Oxford Mail Article Discussing Piranha IT Support and other Oxfordshire Businesses ‘Pivoting’ due to Lockdown
A number of businesses we have contacted have changed their business model to ‘pivot’ their offer during the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions of 2020. Often the businesses have been successful with these changes and will continue to pursue these new avenues for their companies even after the pandemic. We got in touch with the Oxford Mail who were keen to run an article discussing the various businesses and the changes they had made.
Local stories we found were –
THAT Event Company
THAT Event Company is an events production company based in Oxford. They supply audio, video and lighting equipment to a wide variety of events. The company aims to ensure that their work is completely carbon neutral, so they choose to work only within a 30-mile radius of their Oxford base.
When the Coronavirus pandemic struck, the live events industry was decimated, and as a consequence, THAT Event Company’s workload fell through the floor. With no-one attending live events, virtual solutions were needed. THAT responded by staging full event broadcasts, but the main ‘pivot’ was when they began to offer fully virtual experiences. These solutions allowed clients to ‘wow’ and engage with online participants through gamification, in-conversations and exciting transitions.
THAT have been able to achieve striking results by filming, for example, a guest speaker in front of a chroma screen and then putting them into a live 3D event environment with screens, media, lighting and even pyrotechnics – all carried out completely live with cameras able to pan and zoom around the space.
Many of these virtual events were originally planned to take place in person, but the current circumstances made it impossible. THAT’s virtual solution has worked very effectively for award ceremonies, panel discussions with various guests calling in live, and remote streaming to a range of platforms. THAT Event Company has also invited many fellow suppliers and colleagues within the industry to join them for informal conversation in a bespoke space built for them.
“Whilst the team here at THAT Event Company are very excited at the prospect of being part of live events again, we truly believe that the appetite for virtual events will remain strong. With that in mind we fully intend to continue developing our products and our skills in this interesting and growing market.” James Walton, MD
Reclaim Movement – Teaching Natural Movement
Natural movement is about improving a person’s ability to move well throughout their entire day’s movements, not just in ‘exercise’ sessions, by helping them to become aware of the quality of all your movements and practising movements that re-establish good patterns. The benefits are that the exercises help protect against injury, strengthen the body in good alignment, increase mobility and create healthy movement patterns. They also provide greater confidence to move more and move well throughout the person’s day, whatever their age and for the rest of their life.
Having qualified as a MovNat instructor in 2019 Wendy Welpton of Reclaim Movement planned to launch her business in the Oxford area using her garden and outdoor spaces for classes and coaching, but then the restrictions of the pandemic meant this was only possible in smaller group sizes and during lockdowns, or not at all.
Not deterred Wendy altered her classes to be taught online and with everyone being more used to Zoom, she felt very fortunate that she could start teaching to help keep people moving during times of being house-bound, from their own living room floors.
She offers group online coaching, small friends’ groups and private coaching in person in Oxford (when restrictions allow).
“Once lockdown ends I intend to keep an element of online teaching so as to reach a wider audience. I am also looking forward to having more local classes outside again and in the future would love to offer workshops and walking groups with natural movement breaks.” Wendy Welpton
Piranha IT Support – Home Support for Faster, Safer, More Reliable Internet
Piranha IT Support provide home IT support for faster, safer and more reliable internet. We install the fastest available and most secure WiFi for anyone working from home, and provide ongoing IT support as required.
Piranha Photography is a corporate photography business undertaking around 300 photoshoots a year, mostly for companies in London and across Europe. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant very little photography since March 2020. Piranha had always provided IT support to clients and decided that with the increased demand for home working, home schooling, video calls and streaming all needing secure networks and WiFi, it was time to launch a new website explaining the offer.
There has been plenty of demand for the IT support work and we expect this to continue even after the pandemic and for Piranha to continue providing this hand in hand with the photography side of the business.
“The pandemic has increased demand for fast, reliable and secure WiFi in homes and we have been able to help. We have many clients who were previously struggling with their home IT set up and are now happy as they are able to work from home successfully.” Douglas Fry, Director
Hall – Personal Training
Hall Personal Training is a private personal training studio based in Kidlington, just north of Oxford.
Opened by four business partners two years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced its doors to close for seven of the last fourteen months. The team was quick to adapt, and has provided small group personal training online, with sessions on the hour most hours of the day, with up to four participants at a time.
All the studio’s kit has been distributed to members free of charge. They also coach live classes throughout the week, including core, mobility and HIIT, and have a variety of pre-recorded workouts which are updated regularly and available to all members. In addition, they are hosting regular social events, ranging from quizzes to guest lectures from external experts.
“It’s our relationship with our members and that one-to-one contact that sets us apart from a regular commercial gym, and although the experience isn’t the same online, moving to virtual sessions means that our members still receive the best support, accountability and guidance that we can provide given the circumstances. We can’t wait to open our doors again, but in the meantime, seeing our community pull together and keep pushing towards their goals is incredibly gratifying.” Chris Hall, founder