Making a big virtual impact

The question is how can you keep 200+ colleagues across the Americas engaged for six hours during your annual kick off sales meeting with only a screen between you? (and I don’t mean a Perspex one at the checkout).

Well you would be surprised, read our case study on Amdocs’ virtual Americas Sales Summit event, where FMI were responsible for all content; from video to recognition ceremonies, PowerPoint to presenter stings combined with meticulous Project Management – not to mention our live artist scribe!

FMI delivered every step of the way, confirmed by our client “The creative videos, soundtrack, theme and opening were 100% the highlights of the event”.

The Brief

FMI have a long established relationship with Amdocs and have supported their annual sales kick off meetings for a number of years, but clearly this year wasn’t going to be like the last three or four; big venue, hundreds flying in, two days of presentations, breakouts and social activities in the evening. So how would it work?

Amdocs came to FMI with that exact question – how would we make this work? From the name to the theme, timing to the platform, all the VT and PPT content and the little extra sprinkles to make it WOW – that’s what the brief was. Amdocs were keen not to focus too much on the pandemic; they wanted to highlight the successes of 2020 and their ambitions and goals for 2021.

More than ever this needed to be memorable, impactful and engaging. From initial enquiry to event, we had five weeks and the clock was ticking, none of us had done it like this before.

The Results

FMI initially acted in a consultancy capacity, as we quickly had to agree on the right platform to deliver the meeting and get this in place. On our recommendation, Amdocs agreed that a specialist local company with both a platform (bespoke) and studio (with green screen) would be the best solution to act as the technical conduit; combining live presenters and all FMI’s fabulous content into one seamless event.

With our client in their studio (with green screen) acting as the host. This solution allowed for live broadcasts from all the presenters across the Americas, with all our content safely in place ready to share!  In addition, we advised splitting the one longer day into two mornings, to ensure maximum engagement from the virtual audience.

The name and theme of the event was key to hanging all other communications on to it.  NEW WORLD, NEW JOURNEY was universally agreed as ‘the one’.

The ‘New World’, being an extension to the phrase the ‘new normal’; however, it goes deeper and further, conjuring up images and stirring emotions. It’s about discovery, pioneers and innovation, daring to look beyond the horizon and set off on an adventure. It’s big, it’s not insular, it’s global, but above all, it’s about hope.

Combined with New Journey – how can we use this new experience that has shaken up the way we work, do business, interact and live to embrace change for the better? We’ve been given a wake-up call, an opportunity to revolutionise the way we work to enact lasting changes. Better business practice. Better work/life balance. Better environmental impact. Better mental health. What can we do to drive these changes and make them stick?

Out of this came the visual theme, a graphic identity with imagery that supported the message – a sailing yacht embarking on their new world, on their new journey and successfully reaching their destination.

Once the name and theme were agreed, FMI could really focus on the deliverables, which each took time to craft, these included;

  • Countdown Video – reinforcing ‘I’m in the right place, and the virtual event is starting in xx minutes’ – providing reassurance, engagement and on brand comms from the get go, this ran both days.
  • Opening VT Stings – acting as a ‘bum settler’ equivalent, ensuring everyone is ready for the first presenter! It was very impactful, ending on a real high – BAM, let’s go.
  • Host VT – running on the green screen behind our client, the event host – timed to the script, from Venice to LA, we could tell a great visual story – bringing all those watching with us. We were definitely LIVE!
  • Presenter Stings – producing a set of short impactful VTs that had common factors; music, graphics, footage, whilst introducing each presenter and their unique information. Giving a little sizzle before they come on.
  • Recognition Award VT / Winners VT’s – Sitting outside of the main event theme, this standalone creative piece replaced the live event equivalent. Music came to a crescendo ‘the winner is’….glitzy VT’s showcasing the recognition, categories & winners. This then cut to the winner, live for their ‘acceptance speech’.
  • Pre-recorded Customer Business Executive key messages – interspersing the live content with some short pre-recorded elements, these were stylised with the event theme. Overlaid with key words to ensure the messages were memorable.
  • PowerPoint Presentations – firstly creating and sharing a template embracing the event name and theme, FMI’s studio polished all the presenter material utilising icons, colour, bespoke graphics to enhance slideware and messages, providing consistent end results for all presenters.
  • Live Artist – to give the whole event the WOW factor we commissioned the live artist Jenny Leonard to create a unique piece of artwork during the virtual meeting. We regularly cut to her during the breaks or between speakers, working on highlighting the key messages visually. A print of the finished artwork was sent to all the delegates as a reminder of the event.

Feedback

With this set up, there is no immediate audience feedback, yes, we had quizzes and polls during the breaks and a Q&A that showed engagement, but you can’t see anyone – it’s a strange experience to present like that. As the Senior Account Manager who delivered the project and watched the whole meeting, I can honestly say Amdocs’ passion, genuine nature and leap of faith to deliver the whole event live, really made it hugely engaging and memorable.

Our client had feedback agreeing with my experience:

Thank you to all the effort, patience and creativity you put into the Americas summit. This year's summit was a little different. Broadcasting (100%) live from Canada to Argentina is no easy undertaking but we managed to pull it off. The speakers were amazing, the engagement was inspiring and our 'New World, New Journey'' theme captured the essence of the Americas and how we have adapted to the pandemic. A great event! Thanks again everyone, this is another significant milestone in this virtual world.

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