February 12, 2021
Kickoff 2021: Looking ahead to a bright future
Metka Silar Sturm
This year’s Sales and Marketing kickoff was an event like no other in NiceLabel’s history. First, due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the traditional week-long event in Slovenia was replaced by a four-day, all-virtual kickoff. Second, the kickoff comes on the heels of the recent announcement that NiceLabel and Loftware are joining forces. And, last but not least, the event follows one of the most challenging business years our industry has ever faced. Yet, in spite of all that, the kickoff participants left with the feeling that the future is bright.
The theme of this year’s kickoff was Impact2. As per tradition, Paul Vogt, Marketing Director at NiceLabel, held the opening presentation on the theme. He reminded the participants of the previous year’s theme, and what’s changed in the meantime. “Last year, we talked about how we make an impact on the lives of millions of people every day. And we’ve seen how that impact has played out over the course of a challenging year, as we’ve helped our customers in life science companies fight Covid-19. Now, think about the potential we have combined with the talented men and women at Loftware. Together, we are in a position to make an exponentially larger impact on the lives of millions of people around the world every day. That’s why we’re calling this event ‘Impact squared’.”
People matter, results count
Sales kickoffs are usually about the bottom line – which targets were met and missed. However, as NiceLabel CEO, Chris Walsh reiterated throughout the kickoff: “We focus on the people first, and the results follow. The consequence of the team working together and helping each other develop, being in a good shape, delivers the results at the end.” Thus, when NiceLabel found itself confronted with the global pandemic, the first order of business was to ensure the safety and well-being of all of the staff in all our locations around the world. The NiceLabel management team arranged for a series of mental health sessions with Dr. Gill Green and other guest speakers, addressing topics such as how to be resilient, the art of coping, staying motivated, managing ourselves in high-pressure situations and how to work together effectively in distributed teams. This people-first focus has meant that NiceLabel could enter 2021 in a strengthened position, and will continue as NiceLabel and Loftware combine their organizations. In fact, the vision for the integration is that everyone will view the combined company as “the best place they’ve ever worked”.
It’s all about growth
The kickoff was also an ideal opportunity to address some of the proverbial ‘elephants in the room’ related to the combination of the two organizations. All of the management team presenters took the opportunity to highlight that this integration is a growth story. Over the past decade, NiceLabel has demonstrated consistent growth across all parameters: people, revenue and partners. And during that 10 years, NiceLabel’s growth has significantly outpaced the market. Even during the pandemic, we still onboarded 23 new team members, renewed alliance partnerships, introduced new internal collaboration tools, released software updates and continued the technological development of our platform, all while working remotely. That in itself is a testament to the power of the team, and our ability to grow responsibly. And now that NiceLabel is joining forces with Loftware, the combined organization will be in a great position to conquer the market and lead a cloud revolution for the industry. As Fred Dotson, Director of Channel Sales, Americas at NiceLabel, highlighted in his presentation, “NiceLabel did much more than survive 2020; we emerged stronger and in a great position to join Loftware to create an organization with undisputed market leadership.”
The team-building exercise is a highlight of every kickoff, yet again, the virtual nature of this year’s program called for an innovative approach. Enter Picture Perfect! The challenge was as follows: all participants were divided into teams and given a set of famous celebrity photographs. They then had to recreate as many images as possible. The winners would be the ones who recreated the most images and received the highest number of points from their fellow colleagues. It was fantastic to see the creativity, and competitive spirit, everyone displayed when recreating the iconic photos. So while we can’t wait to have an in-person team building with the entire team of our combined organizations, this was an excellent way to celebrate our accomplishments and set the stage for 2021.
A future so bright…
Of course, the most important KPI when it comes to kickoffs is the reaction of the attendees – did it make them motivated and confident about the company’s future? To find out, we asked some of our colleagues how they viewed this first-ever, all-virtual kickoff. Maggie Allen, Key Account Manager, NiceLabel Americas, stated, “Each year, the NiceLabel Sales Kickoff is such an invigorating event, and although we couldn’t be together, this year was no exception. A week filled with product roadmaps, company vision, business wins, collaboration, camaraderie and, of course, some laughs, is just what I needed to kick off 2021!” That sentiment was shared by the Loftware attendees as well. “The kickoff did a terrific job of rallying the team around the concept of ‘Impact’ and specifically the impact NiceLabel has on partners, customers and the broader global community,” said Josh Roffman, VP Global Marketing and Product Management at Loftware. “It also showcased the great early collaboration from the combined NiceLabel and Loftware Team, who are leveraging their combined knowledge and resources to bring more opportunity and value to partners and customers alike.” Nigel Street, Sales Director EMEA at NiceLabel, pointed out, “Welcoming our new fellow Loftware colleagues as we embark on the next phase in our evolution was particularly satisfying as we set out on our mission to make 2021 even better – with this team it’s not only possible but extremely likely.”
With all this talk of bright futures, Kikko Lee, Regional Sales Manager, ASEAN & Korea, concluded, “It’s really exciting to see what direction we are heading to. If you ask me what IMPACT2 means to the world, it is FUIYOH (an Asian expression used when ‘wow’ is just not ‘wow’ enough)!” If you want to be a part of defining this bright, impactful future, check out our open positions at the NiceLabel and Loftware websites.