A Reflection of 2020 at Wired Production Group
What a year. To say it has been a rollercoaster would be an understatement. The year started with so much promise and an abundance of opportunity for Wired Production Group. Our company was turning 20 years old and the outlook for 2020 was looking to be our best year to date. We were just about to expand and remodel office space, hire even more talented people, and expand our technologies. We were excited to be working with clients, some old and some new, on a range of productions that were full of possibility! Then our entire industry came to an abrupt halt on March 16th, 2020.
As the global pandemic hit our nation, our first priority was ensuring our staff and clients were safe. We closed our doors along with the rest of the country and hoped for the best for everyone. After not too long, it became clear that it would be some time before live events came back to life. Like most in the world, we started to pivot our business to all virtual. As we have had success in virtual events over the last four years but at a much smaller level, we asked ourselves the question: how can we help our customers connect virtually? We started brainstorming new, innovative ideas to keep things moving forward with not only our staff, but our customers who were also looking for a way to reach their audiences. Shortly after we gathered our ideas and came up with a plan, a virtual studio was created…and an entirely new world of digital outreach was available to all of our customers. Not long after we had our virtual studio up and running, we were traveling to customers across the United States (by RV!) and making this new virtual connection a reality for many. It was inspiring to watch not just our team but also our customers develop incredible, creative visions and bring them to life.
This would not be our only hiccup in 2020. On Monday, August 10th, a devastating derecho ravaged our entire Cedar Rapids community. The 140+ mph winds whipped through Eastern Iowa and ripped apart everything – our homes, our community businesses, and our building, including our newly upgraded virtual studio. Luckily, only three people were in the building and no one was injured. Our building and a large amount of equipment were completely destroyed.
We didn’t blink. We found a new facility to set up our virtual studio and moved our remaining staff in temporary workspaces while some staff continue to work remotely from home. After completely taking the building down in August, we have started the rebuilding process this month with the hope of the complete renovation by June 2021.
This year has brought many challenges. I am so proud of our staff and customers for staying the course, for just moving forward every single day, for looking ahead, for pivoting, for recreating “live” events, and for giving new life to our industry that had completely shut down due to COVID-19. It wasn’t without heartbreak and setbacks. While we kept our full staff on as long as we could, we were unable to retain all of our incredible employees who feel more like family than staff. We certainly felt the hit of an industry that was unable to do the live events we love. That being said, we still have so much to be grateful for…a new year, a new promise for our ever evolving industry, our health, our customers who never gave up on us, and the opportunity to rebuild our business in so many ways. We plan to keep looking ahead to 2021 and all the promise it brings. Thank you for your confidence in us, your continued support, and for allowing us to serve you in 2020 and beyond. We are truly humbled to be a company you trust and support.
President / CEO
Wired Production Group