We talked to Paul Stanzenberger, founder of Teamazing, about online team events, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Paul Stanzenberger: We are all doing well. Thank goodness no one has been hit yet – at least in terms of health. Economically, the last year was a roller coaster ride for me and, therefore, also for my family, which fortunately ended on a high.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Teamazing.
Paul Stanzenberger: It all started in 2014 when I, together with two fellow students, founded Teamazing. The business idea at that time has little to do with what we do today, but that was the start. We wanted to dust off the classic Christmas party and came up with an unusual program for it. When we realized that our customers preferred to book the program in the summer rather than at the Christmas party, our teambuilding business model was born.
How does Teamazing innovate?
Paul Stanzenberger: We develop new team-building games that are methodically and pedagogically very valuable to use and at the same time extremely fun. With Corona, we have specialized in online team building. We also focus on self-developed programs in the virtual setting and have also built our own event platform, which allows us to run interactive online events with several thousand participants.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Paul Stanzenberger: In the short term, the crisis hit us very hard. From one day to the other, our order books were empty, as no live events were allowed to take place. However, just a few months later, our online team building program was ready, and we celebrated great success with virtual Christmas parties. Within three weeks, we were able to host 10,000 participants in 138 virtual events and win customers like Google, TikTok, Pfizer and AstraZeneca. Since then, nothing has been the same. We now reach companies from all over Europe with our online team building and are very successful with it.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Paul Stanzenberger: The summer of last year was very hard. Unfortunately, we also had to let go of some employees during this time and put almost all of them on short-time work. This period was one of the toughest of my life: I learned what it means to have loyal employees and how strongly team spirit influences success.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Paul Stanzenberger: Since we sell almost the same product as before, our customer relationships have changed only a little. What has changed is that we meet almost all of our customers online. In general, we have become more digital in every respect. We could no longer work without these tools: Slack, our virtual office & joinpoints.net
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Paul Stanzenberger: We received a bridging loan, which secured our liquidity over the summer. Furthermore, there is a very extensive short-time working model in Austria, which we also took advantage of.
Your final thoughts?
Paul Stanzenberger: It takes many qualities that have brought us to where we are now: Creativity, effort, the willingness to give EVERYTHING, courage, team spirit, trust, optimism and a strong common goal. I am happy as hell and grateful to be part of a team that brings these qualities to the fullest. Thank you!
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