Matthew Cumber is managing director of Countrywide Surveying Services
If someone had told me this time last year that I’d be sat at my desk on a Thursday afternoon watching Robyn Hall introducing Toploader from a plush hotel lobby then – putting this politely – I may have thought that person had been to one awards ceremony too many.
However, whilst this particular scenario is not quite the new normal, the live streaming of virtual award ceremonies, events, webinars and podcasts have become an important part of the mortgage calendar.
The virtual Mortgage Introducer awards was a great example of how many different businesses have had to adapt and evolve over the past nine months or so. The mortgage market is a sociable beast and while its obviously sad not to be able to attend these types of events in person it’s great to see them still go ahead and provide such great entertainment. On that note, we were delighted to be up for an award and congratulations to all the winners and fellow nominees.
Technology has been the great facilitator throughout these challenging times. The value of various modes of online connectivity has really been brought to the fore with much of the UK population having to work from home and businesses having to manage a variety of workflow issues remotely.
Many sectors such as hospitality and events have suffered more than most and it has been fascinating to see how such areas have adapted and evolved to meet the demands of a less physical and more virtual world.
From an event perspective, our annual conference takes place in January which usually has 500 plus attendees. As I’m sure you can imagine, this year will be a little different. However, it’s vital for a company of our size and scale to ensure that we are able to interact with our people and keep them fully informed about how we have performed, what we could be doing better and our vision for the future.
This is what our annual conference is all about, and it also provides us with the opportunity to commend key performers and show our gratitude for the dedication shown across all areas of the business.
The task of turning this into a virtual conference is far from simple, the logistics are quite mind blowing at times and we’re not alone is facing such issues. No amount of Zoom calls can make up for the absence of team bonding and Christmas parties. I sincerely hope that award ceremonies, events and meetings can take place in a physical form in 2021 but just to reiterate that the best bits of technology are here to stay and it’s up to every component within the mortgage and property chain to embrace the benefits attached to them.