Fresh Eyes Offer New Ideas

“There are moments in every meeting that have to happen,” says Chuck Santoro, chief creative officer at Proscenium in New York. “My big thing is to look at them in a new way.” For example:

Introducing Execs
Stale: Use “Voice of God” narration.
Fresh: Find employees to tell the story. You involve the audience, add diversity to the stage, have frontline employees interacting with management, and it costs nothing. Hold a contest, asking employees to send audition videos explaining why they want the gig.

Q&A
Stale: Mic stands
Fresh: Texting questions, which makes attendees less inhibited
and can increase the number of questions addressed.

Entertainment
Stale: Name act
Fresh: “Dancing With the Stores” paired store managers with Broadway dancers. “It wasn’t just fun and cool,” Santoro says. “We connected it to the business message. You need to listen to the ‘music.’ Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.”

 

Help With a Major Innovation

Angie Pfeifer, CMM, would rather lead than follow. So when the buzz about hybrid meetings began, says Pfeifer, AVP, event marketing and corporate travel, at Investors Group Financial Services, “I knew I needed to understand it. We have financial planners in their 20s and 30s, and this is how they engage with the world.” She also knew that adding a virtual component to the Winnipeg-based company’s sales meeting would expand its reach—especially to newer financial planners who could benefit from the education and messaging, but might not be able to afford the live event.
     “I worked with George P. Johnson, who advised me on the need to do research first to support the business case,” she explains. “That meant identifying the need, setting the goals and objectives, and determining the metrics to validate the investment. “ GPJ’s input on the research, she says, was key to launching the project.
     GPJ also project-managed the virtual component, from the two hosts (one speaking English and one speaking French), to the flow, to the technology. With 325 virtual registrants, Pfeifer calls the event “extremely successful.”