When the COVID-19 pandemic really hit, INN quickly went into survival mode. And while we are still building our recovery as the pandemic continues, the question of whether we will survive or not is really behind us. From many perspectives, we are stronger now than we were at the beginning of March 2020.
And while that is a significant achievement that we are happy with and proud of, this is not the only major accomplishment that has happened in the last 12 months. But it is very important not to forget about all of the other milestones we have achieved.
So to help with not forgetting those milestones, you will find some of them below.
Note: In so many cases, these accomplishments are not the result of any one person or even one department. What a great team to come together and get these things done!
Another great PDAC - Despite fears of the looming pandemic, PDAC 2020 was an accomplishment from many perspectives. Since we started reporting on PDAC in 2010, the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention has been an important date in our calendar. This year
Launch the .AU site - The launch of the Australian version of INN was a major accomplishment on many fronts. New content, new ad trafficking, new email lists, new free reports, new clients and of course new technology! While our expansion to Australia has hit a speed-bump due to the pandemic, our commitment has not wavered and in the meantime the .au site continues to grow and build momentum.
2020 Outlook reports - The 30 market outlook reports that we published at the beginning of the year are a huge resource for our audience. We have had many investors ask how much we charge for the reports and they are always surprised when we say they are free. The benefit to INN is that these reports are offered in exchange for becoming a subscriber, building the list of newsletter subscribers.
Editor's Picks/Top Stories email/video - The Editor's Picks email was first sent back in June 2019. Over the past year it has evolve significantly, now including Charlotte's video which receives great engagement. Part of what is driving our Youtube subscribers to soon be over 10,000!
190,000 leads year to date - And the systems and relationships we have built continue to drive the core value of investor leads for our advertisers. 190,000 is a very clear expression of our corporate vision to educate investors and connect them with opportunity.
New Vancouver office - In January of this year, we moved our office from 560 Beatty Street to the Vancouver Block building at 736 Granville Street. 560 Beatty had been our office 2011 and it was a space that we became known for through in office meetings and of course our post-Xmas parties.
As great as 560 Beatty is, there were issues with being in a 100 year old building and having space under a restaurant. So when the opportunity came up to move to the Vancouver Block building, it was a relatively easy decision.
Working from home - On Friday, March 13, 2020, one week after many people on the team had returned from PDAC, we had our last full day in the office. The transition to working from home has been one the INN team has a challenge, but one that has been overcome. The resilience shown to this unexpected situation has been exceptional.
2019 sales down over 2018, but second, third and fifth best months ever - INN's sales doubled in 2016, 2017 and 2018. This incredible growth slowed in 2019 and has been hit hard as a result of the pandemic. But as sales start to recover, it is important to recognize that 2019 was still an amazing year. As our investments in corporate development continue, we know they will produce amazing returns in the form of accelerated sales.
News feeds - Earlier in 2020 we implemented a new system for publishing company news with much more automation. This has accomplished the goals of increasing the amount of news we curate for our audience while decreasing the time spent by the Editorial and Production teams. This has been on the development list for many years and was a significant project, but one that is already paying dividends.
Expanding the management team - As INN continues to develop as a company, we continue to augment the management team. Charlotte, Pia, Tyler and Veronica, along with the partners, were joined by Serge Vinokour in the role of Chief Technology Officer. While technology has always been an important part of INN, having an experienced, focused executive heading that department is so important and, as you will see in some of the other accomplishments, already paying dividends.
Commit to and focus on marketing - Another benefit of expanding the management team is that more time and focus can be applied to other parts of the business. In this case, marketing, both to clients and the audience has been expanded. This is expected to result in reaching larger audience and having a stronger relationship with that audience. Also, more and better communication with both clients and prospects will result.
PwC for tax accounting and auditing - Like moving to Dynamics, getting set up with PricewaterhouseCoopers for our tax accounting and auditing prepares us for growth, whether expanding into Australia or whatever comes next.
Mine Museum trip - On July 15, 2019 the Vancouver team took a trip to the Britannia Mine Museum. Highly recommended if you haven't been yet.