In our latest guest blog, Mags Worldwide Director Mags Shaw shares what she’s learnt in lockdown both personally and professionally…
As the lockdown restrictions have started to ease, it has got me thinking of the pro’s and con’s and how it has impacted my family life on a personal level, and how it has impacted me on professional level too.
On a personal level,
- Time with my family: I loved the fact that both of my teenage children were at home. I knew that they were safe. For the first time in years I was around to cater to their every whim – a leisurely breakfast; a relaxing lunch; early evening dinner
- The sunny weather: The weather was fantastic! We could enjoy the sunshine, get on with those outstanding gardening jobs and benefit from an injection of Vitamin D, all at the same time.
- Living in the moment: With no travel commitments, I learnt to relax more and to truly enjoy more time with my family.
However, as time progressed, we noticed that breakfast time moved to almost tea time, and a late midnight snack seemed to be happening more, with everyone staying up a bit later. We agreed that we needed to adjust our timetable, and our home environment, so as to keep harmony in our household.
- Separate, defined working spaces: I conceded to let my husband share my office. My daughter was assigned a study room for her university studies. This gave us individual spaces to conduct our work or studies, a separation from our evening living quarters.
- Consideration for others: My son, no longer having to study for GCSE exams, tended to sleep in every morning, so we were mindful to keep a quiet house so as not to disturb him! In the afternoons, he was mindful to keep a quiet house for us!
- Embracing technology: Zoom quizzes and catch up calls were set up with family and friends so as to keep up those important connections face-to-face.
- Helping others: Elderly family members, elderly and shielding neighbours needed our help with shopping errands week after week.
- Fun times: Enjoying the simple pleasures in life – a walk in the park, in nature, more relaxing time at home, watching movies, reading good novels, completing jigsaws!
Today, I believe we are a stronger family unit. My patience and diplomatic skills have certainly come to the fore, as measures to survive lockdown with my family. I can reminisce on the good times that we have had together and focus on our future post lockdown.
On a professional level:
- Rapid change: I’ve loved working in the events industry from my very first day. Back in March I was astounded at how quickly things changed for my company, Mags Worldwide, literally overnight. Almost every trip we had scheduled with our DMC partners, was cancelled or postponed to later in 2020 and beyond.
- Supplier liaison: All suppliers, DMCs, and agencies tried hard to manoeuvre the unexpected financial implications of COVID-19 and how best to handle these difficult circumstances together to satisfy their clients
- Technology: Never my forte, but lockdown was an opportunity for me to find my way around the virtual world and actually enjoying it. I am continuing to learn and embrace this new norm in the virtual world, i.e. until overseas trips resume to their fullest. I miss my travel!
- Courtesy: More often than ever, courtesy was top of my list of expected values from my DMC partners. I was humbled and proud of how they handled all situations and conversations delicately with my clients. This was not always the case, unfortunately, a hard lesson for us to learn during this time – empathy is everything and having a moral and human approach is the way forward.
It also gave me time to reflect on Mags Worldwide and our work ethic. One of my DMC partners advised me to take time to remember the reasons why agencies did business with us. He said: “Whilst we all love going away on trips and life is great, what we all also love is returning to the familiarity which is our own home and family.”
So I decided not to make any drastic changes to our business model. What I do know is:
- Gratitude: I will never take anything for granted again. I will make each enquiry count more than ever. I will be delighted for the review every quote opportunity and to give it the due diligence it deserves.
- Charities: Charity donations have always been part of our ethos and mantra and whilst suppliers are notoriously known for their generosity in sharing festive gifts to our UK agencies, our focus will continue to be to increase our charity donations in the following ways:
- MWW will make a charity donation for every sales calls conducted in 2021. These charities will feature in our social media postings and on our website.
- We will ask all agencies to provide a small charity donation in advance of attending any of our future BDT /FAM trips
- We will no longer issue table gifts – our alternative will be charity donations envelopes.
Lockdown has reminded me to think more about people in life less fortunate than ourselves and just BE-KIND.
And finally, one last note on gratitude: It is true to say that real relationships are those that survive the good and the bad. I am forever grateful to those UK agencies who continued to engage with Mags Worldwide in a kind and professional manner during this time and I look forward to working with you as we move forward in this new norm. Stay safe everyone!