The end of the year is a time to reflect and to look back on how things have changed over the past twelve months. 2017 was an incredibly exciting year for us here at Puzzle Partner. We enjoyed some very significant growth mainly due to the market grasping the full potential of content marketing in creating awareness, building influence, increasing credibility and generating revenues. And it was a big year for our customers. We have been fortunate enough to help our clients win some big awards, set sales records, raise funding rounds, form strategic alliances and partnerships, launch game-changing new products, and close some really significant accounts.
As a company, we branched out of our comfort zone a little bit in 2017. We welcomed new clients that are not focused on the travel and hotel technology sector but rather are positioned within the digital media and IoT spaces. These two industries are fascinating. From digital entertainment to smart cities, there is a great deal of optimism about technology transforming the way we listen to music, consume entertainment as well as the way humans interact with smart and connected technology. This past year we took things to a new level. As new clients came onboard, we expanded our services to deliver a myriad of different types of content. We focused on developing more interactive and downloadable content for our clients that were used to help fill their sales pipelines and build brand awareness. I have always been of the mindset that speed is a key in the tech world, so we relied on the proven formula of momentum and cadence to develop hybrid content marketing programs that delivered results.
In 2017 we also grew the team. We added a talented new writer, Michael based out of Toronto. We also added a creative graphic designer to our team, Jenny, who has been instrumental in creating some of the interactive content pieces. Having a strong design element within our organization brings a great deal of value, and we have seen the results materialize very quickly.
2017 was the first year that HITEC was held in Toronto. Having this epic conference “in our backyard” enabled our team to put together a networking event for our clients that was hugely successful. The event was sponsored by StayNTouch, HospitalityPulse, DataArt, LodgIQ, and NAVIS. It was held at the Rosewater Room in the heart of downtown and featured live music by Paul James, a Canadian Blues Icon who knows how to get things humming. HITEC went out on a limb and decided to hold its first ever conference outside of the USA, and it was extremely well received. The exhibitors and attendees loved our fair city and returned home with some great memories and a pile of leads.
In terms of the industry, we witnessed plenty of new and innovative technologies that impacted 2017, and I foresee these same advancements will continue to move swiftly into our world in 2018. There is much hype around in-room voice communications to drive guest engagement using the Amazon Alexa solution, tweaked for the hotel industry by our friend David Berger of Volara. We have also seen the increase of artificial intelligence being utilized by chatbots to deliver customer service along with the augmented reality scenarios that enable guests to explore their rooms and local area surrounding their hotel. The hits will keep on coming in 2018, and I expect there to be the odd curveball as well.
In 2018, we are off to a busy start! We will be expanding our initiatives to deliver not only the highest quality of content for our clients – but to also educate our industry on the profitable impact that a committed content strategy can have on their business. Starting in 2018, Lauren, a sophisticated content marketing manager will be joining our team to assist our clients as well as deliver resources to the hotel and travel tech brands on how to best leverage content marketing to maximize results. Lauren is a valuable addition to the Puzzle Partner family, and we could not be happier.
I can’t forget to thank Ivana, my co-founder who always keeps me grounded. Without her as my partner and friend, none of our success would be possible. I also want to express my gratitude to Anne, our head writer, for her on-going dedication to our clients. As many of you know, we endeavor to go above and beyond for our clients, and we hope always to exceed your expectations.
As we wrap up an incredible 2017 and journey through our Year in Review, we feel grateful to be able to partner with our clients and together move the needle on many fronts. Ultimately, our accomplishments could not have happened without the trust of our clients and the cherished relationships with our industry colleagues. We are really blessed to work with such a fantastic assortment of visionary technology providers who are genuinely leading our industry forward with fresh and innovative solutions. Thank you so very much for all your support, and we are looking towards yet another stellar year for 2018.
Alan E. Young, President & Co-Founder