Like all events companies, First Event had serious challenges during the pandemic, having to make some big changes to stay afloat.

We adapted. Boosted in-house skills across all departments, pivoted the business to deliver virtual and hybrid events and committed resources to research and innovation, including investing £50k in our new studio. We put people first. Really put people first. In April 2021, First Event’s founder handed over ownership and control of the business to employees in a John Lewis-style model. The pandemic has been a real eye-opener to how devoted and invested our team is in making First Event succeed, not just for our company but for our clients too. Having a meaningful stake and say in the business is a ‘thank you’ to every member of our amazing team. It means they instantly benefit from their hard work and ambitious growth. The result? We haven’t just survived we’ve thrived. Despite 2021-22 starting with event restrictions, we acquired 30 new clients and saw 75% repeat business from the likes of Just Eat, Virgin Media and NHS. We created 111 websites and delivered 61 in-person events, 78 virtual events and 11 hybrid. It included a 48-hour hybrid event bringing together a 155,000-strong global community of developers, billed as the biggest ever blockchain event to drive the technology behind the Cardano cryptocurrency. In the last year turnover increased 40% (100% on 2020), grew the team by 50% and, critically, retained 88% of employees – bucking the trend of the ‘great resignation’. Importantly, we’re doing work we love and delivering great results for clients. **Not For Publication**