Turning Annual “Hands On” Meetings Into ROI Using An Agile Approach

You might assume “agile” is mostly confined to  IT product development processes, but at Anna Marie Events, we know agile is actually a mindset. We’ve applied it ourselves in our own event planning process, most recently with our approach toward designing annual company “all hands” meetings.

Agile approaches allow teams to “learn fast and succeed sooner”. We know that iterative event design and development, where no idea is a bad idea, is critical to plan a corporate event successfully. Our event planning team and the client’s must be able to approach event development in an agile “scrum-like” process or we will not be able to rapidly achieve our optimal result – a highly successful company event. We love the team values of respect, transparency, focus, courage and commitment. By breaking every element of our planning process into smaller components (theme, visual design, messaging, registration, programming, logistical planning, contingency planning), we can work collaboratively as a cross-functional team to minimize “waste” in the planning process, continually improve our process and maximize value to our clients.

We’ve recently applied this concept in the design of an annual “all-hands” meeting with Shutterfly. In November, Shutterfly hosted over 600 employees at the San Jose Convention Center for their quarterly all-team get together. Their goal was to enlighten, engage and share information about Shutterfly’s previous quarter performance, the upcoming holiday product line and key objectives for the year ahead. Our challenge, as their event planning partner, was to take a new venue and evolve Shutterfly’s quarterly meeting, integrating the brand into the meeting and wowing the company’s new CEO. So how did we do it?

#1:  Place Branded Product Front and Center

Using a creative tabletop display, we used the new holiday product line as the centerpieces at each circular table seating event guests. This gave every table a unique focus and differentiated every table from other tables in the venue. These tabletop displays were great conversation starters and provided a readymade visual education about what would be offered up to customers from the Shutterfly brand.

#2: Livestream the Event Direct to Satellite Offices

Leveraging technology is now a requirement not an optional feature for corporate events. Working with the San Jose Convention Center’s team, we were able to live stream Shutterfly’s all-hands meeting to their nine satellite offices as the event unfolded, allowing all employees, wherever they were based, to participate and hear the company’s key messages.

#3: Add A Volunteer Day to Reinforce Company Values & Increase Employee Engagement

Another way to increase employee interest in your brand is to reinforce your company values through philanthropic and volunteer activities. Shutterfly incorporated a volunteer opportunity that was open to all employees for participation directly following the meeting.  This was a great way to remind the team of that the company has a strong culture of giving. At Shutterfly, employees were able to volunteer in San Jose at the Children’s Discovery Museum to round out their “all company” day.

Are you planning an “all hands” meeting this year? Let us know how we can help!