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Maintaining relationships during lockdown.

10 Dec 2020

Lauren McIntosh ‘Lozza’ is our Head of Agency Development at location:live, she spills the beans on her lockdown survival guide and how to maintain relationships during a pandemic.

Lozza is our Nike obsessed (45 pair collection!!), recent charity runner, sun worshiping, bubble of joy in the office – a firm implementer of ‘pink Wednesdays’ and ‘leopard print Fridays’ – never hesitating to bring the office together she is a natural people person so I couldn’t wait to catch up with her and understand how 2020 has impacted her first year at location:live.

“I used to apologise for things in the first lockdown, like my children barging in with pants on their head and socks on their hands pretending to be super heros”

You have just hit your 1 year anniversary at location:live – what a year it has been, how did the location:live team adapt?

It goes without saying that the people (and doggies for that matter) at location:live are the heart and soul of the business. I know it sounds cliché but it really is like a little family and we all have individual strengths that we bring to the business. 

I was brought on board as location:live was nearly ready to launch lo:live and I wanted to shout about it to the agency world! I love meeting new people, I am a real people person, love understanding what other agencies do, what amazing creativity agencies have, and that there is such a variety. It’s great to be a part of that by finding amazing locations for them, whether it’s obscure unicorn locations or helping plan roadshows, it is nice to work with all the different agencies and do another arm of the experiential activity.

Then lockdown hit, and all of a sudden it went from zero to one hundred at home, working from home, schooling at home, and on top of this the experiential world started pivoting to online or planning briefs got put on hold.

The only way for me to manage it was through structure – or so I initially thought. Putting the kids in front of Joe Wicks at 9 am whilst I plan the day ahead, an episode of alpha blocks during the morning team meeting, quick English lesson whilst doing some emails followed by the ‘mummy how do I spell’! and ‘I’m hungry’! It was impossible to focus on work, it was making me stressed, so we changed tactics! My kids are only three and five, the weather was amazing, I filled up the paddling pool (always accompanied by an adult), ordered a ton of outdoor games from Amazon and let them play and have fun! 

That’s when it stabilised for us, it made me a lot calmer and in turn made them a lot calmer even to the point where my five-year-old would come to me and say, ‘Mummy shall we do phonics now’. The schools were also amazing, reassuring us by saying as long as they read to you every night it is fine.

Regarding work we would have a morning meeting every day (which would last two hours as everyone was loving catching up) Friday afternoon quizzes accompanied by a large cocktail of some sort (mine was a G&T), I felt like I was still seeing a lot of people. 

In the first lockdown, people were keen to be on zoom and be visible whereas the second time round the novelty had worn off a bit and most cameras would be set to ‘off’ (except Neils).

How has your role been affected pre and post lockdown?

My role is all about building relationships and it is so much easier to build a relationship when you meet someone face to face. I get to know the brands, and what the agency is about so much more easily. Especially just being able to grab a coffee (or a glass or wine) or go out for lunch makes it a much more relaxed environment.

It is hard to develop relationships via technology and video calls, having said that, we have powered on through and built relationships digitally – securing some awesome permanent installs and pop up activations which launched in October and more to come in December, we will share all in good time.

The key to video meetings is that you have to relax and have fun with it. I used to apologise for things in the first lockdown, like my children barging in with pants on their head and socks on their hands pretending to be super heros, or my 5th delivery that day– but everyone understands because we have been told to stay home, we are all in it together, you adapt and move forward.

My tip to build and maintain relationships during (dare I say it) these unprecedented times is just genuinely to check in with your clients not only on a work level but a personal one. It has been tough for everyone out there, mentally and physically and I just can’t wait to get out there again, taking lo:live to people, helping agencies use it and just in general have some sense of normality.

This is my favourite time of the year, time to spread some joy (not Covid!) So for me, it is head down, stay safe and bring on 2021!

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