CWT Meetings & Events knows how to put on a great show, but our live events team was really put to the test with a conference for critical industry insiders -their own colleagues.
The CWT M&E UK&I Annual Conference 2017 is an internal event for all employees that not only brings staff together to receive important corporate and industry information but also provides the live team with a chance to showcase its capabilities.
The annual conference is a chance to review the past 12 months, reward top performers and teams are for their efforts, and set out explain the strategy for the year ahead.
In addition to the 90 attendees, who ranged from UK&I leadership to meeting planners to interns, the conference was available to employees worldwide through live streaming.
The team focussed on tackling the key challenge of any conference where a lot of information is to be shared – ensuring delegate engagement by providing a seamless, immersive experience before, during and after the event.
Upping the ante
The team hit the brief and upped the ante by delivering several new and exciting features compared with previous conferences.
The first was a fantastic venue in the perfect location. In walking distance of CWT M&E’s London office, The Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch couples the grandeur of a Grade II listed Baroque-styled building with laid-back personalised service.
“It fitted our brand because we were able to show that we like to do things perfectly but with a twist,” said CWT M&E senior project executive Jo Harris. “This place is a renovated courthouse, it’s only been open as a hotel for about a year, and in the bar are the original cells that held the Kray twins.”
Delegate engagement began pre-event with a registration site which introduced staff to CWT’s new internal social media tool, Jive, with detailed instructions on how to use it. They were encouraged to download the app ready for use at the conference and to pose questions to speakers in advance.
On arrival at the venue, delegates found an iPad on each table that was to be used as an interactive quiz tool, with rounds played between keynote speeches.
Jack said: “Our aim was to satisfy not only the people in the room but to also reach a wider audience around the world and show them what is available. We made best use of innovative technology to do this and worked with our preferred suppliers to put on a great show.”
The conference was streamed live to 250 CWT employees worldwide. Two cameras filmed the platform, providing distant delegates with a video feed and views of presentation slides.
A hybrid connection allowed Julian Walker, CWT head of market communications and PR, to present to the conference from Paris and to hear those present in the room.
Video messages were screened from CWT president and CEO Kurt Ekert and chief customer officer Kelly Kuhn, and Johan Wilson, CWT Country Director for UK&I, watched the live stream while travelling. He sent delegates a message via Jive to comment on speakers he had heard so far, adding: “I wish you all a great evening. You are great people and a lot of fun, and you do valuable business for CWT. There's only one problem, I wish I was there tonight.”
After the conference, everyone was able to mingle over drinks and got the chance to play at the hotel’s own bowling alley. The final touch was posting videos of the day’s presentations on Jive for everyone to watch after the event.
Final verdicts are in
And what did the discerning audience members make of the conference?
“The venue was lovely, the bowling alley was great fun. The quiz allowed for interactions with colleagues and broke up the presentations.” Nicola Blight
“…interactive and great use of technology whilst also remaining personable.” Neil Visram
“I thought it was a great venue, the added feature of the bowling lanes definitely kept people entertained. The content and speakers were very good and it was well timed. The interactive quiz was a great way to get everyone to interact.” Scott Blondel
100 per cent of attendees thought the event overall was ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’
100 per cent of attendees thought the event was ‘extremely’ or ‘very organised’
Conference streamed live to 250 CWT employees worldwide