviewing the last six months, desire for real human contact has become evident. We just couldn’t help ourselves to rush back when any government official loosened the reigns. Travel suddenly took off again (no pun intended) and restaurants filled up, regardless of whether there was someone there to take your order or not. We rushed back and we really didn’t focus much on the checkbooks, the savings accounts and well…who was going to pay for the revitalization and reengagement. We just jumped back in…to connect…to engage and…be together.

Here at UgoVirtual, we’re hearing this same tone in our interviews with our clients and respected colleagues in the events and hospitality industry. Event Planners are pulling their faces close towards their laptop cameras on our Zoom interviews and saying, “Yes, we want to be in the ‘live’ space again!” But then… there is a pause. Wait for it. “We’re not sure what this Delta variant thing is going to do—but we’re determined to be back together in person–it’s still our comfort zone.”

Between these interviews and the reality of news broadcasts with a daily warning of “It’s not over, folks” I do sit in quiet moments thinking, “Where does UgoVirtual fit in?” and then I wish hard for a crystal ball. Knowing that the crystal ball has never magically appeared for any business in the world—ever, I go back to the basics of what is important to us at UgoVirtual and to me as a Client Success professional. I sit up firmly in my chair, begin my next Zoom meeting with a hard stare into the future–dismissing any notes of an identity crisis and shout across the bow of this pandemic and say, “UgoVirtual will meet our clients wherever they are–pandemic or not!” If you are the client that says, “We just are going for it and live events are our jam” or if you’re the client that feels the need to grab your vaccine cards and start an “unmute yourself already” training program—we’ve got you covered, either way!

So how do we meet our clients where they are? I’ve started with unifying concerns amongst both groups–those who want to leap and those who feel that need to just sit and stay for a while longer. What is that unifying concern that existed even prior to the pandemic? The prize goes to (drum roll, please) the budget! Back in the day, the best event planners pulled off amazing events and those that could keep an event “on budget” were highly prized and sought after. Even within companies where budgets seemed non-existent and every event was “pull out all of the stops,” margins still existed. “You paid what? For what?” could be heard echoing from event review meetings everywhere, and the almighty dollar ruled. In those days, UgoVirtual was solutioning for cost efficient and effective outlets for companies to put on amazing events and lower their cost. We just weren’t doing it in the face of a global pandemic.

Yes, we have amazing product offerings here at UgoVirtual, such as Ugo Expo, UgoConference, etc. Yes, we are on the journey to define “hybrid” while we also arm wrestle the active wild variant named “Delta”. And yes, I believe in a path with our clients that is open to truly solutioning through a strong partnership, listening arm in arm (elbow to elbow if needed) through it all. We did it before the pandemic. We will continue to do it through the pandemic, and we will do it on the other side. We are committed to helping our clients to generate powerful engagement and the biggest ROI for their approved budgets, while optimizing all to insure there is minimal unnecessary cost and risk. Our strategy remains the same: Let us increase your engagement, minimize your cost and yes… let’s be intentional about those dollars you do choose to spend. We’re in this together!