Nebraska-based agency Bailey Lauerman (BL) had planned a huge gala celebration to recognize the independent shop’s 50th anniversary on Monday April 20. The original plans invited 250 friends, family, and clients to an Omaha, NE art gallery for a catered dinner and live music.
Then COVID-19 spread across the country to force organizers to rethink how they could toast their agency’s heritage despite the circumstances preventing in-person festivities.
On Monday night, CEO Greg Andersen hosted a virtual party or what was called an “intimate two-hour Zoom session” with about 50 people, including founders Rich Bailey and Jim Lauerman along with staff and board members conferencing in from across the U.S.
BL paid for all staff to have dinner delivered so everyone could virtually nosh together as they reminisced over stories from the last 50 years. The evening ended in what Anderson calls “shared gratitude” for its historical past while highlighting the growth the current staff has helped the agency achieve over the past year.
“It was an easy decision to go virtual for the safety of the team,” explains Andersen. “We couldn’t let the milestone day pass by without acknowledgement and it was something the staff was looking forward to since quarantine.”
Andersen says BL is weathering COVID-19 well from a business perspective thanks to the stability of current clients and its evolving suite of service offerings. He believes the agency’s Nebraska roots have also been a “key differentiator” since it helps brands better understand what will resonate and how to scale their businesses in today’s economy. “There is a diverse and complex America outside of its largest cities that represent massive influence and spending power. Our job is to bring an insightful understanding of that America to companies in the region and across the country. Nebraska is the right place to do that from.”