Strategy / UK-EU-ROW / Touchscreens / Exhibitions

THREATS AND OPPORTUNITIES

We spoke to Hampshire’s own inward investment and business arm – Business Hampshire – about current threats to our business, and the opportunities that have arisen as a result of the global pandemic.

Here’s the interview in full. The original article (Hampshire based creatives buck the downturn“) can be found on the Business Hampshire website):

Export market is buoyant, say Hampshire creatives

Ouno, one of Hampshire’s leading creative agencies, is increasingly exporting its high tech creative expertise to the rest of the world, viewing diversification abroad as a way to thrive in the changing economic landscape of the post-COVID world.

Ouno Creative, an agency specialising in B2B and high tech digital solutions has sought a more diverse and wide ranging client base since the 2020 pandemic first struck, in a move that is likely to become a trend as creative agencies re-build post-COVID.

Head of Studio Robin Watson said, “Because of coronavirus, we’ve made the decision to look further afield, and we’ve actually found the international audience incredibly receptive to what we – and other UK creative and technical firms we’ve spoken to – are offering.”

While he acknowledges that overall, the effects of coronavirus and the resulting recession have dented confidence among clients, Ouno have found recent success in some unlikely places:

“We’re creating an interactive intergalactic tour at the moment – for the cocktail lounges of a fleet of cruise ships. It seems frivolous, but there’s a big appetite out there for fun, for travel – even virtual travel, adventure, new experiences, story telling. And these are all experiences that ultra high tech can deliver.”

Meanwhile, as the official creative agency for the Farnborough International Airshow (cancelled for 2020), Ouno has found its experience useful in winning other trade show and aerospace contracts abroad:

“In place of Farnborough [Airshow], this year we’re telling the story of space flight to the public via a contract with the European Space Agency in the Netherlands, branding trade shows in Asia and the middle east, and using touch tech to create interactive corporate brochures for a Chinese manufacturer. Before coronavirus, these very dispersed opportunities weren’t necessarily our main focus.”

A report cited by Ouno – authored by the Creative Industries Federation, shows the projected devastating economic impact of COVID on UK creative industries, with over 82,000 job losses projected for the South East alone. “We’re doing our best to buck the trend and so far, between our longterm client base and our efforts overseas, we’re still in growth.”

Mr Watson continued: “A lot of our assumptions about what COVID would mean for the future of our clients’ industries – downturns in touch [technology] and in customer experience investment, the end of trade shows – at least in the medium term – these all turn out not to be true. But, as you can see from the CIF report, the risk to the UKs creative industries are greater than ever, so diversifying – whether that’s from B2B, from specific client-sectors, or from a purely UK focus – makes a lot of sense right now.”

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