Learn. Discover. Engage.
Learn. Discover. Engage.
It’s at the start of the pandemic where SPACEIN’s story begins. SPACEIN is a product of MCCGLC, and if you didn’t already know, MCCGLC is a brand experience architect with 20+ years experience (kind of a big deal).
Gloating aside, things were going great for MCCGLC up until March 2020, when Boris told us to stay at home. 2020 was projected to be MCCGLC’s third consecutive year of growth, and with the live events scene more lively than ever, nothing could stop us!
Apart from Covid of course. We didn’t know what to do. Like many creative agencies, our livelihood depended on the movement of people and ideas. Aswell as being a strange and sombre time, we had to figure out how we were going to stay together and avoid going stir crazy. For some the latter was barely achievable.
But Matteo, our CEO, did come up with an idea that would keep us united. As we all dug deep in an effort to discover a new purpose, the inspiration for SPACEIN was right in front of us.
"As we all dug deep in an effort to discover a new purpose, the inspiration for SPACEIN was right in front of us."
For many of us, the best part of our monotonous day was seeing each other on Zoom. It brought comfort to see each other’s faces, share the agonies of feeling caged and laugh about the daft things we’d done to entertain ourselves.
Keepie-uppies with a toilet roll was a personal favourite.
But when the call ended, the tab closed. We were back in our rooms, alone and isolated. We went about our daily tasks, but without all of those great byproducts from sharing a physical space; spontaneous chats between meetings, grabbing lunch together, bumping into each other on the way to the bathroom. Although we had full bars of connection, we did not feel connected.
"Although we had full bars of connection, we did not feel connected."
And we weren’t alone. A quick survey of friends and family showed us that this experience was a universal one.
But how could we do better?
How could we make the most out of our odd reality?
People are important. And although we all knew that before the pandemic, I think we all realised to exactly what extent during that time. With this in mind, and a considerable amount of research, the idea came to life. What if, instead of landing on a dark screen of emptiness after a call, you found yourself somewhere familiar, surrounded by the people who make our lives fun. That way, we could see everyone, and feel closer because we are closer. That way I could grab Richard and ask for advice about the best coffee beans (he’s an expert), I could catch up with Sadie about the latest in fashion, and bother Valentino about that thing I need for that project that’s due soon.
“That way, we could see everyone, and feel closer because we are closer.”
There was only one teeny-weeny issue. This was new terrain. We were and are extremely fortunate to have incredible talent at MCCGLC, people with more resilience and imagination than is probably healthy. So we ran with the idea. As you can imagine, there were bumps, crashes, total disasters (!) – some of which will be explored in future entries. But each time, we dusted ourselves down, recognised where we went wrong, where we were impatient, and we went again.
And ‘why’ I hear you ask? What could possibly have made such an exhausting, trying process worthwhile? Sadie, our Creative Technologist, put it best.
‘Seeing everyone together’.
The goal was always connection. The reward was being surrounded by each other. It gave us that sense of belonging and community we missed so badly. Sure, there were times when we thought about throwing in the towel, but we were bringing people together.
Collaborating with suppliers, we connected with people from different backgrounds and walks of life. Sadie told me, “At first it was a little scary inviting people into your home, having your camera on all the time, but boundaries were broken.” SPACEIN, even during its development, brought us and others closer.
Our beloved platform has come a long way. You can do things on SPACEIN that we had never dreamed of in March 2020. And the exciting part is there is so much more to come. So much we can’t wait to share with you.
Researching and developing the ideal digital workplace provided us with great insight into optimal working environments and practices, which we will share with you via this format, as well as our journey building the platform itself. You will be hearing from the architects and constructors of SPACEIN, so ensure you stay tuned by subscribing to our newsletter. Because this is just the beginning!