Upcoming webinar: Communications and COVID-19 – What have we learnt during business lockdown and what happens next?

On May 13, we are organising a webinar in collaboration with Rochester PR Group and the Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce.

Amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic, communication has been key to how we have felt about our jobs, employers, business and lives in general.  Some companies have adapted better than others and we have all been on the receiving end of some annoying, sometimes astounding communication whether that’s on email or on a Zoom/Teams meeting.   The comms function – both from HR and marketing departments communicating internally and externally – has been under more scrutiny than ever before.

In this webinar we will pull together some of the key lessons whilst also providing some advice for the next stage.  The timing – after 7 May when we should be hearing the government’s latest thinking lockdown ending/how we get back to work – has been deliberately chosen and the final content of the webinar will reflect the latest state of play. 

 
 

Speaker:

The webinar will be delivered by Joanna Dodd, Managing Director from Rochester PR Group which works with international businesses making their move into the UK, helping them on effective communication to achieve business success. 

Read more about Rochester PR.

How to organise a webinar – successfully

Now more than ever, companies around the world have to rely on virtual communication methods. Luckily, we have apps such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom that are making it easier to lead a remote team. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, we now also have to come up with new ways to keep clients and other stakeholders up-to-date and engaged.

When you have a lot to say, a simple blog post might not cover it. Moreover, if you need to communicate the same message to a wider audience, why not hold a webinar instead of sending the same email over and over again? Although putting a webinar together will require some level of organisation, it can save time (and nerves) in the long run.

Below, we have gathered some essential tips for you on how to organise a successful webinar. Some of these are just common sense, yet often overlooked.

Before the webinar

Hosting the event in a virtual environment means that you can skip the usual preparations that are often needed for live events such as ordering food & drinks and seating arrangements. However, some of the fundamentals stay the same. So don’t underestimate the need for practising your presentation or checking everything is ready for the “event” before you go live. Nothing says unprofessional like starting the presentation 10 minutes late because you can’t figure out how to turn the sound on.

Plan your webinar

Like with any content, you need to know who your audience is and how they will benefit from what you have to say. If you’re talking to your clients, take some time to find out if they are currently facing a specific problem or what’s relevant in their industry right now. For example, we recently organised a webinar on the business implications of the COVID-19, you can read the recap of that webinar here.

When you know what topic will draw a crowd, you need to decide the physical location of the webinar. Yes, you heard it right. Although the viewers can take part from anywhere, you as a presenter should pay special attention to the place where you are planning to speak. Pick a spot that is as quiet as possible to minimise the distractions and background noise. If you have to present from home, make sure your family knows when you’re “on air”. Although your wandering toddler might elicit a few laughs here and there, it may chip away at your credibility as an expert speaker on the topic.  And last, but certainly not least – make sure you have a reliable wi-fi connection.

Create your content

Know what the topic should be? Great. It’s time to do the slides. Since you are not face-to-face with your audience, pay extra attention to the visual side of your presentation. Don’t clutter your slides with too much content – especially too much text can make it more difficult to follow your presentation. Instead, take advantage of some free beautiful imagery that is available on sites such as Unsplash or Pixabay. And remember to use a big enough font size – anyone joining the webinar with their mobile will thank you. 

Promote your webinar

People’s calendars tend to fill up quickly, so start promoting your webinar early enough but continue until the last minute. Use emails, reminders and the power of social media to keep your upcoming webinar in your target audience’s mind. Remember, webinar titles needn’t be boring! Creating a catchy title can help in attracting the crowd and boosting the number of registrations. However, while you play with your creativity, do make sure you also list out all the basics in the webinar description such as the date, time, duration as well as the themes covered. 

Do a trial run

Webinars are seldom a solo effort and there might be several speakers involved. Like it’s important to practise your own part, it’s just as important to ensure you work well together as a team. Before the big day, get everyone together to do a dry run where you make sure all the equipment works, the slides are in order and the handover between the speakers is smooth. Not everyone grew up tethered to technology so make sure that everyone knows the basics such as turning on the video and sound and muting oneself.

During the webinar

Just as you wouldn’t want to be late for face-to-face meetings, you shouldn’t be late for webinars – especially your own. Plus, being there a few minutes before the scheduled start time gives you the opportunity to greet all the early birds and make the final checks on the audio and video. And here’s the important part: close all your apps, especially messaging apps, and plug your laptop into a power socket. Have a glass of water nearby and you’re ready to start.

Engage the audience

With a live audience, all eyes are naturally fixed on the presenter. With that feature missing, it’s good practice to have a photo of yourself and other speakers near the beginning so viewers can visualise you talking to them during the webinar. Always start the webinar by thanking the viewers for attending and let them know how and when they can ask questions as well as whether the webinar is recorded. It is guaranteed that you will get asked these questions anyway, so it’s better to address them early on.

Perhaps the biggest challenge with webinars is how to keep the viewers engaged throughout the presentation. Just because they showed up doesn’t mean they will stay. And let’s face it. No matter how interesting your topic, watching one slide after another can get boring. To decrease the drop-off rate, try to include some interactive elements in your webinars such as polls, Q&A sections or short quizzes. Make your audience feel like they are part of the program.

Have a back-up plan

Sometimes things don’t work out the way we planned. It might not be your fault, but you want to have a plan B to fall back on in case your laptop freezes or your wi-fi is having a bad day. Simple things like sending slides to someone else can put your mind at ease and ensures that the show can go on even if the things go wrong on your end. It’s always good to organise “ a spotter” for the webinar – someone who is viewing the presentation from an attendee’s perspective and can alert you if something doesn’t look right.

After the webinar 

After the webinar, you should send a follow-up email to all of the attendees as soon as possible – especially if you have promised to share a link to the webinar recording. This is also a good time to answer any questions that did not get answered during the allotted time as well as thank your viewers for attending.

If you’re new to organising webinars, you should also gather feedback and lessons learned after each webinar. What went well? Was there room for improvement in a particular area? Write notes down as soon as possible after the webinar has ended.

While webinars still take some organising, they are cost-effective, not to mention a safe way, to keep your stakeholders engaged and informed during COVID-19. Don’t be intimidated if you’re not used to holding events via live video – you will learn the ropes along the way.

Goodwille webinar: Business implications of COVID-19


This amazing artwork was created during the webinar, courtesy of Matt Kemp from Scriberia.

On 31st March, we delivered a webinar on the business implications of COVID-19 together with the Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce, the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce and the Danish-UK Association. In the webinar, Goodwille HR Manager, Jacqui, discussed employer & employee challenges and our CFO, Kevin, provided an overview of the latest support available from the Government.

At Goodwille, we have a long history of actively collaborating with different Chambers of Commerce and, amidst these challenging times, it is important for us to continue working closely with our partners. We eagerly jumped at the first opportunity to co-host a webinar – on a topic we knew would be important for many at this time. We were glad to see so many attend and want to extend our warmest thanks to all 50 participants, for attending. The webinar has been recorded for your benefit, so if you were unable to attend, please check out the video above. Below, we have provided further discussion on some of the key points that were addressed during the webinar. 

Common HR Challenges Employers Now Face

Working from home arrangements

The outbreak of COVID-19 has triggered a shift towards home working at an unprecedented scale. Now, companies of all sizes around the world are forced to work remotely in order to help contain the spread of the virus. The UK is no exception and the government has strongly advised that everyone, apart from key workers, should work from home. When we adapt to this situation, there are certain things you can do to ensure a smoother transition.

From a practical point of view, employers need to ensure that everyone has the necessary tools to carry on with their work. Apps such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom are making life easier for many remote teams by making it possible to organise meetings and catch-ups with a live video connection. In addition to the right IT tools, we would advise you to check that your home working policies are in order. As per the Government’s guidelines, the starting point should be that everyone works from home. However, if you don’t allow this for everyone, what kind of criteria are you using to draw the line? Make sure you remain neutral and base your policy on sensible criteria such as the length of the commute.

Check in with your employees

When we think about the current crisis, we often think about our physical health and safety. However, the situation is also putting our mental well-being to the test. As our HR Director Jacqui said:

We’ve got to remember that isolation can be isolating.

While some welcome the opportunity to work from home with open arms, some might struggle. Homeworking long term can be very challenging so make sure you check in with your employees and remind them of employee assistance programs and other support available. At this time, it is also crucial to maintain the community feeling at your company. The internet is rife with quiz tools & games you can use to bring everyone together and lighten up the mood.

Even if your employees’ mental well-being is okay, they might still struggle with how to structure their day and stay productive. Be proactive and share advice and tips for home working, such as how to set up a home office, how to stay productive and motivated, or how managers can lead their remote teams effectively. Furthermore, there’s a good chance that some of your employees are now sharing the “office” with their kids, which might require some special arrangements. Consider if it’s necessary for everyone to work their full hours. Instead of tracking productivity by hours worked, would it make more sense to track the completion of tasks? We suggest that you be as flexible as you can be, as long as the job gets done. 

Why should making redundancies be the last resort?

Naturally, many people are now also concerned over pay and job security. Many businesses are seeing a downturn in income to such an extent that they might not see any other way forward than making redundancies. However, we think they should be your last resort and here’s why. While the situation might seem grim now, it won’t last forever. With this in mind, you want to hold on to the talent in your business. Moreover, redundancies won’t only affect the people who are made redundant, but it will inevitably have an effect across the whole company, especially on team morale. Therefore, we would recommend you exhaust all your other alternatives first. 

So, what are some of the alternative ways to cut costs? If you can’t provide your employees with work as normal, you can try to negotiate reduced hours, unpaid time off or ask employees to take time off as holiday. If you have external recruitments going on, put them on hold and see if you can internally reallocate people to those positions. We can’t stress enough the importance of good communication during these times so where reduced hours and unpaid time off need to be negotiated, ask around to see if there are any volunteers. Involve your staff as much as you can, so they can be part of the solution rather than passive onlookers. Remember that the level of financial support offered by the UK Government is unprecedented and there are many different schemes available for businesses in financial distress. If you simply cannot offer work for your employees at this time, turn to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

How to overcome financial distress in your business

The speed and scale at which the current COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the global economy has caught many businesses off-guard. Therefore, companies need to keep their finances in order more than ever. While the situation might feel overwhelming, we recommend that you take it one step at a time and work out these basic questions first.

Understand Your Cash Position & Liquidity

At times like these, cash preservation is the key. Do you have a good understanding of what your cash flow might look like in the coming few months? If not, make sure you have a reliable cash flow forecast for the next 2-4 months so you know what your pain points might be and are ready to tackle them.  

Identify Sources of Liquidity

Besides cutting costs, you should do an inventory of your existing, and potential, pools of liquidity. Think about your existing lenders, for example. Could you ask for more loan? What about your current agreements – could you renegotiate some of the terms? Think about all the options that could quickly improve your cash position. 

Liaise Proactively with Stakeholders

We are all in the same boat here. Regardless of where you live or what sector you work in, the current crisis is taking its toll on businesses. Everyone understands the scale and severity of the situation and therefore, we would advise you to liaise closely with all your stakeholders including employees, banks, customers, suppliers and insurance companies. Some of them might well be part of the solution for overcoming financial distress. After all, most stakeholders want your business to survive, as it is in everyone’s interest to survive this crisis with as minimal negative impact as possible.

We have written a separate post that covers all the main schemes and support measures that the government has put in place. Please refer to this article to see what options are available to you. We also encourage our clients, as well as other businesses, to get in touch with our team in case you have any questions or concerns regarding your UK operations and the implications of COVID-19.

Canute – helping start-ups to scale in the UK

Canute is a three-day intensive programme taking place every year across different international hubs – London, New York, Stockholm and Berlin. From pitching sessions to networking with fellow entrepreneurs, the programme is designed to give Danish scale ups a kick-start in their journey to international markets.

Once again, Goodwille was invited to be a part of the program. Our CEO Alexander Goodwille, joined other market experts in the “Legal and Financial Setup in the UK” session, giving his advice on what the startups should focus on – their core value and market entry strategy.

For this years’ edition, eight tech startups ranging from various industries including everything from fashion to health tech, participated in the programme. “It is always interesting to see what new businesses are coming through and the problems they are trying to solve. In turn, they are coming across secondary problems that give me valuable insights into services and solutions we can provide through Goodwille – some we do already, and others we can create in the future”, says CEO Alexander Goodwille.

Canute programme was first launched in 2017 and since then, over 50 Danish tech companies have taken part in it. The comprehensive three-day programme gives attending startups a well-rounded picture of the UK market including fundraising, accelerator programmes, storytelling and best practices as well as possible challenges when breaking into the UK market. A truly valuable part of the programme is to hear first-hand experiences, advice and success stories from seasoned Danish entrepreneurs who have successfully launched their company in the UK.

Apart from Canute, Goodwille partners with numerous initiatives supporting European startups, including SUP46 and the Nordic Startup Awards. At Goodwille, we take pride in the complete stack of professional services, experience and expertise we can offer to the startup community when setting up their business in the UK.

Brexit: Norway and UK

An event hosted by the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce

In light of the upcoming trade negotiations between Norway and the UK, the Norwegian Embassy in London hosted an event under the topic “Brexit: Norway and UK”, together with the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce on 12 March. The NBCC invited its members to participate in a two hour engaging discussion about the future economic relations between the two countries, giving various perspectives from both the Norwegian embassy, the separate governments as well as affected traders.

Event Space

Opening remarks were made by the Ambassador, Wegger Chr. Strømmen, himself, followed by an update from Simen Svenheim, also representing the Norwegian Embassy, regarding future agreement outlooks, trade of services and mobility. In the case of mobility, the general consensus is that neither will be seeking free moving of people. Those areas where UK and Norway currently have free trade are not likely to change, though trading of financial services will. To summarize – some areas will cause friction in terms of negotiations, some will remain unchanged.

Brexit Business Impact

To get a corporate perspective on the future negotiations and the economic relations between the two countries, the event evolved around an open dialogue with the audience regarding their concerns and priorities for the negotiations. Further, David Cairn, current Vice President for the large Norwegian corporation Equinor, was included among the speakers.

In response to the general concerns, representatives from the UK government were present to update the audience about ongoing negotiations. With expected changes in trade regulations, the primary concern seemed to be around the survival of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME’s).

The government representatives agreed that there will indeed be disagreements involving three areas; governance, fishery and customs, though the Prime Minister has the intention and desire to seek similar arrangements with EEA countries as prior to Brexit.

Government support for SME’s

The audience presented concerns regarding whether the government will be supporting smaller players exporting to the UK, and how they assess the knowledge amongst these SMEs in terms of the financial consequences of Brexit. With all the uncertainty involving when and on what terms Brexit would actually happen, there was a perception of smaller business owners feeling “Whatever happens, happens”.

Summary

Overall the event, very purposely, gave insights into the struggles and concerns of the Norwegian businesses, with takeaways for the governmental parties to include in future negotiations and subsequently offer solutions. As NBCC manager Kyrre Haugen mentioned during his speech – SMEs contribute to the majority of the Norwegian economy, therefore, let’s hope they become priority for the upcoming negotiations.

Expand to England – Join our Official Slush Side Event in Helsinki

Slush Helsinki is the world’s leading startup event, celebrating all things tech and entrepreneurship. Slush 2019 takes place between 21st-22nd November and is expected to gather over 25,000 curious minds, including 4,000 startups and 2,000 investors to create and help the next generation of groundbreaking entrepreneurs. It’s a mix of a festival and conference, with several side events taking place all around the Finnish capital.

We are happy to announce that Goodwille will host an Official Slush side event at Slush 2019. On Friday 22nd November we invite businesses looking to establish in the UK to our event EXPAND TO ENGLAND. The event will provide key market insights and practical examples on how to successfully launch on the UK market. It’s held at Messukeskus, so after the event we’re just seconds away from the Slush After Party! Join us, and remember – you don’t need to have a Slush pass in order to attend our event!

About Expand to England

Are you ready to take your business out of the Nordics to the UK or other European markets? Are you ready to scale your team and expand internationally?

The UK is repeatedly ranked as one of the best locations for European businesses looking to expand internationally – it has access to a pool of talent, capital and investors, it boosts a large tech community and it is perfectly located in the middle of time zones. The UK is also a big gateway through which to enter the US market.

This event is for ambitious startups, SMEs, entrepreneurs and businesses looking to establish in the UK. You will hear practical examples from Leadoo, the Hottest Startup from Finland in October 2019, who will share their company journey and reasons for choosing the UK market. Additional speakers include Department for International Trade, Business Finland, Rochester PR, and Goodwille, all of which have substantial experience supporting businesses with expanding to the UK. Our expert speakers will provide you with key market insights, including how to promote yourself and how to avoid the pitfalls many others have fallen into.We will also touch upon Brexit from a business perspective. Expect an interactive seminar with experts on international expansion, followed by networking with fellow entrepreneurs and business leaders.

EVENT DETAILS

Date: Friday 22nd November 2019
Venue: Messukeskus, Siipi 205, 1 Messuaukio, 00520 Helsinki, Finland
Time: 3.15pm – 6pm
Registration: The event is free of charge but requires registration. Send an email to sonja.sainio@goodwille.com for a link to the registration page. Please note that you don’t need to have a Slush pass to attend our event!

Join our Oslo Innovation Week event

Norwegian explorer Liv Arnesen made international headlines in 1994 as the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South pole – a 50-day expedition that took her 745 miles.

Join our OSLO Innovation Week seminar, available to the CEOs & Founders of Norwegian startups and scaleups, to hear one of Norway’s greatest ever female explorers, Liv, share the battles and rewards when you dare to dream. It can be a lonely world when you work in a startup, and it can be a really lonely world when you travel 50 days unsupported to the South Pole.

In this powerful conference, TedX speaker Liv will share and discuss leadership in small teams, risk management and how to find the courage in yourself when the going gets tough. All startups will hit hurdles, especially when so many dream of going to new countries. Join this conference to find out more about the challenges you will face when you dare to explore outside of Norway.

Event details

Date: 25 September 2019
Venue: The Lounge @ Mesh, 3 Tordenskiolds gate, 0160 Sentrum, Oslo
Time: 10:00 – 12:30
Tickets: Grab your ticket HERE!

Tickets are available free of charge to Norwegian startup CEO & Founders. You must register using a corporate email account.

About Oslo Innovation Week

Oslo Innovation Week is an annual happening inviting people from all around the world to Norway’s capital city. Celebrating all things innovation, OIW brings together change-driven corporates, entrepreneurs, startups and organisations for conferences, pitching, workshops and networking. 2019’s edition in the 14th Oslo Innovation Week around, this year held between 23-27 September. Oslo Innovation Week is owned by the City of Oslo and Innovation Norway, with Oslo Business Region as project manager. Check out the full programme for OIW 2019 on oiw.no.

Beers, Burgers & Bullseye!

Grab your colleagues and join Team Goodwille for a fun darts night!

We invite our clients to come along for Beers, Burgers & Bullseye at Flight Club Victoria on 21st May. Food, drinks and of course a darts tournament will be on the agenda for the evening, where our clients and the Goodwille team can enjoy a good laugh together! Our very own gamemaster will make sure we all have the best time and we have reserved a private area just for us. It will be a relaxed and informal event with lots of expected high-fiving and cheering.

But don’t forget – it is a tournament and one person will be crowned the winner on the night. Will you be the one walking away with eternal honour and glory as the best darts player of us all? Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain – you can’t miss this! Sign up to this unforgettable event by sending an email to james.service@goodwille.com.

Details

Date: Tuesday 21st May
Time: 6.15-9.15pm
Location: Flight Club Victoria

The event is open to all our clients, but we kindly ask you to RSVP to James Service to get your name on the guest list.

Hope to see you there!
/ Team Goodwille

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Goodwille takes a seat on the Council of the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce

Goodwille are active members of the Chambers of Commerce for our core markets. Last year we reinstated our Partner Membership with the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce to strengthen our position in the Norwegian business community. In early 2019, our Marketing Manager James Service joined the Council of the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce to work more closely together with the Chamber to further support its important mission and role for the Norwegian business community in the UK.

In this interview with James, he shares his thoughts about taking a seat on the Council of the NBCC and the important roles of international Chambers of Commerce!

Why did you join the Council of the NBCC?

I think it’s an exciting time to be part of the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce! There has been a new sense of energy in the Chamber over the past 18 months and there is real opportunity for development and growth in the NBCC. I really look forward to being part of the journey!

There were three reasons why I chose to join the NBCC Council;

  • My experience and the value I can offer the Chamber
  • My own personal development
  • Goodwille investment (to get an understanding as to the direction of the Chamber)

What knowledge and experience do you bring to the Council and the Chamber?

I have been marketing the Goodwille brand into the Nordic region for about 10 years. There is a direct link between the work I do in my job at Goodwille and the areas I can support the Chamber with. I think with my personal connections and the experience I have working across the marketing mix (especially with websites, social media and event organising), we can spread the message further and ensure more companies benefit from joining the NBCC.

How do you think it will benefit you to be on the Council?

 It’s great experience for me to sit around the table with people who have such a wealth of experience. I sit on the Council with people from KBR and DNB, among other. When you are regularly in an environment with people who have this level of experience it can only benefit you both personally and professionally.

Why is it important for Goodwille to have a representative on the Council of the NBCC? 

I chose to join the Council mainly for my own personal development. However Goodwille puts a significant investment, both time and financially into all the Nordic Chambers, and it’s important for us to get an understanding as to the direction they are moving.

Why should companies get involved with Chambers of Commerce?

The NBCC offers a great platform for members to spread the message about their company. It’s a great context to be seen in, especially if you have Norwegian-British ties. Through direct introductions, industry leading events and networking opportunities, you never really know who you will meet. The NBCC provides the platform for you to meet new people, and if you have the resource to make the most of it, it will undoubtedly benefit you and your business.

Interested in knowing more about the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce? Read about their membership options, business and networking opportunities and upcoming events on the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce’s website

Five ways to improve your networking skills

Striking a rapport and building personal connections with people is incredibly important when it comes to developing good working relationships. In the modern world, these interactions don’t have to be face-to-face, either – a telephone call or Skype conversation can be just as important, particularly if you’re liaising with overseas colleagues or clients while chasing international expansion.

With that in mind, here are 5 ways you can improve your networking skills in 2019:

Understand your target audience

When you set up a UK company, you should have a good idea about your target audience. Networking works in much the same way. Learn about the communities you’re meeting with through online research or simply asking questions.

Don’t be afraid to work the room

If you’re taking part in a networking event, take the opportunity to mingle. Try to develop more than one greeting, and push yourself to interact with as many people as possible. Encourage conversation, and engage with others in a warm and friendly manner.

Find some common ground

Be inclusive and try to understand how making connections can be mutually beneficial for all involved parties. Finding common ground and synergy can work wonders – even with competing businesses.

Always follow up

After making a connection with a potential client, remember to follow up on the initial conversation. Arrange a working lunch or coffee, get in touch via the phone or simply send an email highlighting your commitment to creating a beneficial working relationship. Remember, all relationships take commitment and effort – some work, some don’t, but you’ll never know until you take the initiative to follow up on your initial meeting.

Ask how you can help

In retail, this is a concept as old as time – but it can be applied to networking, too. Don’t wade in with both feet first giving it the hard sell. Instead, enquire as to how you can help serve the needs of your potential clients. When people get the impression that you’re offering your services with the right motives and for the right reasons, it becomes easier for a relationship to grow naturally.

With a bit of practice, networking will begin to feel like a natural extension of every working interaction you have. Don’t be apprehensive; you’ve got nothing to lose, and the next attempt at networking could yield a great deal or contract.

Want to practice the above at an event with UK business professionals? Sign up to our newsletter and tick the box that you want to receive invitations to our events to get plenty of opportunities to grow your network with good people!