It’s no secret that 2020 has been a pretty terrible year for most people. We won’t list all the bad things that happened — enough people have done that for us! Instead, we want to focus on the good things that happened this year: the little quirks, big wins, and new Showcase features that got us through this particular time in history.

So, without further ado, here are 20 (yes, 20!) good things that happened in 2020.

1. We planted 1,098 trees with Trees That Count

This year, we donated 1,098 native trees to our friends at Trees That Count. Every quarter, we donate $10 (one tree) for every 8,500 slide views on Showcase Workshop.

Why 8,500? Because that’s the number of pages the average tree produces. So every time you use Showcase instead of printed marketing material, you save trees and plant them.

If you want to keep track of how many trees you’ve planted, look for our cute little tree icon in the top right corner of the web app:

2. Nicky returned from maternity leave!

A major win for the Showcase team was getting our Director of Client Amazement, Nicky, back in February. Nicky returned from five and a half months of maternity leave, just in time to go into lockdown a month later. I’m sure all the parents out there can empathize with the challenges of working from home with a small child, but Nicky and her family managed it effortlessly. The adorable new addition to the Ramage family even joined us for a few video meetings, where he got to know us quite well!

3. We welcomed Freightways to the Showcase family

Freightways is one of the seriously cool companies that joined us this year, and we’re thrilled to have them on board! Freightways is a New Zealand business specializing in express courier, mail delivery, and information management. They used Showcase to create a content library for their sub-brands, including New Zealand Couriers, Post Haste, and Sub60. We love their work so much that we even featured them in our Design of the Month series back in October!

4. Some Good News

No, this wasn’t a sad Google search we made (although, we wouldn’t blame you for Googling it this year). Some Good News was a YouTube series by John Krasinski, who you may know from The Office or A Quiet Place. Every week for two months, Krasinski compiled good news stories from around the world in an effort to bring some hope and laughter back to our lives.

He called in a few favors from his celebrity buddies too — including a Zoom performance by the original cast of Hamilton, a graduation ceremony with Malala Yousafzai and Oprah, and a surprise Zoom wedding featuring the cast of The Office. He even threw a virtual prom for all the Seniors who missed theirs! I challenge you to watch this series without smiling.

5. The Showcase team went remote

The pandemic and subsequent lockdown forced us to reevaluate our working habits and location. So, when the lockdown in NZ ended, we decided to stay put. We packed up our CBD office, said goodbye to the pigeons, and started working from home permanently.

The team still gets together once a week for a co-working day in Petone, and we meet via Teams every morning. Since working in Petone, we’ve become rather attached to the local eateries, including Seashore Cabaret and Revive (Paul can’t get enough of their cheese scones).

6. Mittens the cat kept us going through lockdown

Did you know Wellington has a famous cat? It’s true! Mittens is a Turkish Angora that roams the streets of Wellington; he gets into cars, visits businesses, and poses for selfies with locals. He had to cut back on socializing when New Zealand went into lockdown, but his human kept everyone up-to-date on his new life indoors via The Wonderous Adventures of Mittens Facebook page.

People enjoyed Mittens’ presence in such an uncertain year. He received a key to the city in May, and was even nominated for New Zealander of the Year!

7. We rolled out new sharing options

This year we launched not one but two new sharing options: link-based sharing and VIP Pass.

Both options give you more freedom to send your content on your terms. With link-based sharing, you can send prospects a link to your presentation as well as any documents or content not stored within Showcase.

If you want everything tied up in a neat bow, you can send them a link to a VIP Pass instead. This will take them straight to your presentation and any other content you want to share with them. It’s a slick and professional way to share your content!

8. The Showcase apps got a new look

In September, we rolled out a new theme for our apps!

With new icons and a streamlined color palette, this new theme is smooth, shapely, and distinctly ‘friendlier’ to look at.

It's also (we hope) easier to use. Bigger buttons are easier to click on, and the styles of buttons, text, and tips throughout the platform have been made more consistent.

9. We welcomed a new Administrative Services Overlord

Following the departure of much-loved Customer Success Manager, Rhiana, we welcomed a new recruit, Chelsea (that’s me). Three weeks later, NZ went into lockdown so it was an interesting handover, to say the least! I’m the person behind the helpdesk and our social media channels, where I try to sneak in as many GIFs and animal pictures as possible.

10. The world got a whole new vocabulary

COVID-19 changed the way we interact, communicate, and work, but one of the more whimsical changes it brought is the way we speak. We’ve all adopted a few COVID-isms this year, whether we like it or not.

We tried to take the sting out of the virus by referring to it as “the ‘Rona”. We dubbed people “covidiots” when they threw super-spreader parties or refused to wear a mask. Skincare companies jumped on the “maskne” bandwagon to describe breakouts caused by mask-wearing (still better than being a covidiot, in my opinion). And people took breaks from “doomscrolling” to drink “quarantinis” when things got a bit too much.

11. Cheap roasts got Millie through winter

With Millie unable to escape to sunny California this year, she was forced to experience her first winter in seven years! It wasn’t so bad though, once she discovered Brac and Bow’s Sunday roasts in Featherston — a roast and dessert for the extraordinarily reasonable sum of $25. All the warmth of a home-cooked meal with none of the prep or clean-up! If one roast isn’t enough for you, The Tin Hut (also in Featherston) is Millie-approved as well.

12. Viewer-curated slideshows came to Showcase!

In November, we introduced a feature that allows Viewer users to tag existing slides to create their own mini-slideshow. It’s one more way for sales reps to create pitches that are completely tailored to their prospect and their needs.

The content itself doesn’t change, so it will always be on-brand and up-to-date. But you’ll be able to pull together a set of slides to create a truly unique presentation that you know back-to-front. Ace!

13. Silver Fern Farms joined the Showcase family

Silver Fern Farms is NZ's leading processor, marketer, and exporter of premium quality meats. We’ve been lucky enough to work with them this year to help them create epic presentations for their sales force.

Each presentation is packed with useful resources, stunning images, and well thought out sub-menus. We’re hoping to bring you more inspiration from their designs in the new year, so keep an eye on our blog!

14. We sponsored two podcasts and a conference

This year, we dove into the world of podcast sponsorship by backing two podcasts doing great work in the sustainability and marketing industries.

The Zero Waste Countdown Podcast is an inspiring resource for anyone on their own zero waste journey. This year, they’ve created some awesome ZWC reusable masks and are working to get 100 menstrual cups to friends in the Canadian Arctic (where trash gets shipped in but not out).

The Margins podcast by Managing Editor Magazine is full of great advice about all things content marketing. They ran an awesome online conference in October, Managing Editor Live 2020. As an official sponsor of the event, Millie got to introduce some of the speakers and learn all about video content, SEO, and Bullet Journalling.

15. GetApp recognized Showcase Workshop as a Top Sales Tool

GetApp named Showcase a Category Leader for Presentation Software and Sales Enablement! They also recognized us as a Software Advice FrontRunner for 2020.

This is all thanks to positive feedback from our exceptional customers, so if you've ever taken the time to leave us a review on a software comparison site: THANK YOU. Showcase wouldn't be the product it is today without your valuable feedback, and we're excited for more businesses to discover us through your reviews.

16. The world’s loneliest elephant made a friend

The story of Kaavan, the world’s loneliest elephant, is enough to make even the grumpiest grinch’s heart grow three sizes. Kaavan spent eight years alone when his partner died in a zoo in Pakistan. This year, that same zoo closed down due to frankly terrible conditions. But there was hope!

Following a social media campaign from Cher, Kaavan found a new home at a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia. Not long after arriving, our lonely elephant met one of the three elephants he’ll be sharing an enclosure with — the first contact he’d had with another elephant for eight years! Need a tissue? Me too.

17. Serge van Dam became an Arch Angel

One of Showcase’s fabulous investors, Serge van Dam, received the Angel Association New Zealand Arch Angel Award at the 13th New Zealand Angel Summit. Serge is an experienced high-tech company founder, director, and investor. He loves globally-minded Kiwi software companies and has been a huge supporter of Showcase Workshop for a while now!

The Arch Angel Award is the highest honor in NZ's angel investment community, given to those who exemplify the quintessential angel and who make a significant difference to New Zealand’s start-up ecosystem.

18. Millie opened a bookshop!

Showcase CEO and pencil-enthusiast, Millie, usually splits her time between New Zealand and California, enjoying the summer months all year long. But obviously, 2020 had other plans.

This year, Millie stayed in New Zealand and opened a bookshop instead! Mrs Blackwell’s Village Bookshop is now open in Greytown and is filled with all the books and stationery you could dream of.

19. Stefanie baked us traditional Austrian cookies

One of our superstar developers, Stefanie, has been missing her family in Germany — specifically her mum’s Christmas cookies! With a Christmas holiday not on the cards this year, she’s taken to baking her own cookies, much to the team’s delight.

We’ve been sampling her Austrian recipes while she delights (err, terrifies) us with tales of Krampus, the demon responsible for punishing naughty children in the lead-up to Christmas.

20. We launched a new website!

To round out the year, we launched a brand new website! Our friends at Stun designed a series of beautiful landing pages that showcase (pun intended) our work to new customers. With some new colors and funky graphics, we hope this new design shows off our personality and gets you excited about working with Showcase Workshop!

The navigation should be easier too, with a wealth of information split into easy-to-find sections with punchy copy to boot. Interested in how to use Showcase Workshop in the Tourism industry? We’ve got a page for that! Want to know how Showcase can help you track analytics for your content? We’ve got that covered too!

So, there you have it: 20 good things to remember about the year many wish to forget. We’d love to hear what went well for you this year. Drop us a message on Facebook or LinkedIn and let us know y0ur good news!