Creating human connections
During all our years designing and deploying event technology for events, one thread remains a constant – that technology adds the most value when it succeeds in actively facilitating human connection and communication. Networking and team-building are more often than not a key desired outcome of an event, and we work closely with our clients to create innovative, impactful ways of encouraging and enabling this through event technology.
A great recent example of how event technology can help build a team and lay the foundation for strong, trusting relationships after the event has finished is our work with E.ON, one of the world’s leading energy service providers.
Bringing teams together with event technology
We were approached by the Digital Communications event team at E.ON in the early planning stages of an internal meeting, designed to bring together two teams – Digital and Information Technology for the first time – prior to their merger into one ‘Digital Technology’ team.
Networking and collaboration were the primary objectives of this all-hands meeting, held in Germany in January 2019. The event team was tasked with organising an event that would support the merger and build the new team, providing a unique opportunity for colleagues to gain a better understanding of what each team does, share the joint strategy and create a catalyst for a fresh, common culture.
479 colleagues attended the event in Düsseldorf, with over 200 colleagues joining via streamed sessions, from seven different countries. The two-day event featured 30 guest speakers, an address by E.ON’s Chief Executive Officer, breakout sessions and an evening of networking. A Marketplace area ran alongside the meeting, where 5 external and 10 internal exhibitors showcased their products and services, shared information and networked with attendees.
Motivating and unifying the team
The E.ON event team was keen to use our Smart Wearables solution to drive networking, encourage collaboration and add a sense of fun to this important event.
Recent feedback from colleagues had shown some negativity and concern in relation to working within the Digital Technology team. The event team was keen to dispel this and use the meeting to motivate colleagues, build belief and support for the leadership team and take the first steps into creating a united team. The event was aptly named ‘Mission Possible’ (not Impossible!) to prove to colleagues that it is possible to work together, and the spy theme was echoed throughout the event where possible.
Key networking and team building activities and outcomes from the meeting included:
- Facilitating collaboration and networking
Our Smart Wearable badges encouraged networking with peers and eased first conversations with new colleagues, acting as the perfect icebreaker, allowing individuals to exchange contacts at the click of a button. 21,479 connections were made during the event, with an average of 45 contact detail exchanges per person.
- Personalised event app
A personalised event app allowed attendees to manage their profile and access and input important information before, during and after the event. An agenda, speaker biographies, map, details and notes of all connections made, and more, enabled attendees to manage their journey from beginning to end, paper-free and in one place.
- Creating a live, interactive experience with Q&A and polling
By integrating Q&A and polling app, Sli.do into the event app, attendees could submit questions and interact with speakers on stage, showing attendees their ideas and opinions were valued and maximise audience engagement.
- Smart Match – building connections with the right people
The Smart Match feature of the engagement platform helped attendees find the right people to connect with, by identifying people with similar interests and recommends them via the event app. Over 170 meeting requests were made at the event, an encouraging statistic for the event organisers who hoped to unite colleagues and create connections.
The event team wanted to create a buzzing, playful atmosphere during the meeting and dedicated time on the agenda to a spy-themed scavenger hunt, which was highly effective in creating active attendee participation, increasing networking, driving more interaction with exhibitor content and adding a positive vibe to the event.
Attendees could monitor the leaderboard via their event app and the top scorers were awarded a high-value prize which acted as a great incentive for everyone to get involved.
- People management through light
Seamless transition from one breakout session to the next was enabled using the light paging feature of the badges, alerting attendees when and where to move and helping them identify other attendees in their session. This streamlined a logistical challenge and ensured maximum value could be made of the four ‘deep- dive’ breakout sessions, where each attendee could find out more about the work undertaken by the other team.
Attendee post-event feedback was overwhelmingly positive and when asked what one word best described how they felt, the most popular response was ‘Connected’. Event organisers were delighted that this signalled that one of the main event objectives – to allow colleagues to come together, learn more about each other and network – had been achieved.
“The wearable technology went down very well, everyone adopted and embraced it, including our CEO! We would absolutely consider using it again for future events. Watching everyone clicking and connecting via the badges and having fun at the same time was great to see. As this was a digital technology event it was brilliant to try something innovative, that’s never been done before at E.ON. We were delighted with the results.”
– Gordon Dowall-Potter, digital communications lead, E.ON.
“We are delighted that our work with E.ON met and exceeded the expectations of the organisers and really delivered on its objectives of team building and networking and are proud that the success of this project has been shortlisted for two awards: ETA’s ‘Best Event Networking Technology’ and C&IT’s ‘Best Use of Technology’.”
– Richard Shafe, marketing manager, Crystal Interactive.
This content is sponsored by Crystal Interactive.
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