WHAT. A. YEAR.
In January we were all set for a stellar 2020. The team had grown, we had a solid pipeline of new leads and exciting plans for product development. I’d even hopped over to London to meet new team members.
You know what happened next. Lockdowns, furloughs, jobkeeper, jobseeker, and other imaginative programs designed to get us through unprecedented events.
Ups and downs
Towards the end of March, everything turned from surreal – to very real.
This graph 👆 showed a rapid decline in people active in our system. We literally had to watch our industry and the people we love working with everyday drop out of employment. Some would return to their companies in a few months. Others were seeking a new employer.
If you were a creative business with a heavy reliance on travel, hospitality or retail and based in a location with significant restrictions in place, you were probably experiencing anxiety-inducing financial distress. We all know this industry can be volatile at the best of times, but this was on a whole new level.
The declines in users and revenue also meant that our ability to maintain the size of the team that we’d built was severely hampered. The bumper year we’d planned for was a distant memory in a matter of 3 weeks.
On a personal note, the day when the decision was made and the changes executed, was without a doubt the worst of my career. We’d built a team with no dead wood, no gaps. Just a bunch of talented and genuinely nice and supportive
peoplefriends. Thank you for everything Paddy, Agnese, Danielle, Simon and Christian.
The rest of us took a pay-cut as we hunkered down and did everything we could to help the Streamtime community ride out the storm.
We scheduled additional webinars, offered subscription relief and discounts and additional training for teams transitioning to remote working. It was really encouraging to see how everyone pulled together across the industry to lend support and make things a little easier.
Events, webinars and community
Chatting with Peter Czapp and Andrew Dobbie in April helped to share stories and a sense of camaraderie that we were all in the same boat.
Our Road To Recovery event in June went a step further. Step by step accounts of the last few months shared how to get through the challenges ahead as well as research on how agencies were coping.
Teaming up with NABS for a webinar in the UK brought much needed mental health support and advice to the community in our biggest webinar of the year.
We were also over the moon to be able to support the crew at Barely Managing with their virtual events across the year and continue our relationship with Aus Design Radio, The Design Conference and Design Assembly.
The rest of our year stabilised… but only really reflecting the average of the ups and downs still happening around the rest of the world.
Still designing and developing creative project management software
The Streamtime product came on leaps and bounds across the year. The team did some incredible work in launching new functionality, capability and improving performance.
Collaboration launched. You can now post briefs, send messages and track what happened-when on a job.
Repeating tasks – our most popular request ever, finally launched and instantly became a staple on peoples’ To Do screens.
Rate cards – making it easy to apply different rates to different types of jobs and clients.
Xero webhooks were integrated to make sure that your quote and invoice info updated instantly.
An availability report was introduced to give greater transparency over your team’s capacity.
We’ve also been laying the groundwork for some exciting schedule improvements… more on that in 2021.
We’re nothing without our Streamtime community – YOU
To watch the resilience of our customers and community during 2020 has been fascinating. The creative industry has spent many lifetimes solving problems for others. In 2020 it’s had to solve problems for itself. From pivoting business models to working remotely with teams and clients. Arguably the events of the pandemic have helped us all prove that change is possible and can even be for the better.
A special shout out to just some of our awe-inspiring customers for what they’ve achieved and contributed this year.
Ragged Edge who put community front and centre through their work and process throughout the year.
Portable, who joined us this year, and continue to do incredible work that makes the world a better place – from their Psychology of work event to their work with the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector.
Town Square was announced Ad Agency of the Year in the Mumbrella Travel Awards.
Nice and Serious sharing how they don’t just talk the talk, but 💯 walk the walk with their internal moral compass.
Chris Flack, supported by the Strategy Creative crew and the rest of the design industry to address climate change with Mate Act Now.
The CSIRO who do such fantastic work in supporting communities through Australia.
Made Brave for all of the support they’ve provided the creative community throughout 2020 including their Linkedin group initiative.
Never Sit Still were recently crowned AGDA Studio of the year in Australia.
Jelly London’s work of art that was the Game Of Throne’s tapestry.
Phantom’s “Stop and Search” campaign did important work in raising awareness of racism in the UK.
Collider’s mesmerising dancing marble – see if you can’t stop yourself from watching it for hours on end.
Studio South’s Love is Love campaign that stole the hearts of Kiwis.
And finally, pretty much every piece of beautiful work that NB Studio have put out into the world this year.
Never Not Creative
It was another big year for Never Not Creative. The creative community that we’ve supported since 2018.
The Mentally-Healthy research report was launched in June and showed an improvement in stigma levels of 24%. Additionally, it told us that the number 1 thing the industry wanted to improve mental wellbeing was more empathetic leadership.
It led to this collaboration with Gabberish, focusing on the empathy we have, need, want or are sadly lacking, in the creative industry.
Asking For A Friend was launched. An opportunity for anyone in our industry to get answers to questions that they didn’t feel confident enough to ask at work. Coming to the UK in 2021.
Internship Minimum Standards were developed with the Internships Change Group. A step in the right direction towards abolishing unpaid internships and making sure that EVERYONE gets an equal opportunity in our industry.
In November we introduced a pilot program called NNC Circles. Mental health and career support groups for creatives in partnership with the Banksia Project. Instantly oversubscribed, we’re hoping to scale these next year.
Here’s to 2021
So much has happened this year that we could never have predicted. There’s no point trying to say what will happen in 2021. All we can do is embrace change, the unknown and whatever next year throws at us.
If we’re still here after a year like 2020, imagine what we’ll be able to achieve next year! Thanks for sticking with us and being a part of the Streamtime journey. We’re lucky to have you.
To the team. Thanks for everything you’ve achieved this year against all the odds. You should be super proud of making it through and to be still kicking goals right up to the finish line.
See you on the other side!
P.S. A shoutout to Derek who left us for another role this month. 13 years with the company! What a legend… Thank You, Mr Lingley 🙌