The Basics: Verizon Media’s internal conference is a staple of the company culture: a place where employees come together twice a year to celebrate their accomplishments and get a first look at new products and services. Typically held live at five Verizon Media campuses and livestreamed globally across four continents, the 2020 event—which ran from April 2-6—was forced to go fully online this year. Working with experiential agency MVRK, the company created a custom interactive web application that offered keynotes, product demos, and a whole bunch of interactive elements. More than 5,600 employees from 14 cities around the world joined.
Steal-Worthy Innovations: Plans for the physical event were already underway when COVID-19 hit, so organizers quickly adapted the physical board game-inspired journey they’d been planning into a virtual environment. The whimsical game was designed as a physical journey through a day in the life of a consumer as they interact with 14 different brands under the Verizon Media umbrella. There were 42 interactive experiences such as trivia games, plus a simulated leaderboard and prizes, AR components, photo submissions, and more—all designed to evoke some friendly competition and bring employees together in a memorable way. The digital environment also featured product demos, plus 70 minutes of recorded content.
Organizers say that pivoting the event online offered a wide variety of benefits—most notably, the chance to unify employees around the world who previously had not had much interaction. It also offered increased data and analytics that offered insight into future engagement opportunities.
Lessons Learned: Shifting to virtual “pushed us to think through the real impact we could make with our employees all over the globe when connecting digitally,” said Allison Galloway, director of global events for Verizon Media. “The result was a new sense of connectedness in a time where companies are struggling to find ways to maintain team morale and engagement. While events and businesses face uncertainty right now, we know firsthand that digital events can bring tremendous value, and we plan to bring components of it to all future employee events.”