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Which Would You Choose: Four Hours of PowerPoint or an Adventure?

Let’s pretend that you are putting together an All-Employee Meeting. What do you think your attendees will prefer:  4 hours of PowerPoint or an Adventure?

I would go with adventure 10 times out of 10.

Boston Scientific chose adventure, too. They skipped the General Session that would have stuffed 5,000 employees into chairs to listen to PowerPoint presentations.  Instead, they created an Expo environment – in the spirit of the Shanghai Expo – where employees could engage with the company, its products and people in many different ways.

Watch the video to see how it turned out. Then, put your PowerPoint down and get started creating your own Adventure.

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love this! So many cool aspects – the ability of employees in divisions to have input into what happened in the overall look/feel/information given. The ability to design your own experience is really neat (see below for questions,)

    Questions:
    1) What was the time frame over which this was held?
    2) What level of employees and executives participated?
    3) How were people with disabilities accommodated? (It looked dark in the room but that may have been the perspective of looking at the video!)
    4) Who “watched” to see if anyone was ‘hanging back’ unsure how to engage?
    5) It was for internal employees only, yes, and not customers of contractors?

    Adaptation:
    1) This can’t have been cheap or on a limited budget. If you can share whether there was a budget and if this came in over or under .. or “at” — and what the parameters were.
    2) Could we all, in this space, talk about adaptation for a) smaller events, b) external (like assn.) events, c) events on limited budgets, etc.? I see oodles of ways to do so and am ready to go out and evangelize it!

    Thanks for doing good work and sharing it, Sam!

    February 2, 2012
  2. Loved this Sam! A great format, well executed. I’m very impressed.

    February 2, 2012
  3. So VERY creative.

    February 2, 2012
  4. @Adrian and @Patti – Thank you for the nice compliments.

    @Joan – This event was a 1 day All-Employee Meeting covering Marketing, Manufacturing, R&D, Legal/Finance, etc. It included employees at all levels – executives and line workers. The room wasn’t as dark as it looked on film. It was actually quite bright and full of life.

    Participation is a tricky thing. Not everyone will participate equally or in the same way. We knew that. So, we created little content nuggets and sprinkled them throughout the cafes – so even if you wanted to “hide” or “hang back” – you would still get connected with content. Here’s an example, in the innovation cafe – we covered the tables with images of the key inventions in the history of this company. So, even if you just wanted to sit down and talk with your buddies about fishing, there was still content nearby that was tied to the purpose of the event. Each element was very purposeful.

    In terms of adaptation, yes – it can scale up and down for scope and budget. What’s most important is that it requires planners to think much differently about how they create the event and how and where they make compromises.

    Thanks for the nice compliments and evangelizing!

    February 2, 2012
    • Ah, Sam, “think much differently” is a challenge, eh?!

      Did just see this about a conf. banning “bad PowerPoint”: http://bit.ly/zMFVzS

      And opening up a potential can o’ worms: if the CMP study courses and exam continue to test on the same stuff, how do we help planners (and facilities and AV providers, etc.) learn to think differently? Exposure to cool stuff and what?

      February 2, 2012
  5. From the looks of it, I guess I will be going with Adventure. Really, who would want to spend that much time over creating a powerpoint app. and to top that would anybody even sit one through? Adventure for me….always!

    February 8, 2012
  6. This is certainly the way of the future. Creating disruptive, yet collaborative environments. Think Dr. Seuss and Go Beyond Z! Looking forward to working with you and your team on future events.

    April 4, 2013
  7. I re-read the posts and what I may not have asked and am still curious about: accessibility for anyone w/ disabilities. The seating and lighting looked challenging! How was accommodation handled?

    April 4, 2013

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  1. Lessons from Boston Scientific’s Interactive Employee Meeting « EXHIBITOReTrak

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