Ten Thousand Hours
Driving revenue for a live events business during a global pandemic
Ten Thousand Hours was founded by Dom and Martin; two professionals with 20 years of experience in events, who had become disillusioned by the industry that they loved. They were passionate about creating real change in the events world, and believed it was primed for disruption and new innovations.
When Dom and Martin first approached us, it was to generate new business for Ten Thousand Hours and come up with a long-term business plan. We successfully repositioned the agency by showcasing what makes them stand out from the crowd: their approach to the events industry, which was much more strategic than their competitors. We embedded this positioning as part of a new business plan and completely overhauled the website. We had a programme in place, and we were ready to help take Ten Thousand Hours to the next level. But then COVID-19 happened. The big challenge for us became: How do you pivot a live events business in a global pandemic when physical connection was illegal?
After reviewing the work we’d already put into the strategy, it became clear that we wouldn’t need to entirely change what was at the core of our new positioning; it actually worked in our favour. Where competitors simply took their offline events online, we had already set them apart as much more strategic in their approach, thinking the experience through and finding innovative solutions to these new limitations.
We also decided instead to shift the language and messaging of their external communications. We stopped talking about events and began talking about live experiences; we downplayed the importance of face-to-face interactions and instead highlighted the impact of online engagement and content strategy. We decided to streamline their audience and only target the B2B tech industry. We knew we needed to concentrate our efforts on this niche and target audience to create the most impact for their business. If you have a niche, you should own it — and that’s exactly what we did.
On the business development side, we generated some interesting meetings for them with global tech brands including BT and IBM. We also built up their profiles on LinkedIn and put time into getting their personal brands right. We produced a wide range of online content to keep their audience engaged, launched and hosted webinars and roundtables. This was all underpinned by this shift in terminology and language — and the perception of what they could offer, and achieve, as a company.
What started off as a comprehensive strategy was disrupted by a global crisis that has had a particularly devastating impact on the events industry. We were able to react to these new challenges, shifting Ten Thousand Hours’ outward language and content to reflect the climate and honing in on the their target audience. We’ve quelled some of the chaos through the consistent processes we’ve put in place including regularly using a CRM to nurture prospects, monthly newsletters and blogs as well as frequently releasing the latest case studies.
The new positioning, we created pre-COVID, actually worked in their favour throughout a rocky time in the events industry; not only did it help them to stand out from the crowd but generate the right kind of business. New business meetings and wins have happened, and we didn’t pause or interrupt our efforts with plenty of valuable conversations to nurture into 2021.
We’ve stuck to this positioning throughout, even walking away from big brands who didn’t understand what being a ‘strategic events’ company meant. This will allow Ten Thousand Hours to go much further with their business, leading the way as true innovators and thought leaders.