Azione Virtual Vendor Cocktail Party Creates Open Dialogue, Calming Effect
Challenging the shifting circumstances of a disrupted industry, Azione Unlimited President Richard Glikes hosted its first Virtual Vendor Cocktail Party. The virtual webinar allowed vendor members to connect with Glikes, reflecting on recent business-focused webinars, a candid discussion about the future of the industry, insight into everyone’s 'new normal', and a silver-lining outlook in maintaining strong business during a crippling world pandemic. Ultimately, the virtual webinar opened up communication and allowed vendor members to share a toast to the future success of a stalwart partnership.
“It was a moment to just stop, take a deep breath, and communicate with all of our vendor members in an open conversation,” said Glikes. “In times like this, communication is the most critical component to success. I take a lot of pride in creating open dialogue with our vendors and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to capture everyone’s attention in a constructive format and connect with our vendors.”
During the meeting, Glikes showcased all the efforts Azione Unlimited has produced to support both dealer and vendor members over the past three weeks, including 14 webinars, a series of upcoming vendor-led virtual panels, and a dealer-focused marketing campaign.
At the core of Azione Unlimited is a community built on deep and fruitful relationships. The Virtual Vendor Cocktail Party was a tribute to this core component as vendor-members joined Glikes for a casual sit-down conversation. Light music accompanied the one-hour virtual webinar, connecting nearly every all of Azione Unlimited vendors and providing updates to all of the initiatives happening in the organization.
The result was a community of vendor-members praising the unconventional approach to provide a moment of reflection as well as tangible guidance to keep business steady.
"Great to see you and the work you're doing for our dealers," said Access Networks Sales Manager Michael Williams in an email. "I enjoyed the cocktail hour and hearing about everything that's going on. Times are strange, but things like this help to keep us connected and feel normal during this time of distance."
Azione Unlimited plans to keep the Virtual Vendor Cocktail Party as a standing meeting for vendor-members to connect with the organization and participate in a moment of reflection, guidance, and friendship.
Unconventional Direction Guides Webinars
As an educational authority in the custom integration industry, Azione Unlimited has always prided itself on creative and compelling education initiatives. However, amidst a pandemic that has forced a workforce to shelter-in-place, many of Azione Unlimited's strategies needed to be quickly reshaped.
"The impact of the pandemic has been like a car crash - happening suddenly with many caught in the traffic jam," said Glikes. "As a service organization, we immediately shifted our efforts into supporting dealers and vendors with business-focused webinars. The result has launched 14 webinars over the past three weeks, with another dozen in the works, covering everything from marketing to navigating loans. We are actively monitoring the needs of our dealers and providing timely resources to ensure every member is supported."
The freshly launched series of webinars have been a mix of bringing in professionals and members to advise on a series of topics. The results have invited financial planners, full-service law firms, and small business consultants to advise on a variety of issues, some which include:
- Plan, Don't Panic: Wellness, Marketing, and Other Ideas to Keep Business Strong with Pure Wellness
- Navigating the $2T Stimulus Plan with Morgan Stanley
- CARES and PPL Advice for Small Businesses with Florida-based law firm Stearns Weaver & Miller
- Buying Nuances & Strategies for Challenging Times with Richard Glikes
- COVID-19 & Economic Downturn: A Business Guide for Integrators with Brad Whitehead of VX Strategies
- Cashflow Forecasting: How to Gain Certainty in Uncertain Times with financial advisors Kristina Drona and James Wells of Estemere
Webinars have also touched on continuing initiatives such as marketing to architects and designers, showcasing TV vendors 2020 product offerings, and state-of-the-union style chats. Azione Unlimited is also launching a direct marketing campaign, utilizing the resources of vendor partner WelcomeKard to initiate contact with dealers' current clients.
The final product of the efforts has been an overwhelming success. With attendance at an all-time-high, Azione Unlimited dealers have noted in both slack channels and emails that these webinars have been critical to the success of their business.
"I wanted to thank you and your staff for your level of proactivity during this exceptionally challenging time," said Andy Willcox of New Box Solutions in California. "No one has ever experienced anything like this in any of our lifetimes and hopefully will never again. Your series of webinars and presentations are valuable and also help remind us that there is life, albeit a new horizon, to look forward to in the near future. Again....thank you!"
"Thanks so much for hosting these webinars. There's nothing better than knowledge and strength in numbers when dealing with circumstances, seemingly beyond our control," added Ralph Scrofani of Intrahome in New Jersey. "It's a scary time for all of us, and it's easy to give in to despair when watching everything you have worked so hard for, be at such risk. The information provided in the webinars you have put together is extremely helpful and quite possibly could mean the difference between surviving and thriving or potential bankruptcy. "