Story time: Firstly I would like to thank all those associated with Cosmonauts in a big or small way from staff putting in the hours, clients for paying invoices on-time, partners working with us building the future of the company and to the guy who shared our LinkedIn post once… Thank you.
(We’ve also lost respect for some partners and clients, who aren’t willing to commit to us as we have committed to them sadly).
It’s early March and I am preparing for yet another trip. The 5th in the past 2 months. February was fantastic, we smashed our targets. We were looking for another Q of threefold growth, a third in a roll, with a second equity deal coming along within just 6 months, and 11 conferences in London, Dublin, New York, San Francisco and Singapore. I could not begin to describe the energy, and pride throughout the team with our collective achievement. The world seemed to be resonating with our frequency. It was a joyous time, you work hard and put in the hours but you never expect back to back success, the feeling of everything you touch turning to gold. This is the time I will remember. The most fun experience in my life to date.
It’s mid-March, and here he is, with messy hair, baffled, worried and confused holding the first of many fuck up briefings to come. The bad news messenger. I am thinking- “here is one person working harder than me right now.”
Shortly after this first announcement, as a team we looked at each other and realised we need to learn how to manage the damage, not knowing what was to come… Internally I joked to myself “damn! We just got our heads around how to manage growth”.
We had 50% of our revenue coming from conferences, surely that’s something people won’t be buying now. To add to this we also had £250k of uncollected debt for upcoming and past projects.
Here was the elephant in the room people shy from talking about these days. We are here now facing all (over hangouts/zoom/whatever video call platform) valuable partners (especially the big ones) that started wiggling with their payments. My grandma always said that difficult times bring the best in us, but also the worst. Finally here to live that cliche, thanks, grandma! We decided to sit and have an honest conversation with everyone, mostly positive, but others rather disappointing. Will not be going further into detail, you know who you are! We will still work with you, but we just won’t enjoy it as much..
We had 2 simple routes to choose from, we furlough people and wait for the storm to pass or reinvent ourselves, adapt our offerings and try to sell to a world where no one is currently buying anything. Guess what?! – there’s no fun in furlough!
We adapted our Prospect Focused Bespoke In-Person Events (we ran 30 of those in 2019 with 18 companies) to a Virtual Setting. We applied a proven methodology of building lists based on peoples specific targets rather than circulating amongst our entire database and hoping for the relevant people to stick. This is always how we did things, and this is what is now setting us apart from the sea of webinar organisers out there. We also outright refused to host a webinar with COVID-19 in the title as we thought everyone would do that, and damn were we right!
We also wanted to do something different and run a proper virtual conference with the networking, with the exhibiting and the cool studio set up – resembling Victoria Derbyshire, but less dramatic. We spent 4 weeks reviewing 25 possible platforms and we ended up picking the first one we found. We are now able to tell you easily what does what and which is worth the money. So if you are interested, let us know and will pass you the intel!
A friend recently told me that survival belongs to those that innovate at speed while staying relevant. Clever, let’s do that! Within 6 weeks we organised a full-blown virtual conference together with www.artificiallawyer.com /. We attracted 8 sponsors, 26 speakers and over 500 attendees.
You can still enjoy the content of https://www.legalinnovators.online/ for a small fee, but be quick, it will be only kept up for 6 months. What was cool about the virtual event is that we were able to bring the industry together (again) regardless of people’s location and also provide very useful data intelligence on content and exhibiting stand interactions to our sponsors. Something impossible in a physical setting. We are now also known as the organisers of the first-ever full-blown virtual conference within the legal tech innovation space. Feels cool being a pioneer. We are sure more will follow suit..to our competitors, be brave and if you need help let us know, we will support you for a reasonable fee!
To our clients, even the ones we hold a bit of bitterness towards -if you are interested in what we can offer to keep your business development efforts relevant or check our portfolio, please make sure you visit our brand new slick webpage – www.cosmonauts.biz
Live long and prosper!
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