Boozy Events launched its virtual-cocktail making classes when lockdown first began. Little did they know they’d be sending kits across the world in less than four months..
If at the start of the year you had told Cammy Esson and Gregor Sey, owners of Aberdeen-based Boozy Events, they’d be sending more than 1,200 cocktail kits across the world they would never have believed you.
But that is exactly what has happened as a result of the current global pandemic.
With no sign of demand for the firm’s virtual cocktail classes slowing down, Boozy Events has now sent packs to some of the world’s largest companies including Deloitte, E&Y, Prudential, M&G Investments, Intuit, Salesforce, DocuSign and PwC to name a few.
Posting out to 15 countries and counting, the kits have made it to Australia, USA Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, India, Luxembourg, Turkey, Spain and more, as people around the world look to stay entertained and share social experiences safely.
Posted by Boozy Events on Thursday, 30 April 2020
Offering private and group online classes, the business partners have completely transformed the cocktail events firm after business dried up when lockdown first kicked in.
Looking to diversify, the duo launched virtual experiences which have proven to be a huge hit with people across the world.
But what has it taken to get the business to this point? And how do they keep on top of the orders? Gregor Sey reckons the door opening on virtual experiences was all the firm really needed to get in front of some of the world’s leading companies.
He said: “We never imagined we’d be sending orders across the world when we first started all of this. We’d spoken about goals and what we wanted to achieve. The businesses we’ve worked with now, we would never have had this opportunity if it wasn’t for lockdown. We would have had no access to them but because of the service we’ve been providing it has been much easier for them to find us.
“At one point we were working back to back, one was working during the night and the other was coming in first thing to see to the orders.”
“One thing that has also been great is getting involved in hosting events for local charities. We got involved in Aberdeen Journals’ Ladies Night event in aid of Charlie House. We were so inspired that the event had been in aid of the charity and wanted to do our bit.
“We’ve done some virtual events for Charlie House, CHAS and others. It has been really rewarding and those opportunities have been so nice to get involved in. It’s amazing to think how you can make a difference directly from your computer. It was never something we’d had the chance to be involved with, and it is great to be able to help out.
“We’re working with different local businesses too like Smoke & Soul, which is making a new ingredient for our kits, and we’ve teamed up with PASTA, for a dining/cocktail night, too. A lot of these opportunities have only presented themselves because of coronavirus. We’ll definitely look to collaborating with other people.”
Boozy Events are among a number of drinks events businesses in Scotland to take their classes online during lockdown, first sending out kits with the alcohol, shakers and mixers required, before offering interactive demonstrations through a video call. And, as Gregor explains, coping with the demand came with its challenges.
“At the start we appreciated it was going to be a challenge. To even get the equipment, we were purchasing lots of kits and we were buying everything the companies had. Even now we’re still having slight supply chain issues as the demand is so high.
“We obviously need the kits to arrive at customers’ doors on certain days so it has been challenging to ensure everyone gets their kits on time. When we first launched we didn’t anticipate how popular it would be and were struggling to get everything out so we got extra drivers involved – lockdown wasn’t really a practical time to hire so we decided to change and send everything via couriers.
“We stopped allowing people to borrow, everyone usually just buys the equipment now. We have lorries dropping off equipment every week. We’re even going international to get access to equipment.
“I think some weeks we’re going through a kilometre of bubble wrap and over 150 square feet of packing peanuts. Things like that were so overlooked when we first started this journey. Now we don’t even know where to store it. We were taking up to around half a tonne of materials into our unit and within three or four days its back out. We had 400 kilos of cocktail shakers delivered last week and they are already gone. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re now a big supplier of cocktail kits.
“In the last month or two we have landed some big events with insurance companies and accounting software firms. It has allowed us to really up-scale and provide a totally different service. We’ve had things like cream tea sets, retro sweet boxes and have added these kinds of things to personalised and customise orders for companies sending the kits out to employees.
“A lot of our clients are looking to engage with their teams. We’ve seen a big rise in this in comparison to people buying them for their missed birthday celebrations and that sort of thing.
“We’re looking at around a month lead time for Thursday classes, so it is definitely something we’ll be looking to continue offering them.
“We’ve had to take on more staff to be able to meet demand. We’re traditionally an in-person experience so we’re hoping to get that back.”
With kits priced from £29.45 to £53.45 and more than 1,200 sent out to date, it’s clear that virtual events and cocktail-making classes has become big business.