Corporate events are vibrant gatherings, meticulously organized by companies to achieve specific objectives. From promoting their brand and fostering employee engagement, to networking with clients and showcasing new products or services. These events serve as dynamic platforms that strengthen relationships, share knowledge, and generate valuable leads, all while creating a positive and enduring image for the organization. In the face of evolving workplace dynamics, virtual corporate events have emerged as a transformative solution, seamlessly transcending physical boundaries to bring people together, fuel collaboration, boost productivity, and create a satisfying work-life balance while simultaneously saving costs.
A virtual corporate event refers to a business gathering or occasion that takes place virtually, with participants attending from different locations, mostly via a Software, rather than being physically present in the same venue. It leverages technology, such as video conferencing platforms, live-streaming, and interactive tools, to connect participants remotely.
What are the advantages of a Remote Corporate Event?
Remote corporate events offer several advantages: They eliminate the need for travel, reduce costs associated with venue rentals and accommodations, and allow for greater flexibility in scheduling. They also provide an opportunity for organizations to reach a wider audience, as participants can join from different geographical locations without constraints.
The problem of Virtual Corporate Events
Over the past two years, many companies had to forgo in-person corporate events due to the limitations imposed by various circumstances. However, TTTech, a technology leader specializing in real-time networking and safety controls, with a workforce of over 2,300 employees, saw the opportunity to bring their teams closer together virtually.
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Outline of the project
Customer: TTTech Computertechnik AG
People: Employees from Germany, Austria, Spain, Turkey, Serbia, Czechia, Italy, Japan, Sweden & USA
Date & Duration: September 9th 2021 – 12am to 5pm
Software: Gather.town, teamazing EventHub, Youtube Livestreams, Slido…
Special Requirement: Strict internal company security standards and GDPR
Size: 722 participants (planned & designed for 1,200 participants)
With a significant increase in headcount and a swift transition to a fully remote work setup, arose the need for an event that could bridge cultures and connect people across the entire organization. The primary objective was to foster stronger bonds among employees and provide participants with a firsthand experience of the newly created “Employer Value Proposition.”
The half-day event should be carefully designed to include an official opening ceremony. The subsequent agenda should feature interactive activities tailored to meet the event’s objectives, allowing participants the freedom to choose from a range of engaging options. The event should culminat with a closing ceremony and an enjoyable after-show party, ensuring a memorable experience for all attendees.
Our three pillars on how to make a large scale corporate event engaging and impactful
We call them the “Three pillars of a successful online event”. No matter which size take care of those and your event will be a full on success.
#1 The technical aspect of a virtual company event
What’s the worst thing that could happen? You have a cool online event and no one is able to join. So often, the first step of making a virtual event work is taking a closer look at the events’ stakeholder (participants). Common questions focused on the technical aspects here are:
- Has anyone access to a stable network connection?
- Has everyone access to a laptop/computer with microphone and camera?
- How good are people at online meetings, what tools are they currently using?
- Are they any internal technical restrictions concerning the use of software?
- What are the capabilities of their hardware? Current Browser?
- Where are the participants located? Are there different time zones? Different cultures?
#2 The remote corporate event agenda
Getting the participants to show up is one part of the show, making an event fun, interactive and engaging is another one. As with the TTTech Day there was already a well thought agenda in place.
1. Opening Ceremony and welcome – 12:30 – 13:15
2. Four individual Time slots for Activities – 13:15 – 17:00
3. Closing ceremony – 17:15 – 17:30
4. After-party 18:00
Introducing our Branded Event Platform for the TTTech Day: Making Participant Management a breeze. We customized our EventHub to offer a seamless, all-in-one solution. Through this cutting-edge platform, participants could easily log in and gain access to vital event information. They enjoyed the freedom to explore a comprehensive catalog of agenda items, empowering them to effortlessly build their own individuall event timeline.
Setting up an agenda for a corporate event involves careful planning and consideration of various factors. Here are the steps to help you create an effective agenda:
- Define the Objectives: Determine the main goals and objectives of the event. Is it to inform, educate, inspire, network, or celebrate? Clearly outline what you want to achieve through the event.
- Identify Key Topics and Sessions: Based on the objectives, identify the key topics, themes, or sessions that need to be included in the agenda. Consider the needs and interests of the attendees and ensure a good balance of content.
- Determine the Duration: Decide on the overall duration of the event. Consider whether it will be a full-day event, half-day, or span over multiple days. This will help you allocate time for each agenda item accordingly.
- Allocate Time Slots: Assign specific time slots for each agenda item. Ensure that you allocate sufficient time for presentations, discussions, breaks, and networking activities. Be realistic and avoid cramming too many sessions into a limited timeframe.
- Prioritize and Sequence: Prioritize the agenda items based on their importance and relevance to the objectives. Consider how each session flows and sequences logically. Start with an attention-grabbing opening and end with a memorable closing session.
- Include Breaks and Networking Opportunities: Plan regular breaks throughout the day to give attendees time to rest, refresh, and network. Breaks provide valuable opportunities for participants to interact, share ideas, and build connections.
- Consider Different Formats: Incorporate a mix of presentation styles and formats to keep the event engaging and dynamic. Include keynote speeches, panel discussions, virtual team buildings, interactive workshops and Q&A sessions.
- Add Buffer Time: Allow some buffer time between sessions to accommodate any unexpected delays or overrun of presentations. This will help maintain the overall schedule and ensure a smooth flow of the event.
Remember, an effective agenda should strike a balance between informative content, interactive sessions like a team building, networking opportunities, and breaks. It should be well-structured, considerate of attendees’ needs, and aligned with the event objectives.
#3 Making the event an experience
Creating a great experience for participants during a virtual corporate event requires careful consideration and planning. To ensure engagement, focus on designing sessions with relevant and interactive content, utilizing various formats. Choose a user-friendly virtual event platform and communicate clear instructions and guidelines in advance. Facilitate networking opportunities and incorporate gamification elements to make the event more interactive and enjoyable.
Making an event interactive. One of the unique ways to meet online is by using a tool like Gather.town. Compared to boring Zoom or MS Teams calls Gather facilitates participants to escape the boredom of every day work. Playfully, it encourages people to intuitively immerse in the experience. Having a lot of options to customize, play and interact makes it an ideal platform for an online event.
We merge the desired outcomes with technical considerations and participants’ capabilities to craft an engaging event concept. For TTTech, our proposed solution incorporates the following tools: Microsoft Teams for one-to-many presentations, leveraging its familiarity and previous livestreaming experiences. Gather.town would serve as the interactive video conferencing solution, offering customizable and playful online interactions. To seamlessly integrate these tools and provide a cohesive participant experience, we used our own hosted event platform called Eventhub.
Having presented and approved the concept, we created a detailed action plan, splitting the large project into smaller milestones and deadlines.
We are experts in virtual event hosting. From the technical aspects to the fun factor. Talk to our experts about your options!
And this is how a sucessful online corporate event could look like
Three months later, the highly anticipated TTTech Day 2021 was set to take place. Prior to the event, we developed a branded Participant Management Platform, allowing participants to personalize their agenda and access all essential information. To enhance the experience, we curated a lineup of inspiring speakers and carefully crafted theme-oriented workshops. Our team also completed the creation of an expansive 56,000m² interactive event area, serving as the virtual hub for all activities. Additionally, we provided comprehensive support services, ensuring seamless enjoyment of the virtual experience for participants throughout the event and beyond.
TTTech Town – A big interactive virtual corporate event area
The main goal of this project was to maximize human interaction virtually. This was achieved by making the event feel like an in-person conference. Participants were able to freely move around the 56,000m² event area (outdoor and indoor), see each other, and communicate via video. Each participant was able to customize his or her own agenda to tailor the program to his or her interests.
The TTTech Town is a fully branded and customized Gather.town map. Consisting of six different areas. Nearly everything during the event took place here. A smart color system and integrated maps helped participants to get to the right place at the right time. A huge outdoor space, the all connecting Town Hall, a Networking Area, stages for speakers and much more. Everything within one immersive experience.
Participant Management via EventHub
All TTTech employees received an invitation to the event landing page in TTTech’s corporate design (EventHub). The EventHub operated as an organization and participant management platform, created an atmospheric and professional setting, and ensured that the event complied with the strict GDPR guidelines. By logging in with the TTTech email address and entering a name and department, an attendee account was registered. This gave each participant access to a personalized dashboard where key information was displayed and participants were able to create their own personalized event agenda (TTTech was able to make certain program elements mandatory depending on the department).
When hosting large-scale corporate events, there are several challenges that need to be addressed. One of these challenges is ensuring that the right information is provided at the right place and time. To tackle this, we used our EventHub as a comprehensive solution. Participants can access all the necessary information without the need to search through emails or calendar notes.
We always strive to customize it based on the purpose of the event. For TTTech we utilized the consistent fonts, styles, and logos to create a truly unique experience. Using consistent color schemes for agenda items and important buttons helps participants navigate through the app.
For this event we also offered a special feature. The agenda building functionality. Participants can register for various sessions, ranging from talks to team-building activities and outdoor events. Having a personalized timeline for each participant adds an extra level of uniqueness to the event.
Providing assistance and a central hub for participants to return to is another valuable feature we strive for. There are often cases where participants encounter issues, such as microphone problems or confusion about using certain tools like Gather. For every situation, we have a solution just one click away.
In particular, for large-scale events, we need to address certain limitations of the tools we use. For example, Gather only allows up to 150 participants with video calls enabled. In such cases, we have implemented a space balancing mechanism to ensure that the event area does not become overcrowded while maintaining a seamless experience for participants.
Ideas for the right corporate event program
After the Welcome & Opening, the participants attended their four pre-selected agenda items. At the end of the event, everyone reunited in the main arena at 5:15 p.m. for the Closing Words. As an inspiration, we include the 18 program elements which were offered during the TTTech Day:
One-to-many streaming with inspiring speakers as the main act:
- Four technologies that will change our lives by Hermann Hauser – Amadeus Capital Partners co-founder, entrepreneur, and member of the supervisory board of TTTech Auto AG
- Results Driven Team Culture – meeting and exceeding goals together by Matthias Mayr – Pro freeskier, adventurer, film maker (22 film awards), entrepreneur
- Fight, flight, freeze? – Still an appropriate reaction in times of permanent change? by Jennifer Lucia Dehn – Psychologist, systemic business coach & change manager
- The Brains and Brawn Company, How Leading Organizations Blend the Best of Digital and Physical by Robert E. Siegel – Chairman of the strategic advisory board of TTTech Computertechnik AG, member of the supervisory board of TTTech Auto AG, venture investor and lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business
Summing it all up
When planning a large-scale remote event, it is important to define clear objectives and carefully manage participants, considering their locations, technical capabilities, and time zones. Pay attention to the technical infrastructure, ensuring compatibility and conducting thorough testing. Utilize a comprehensive event platform our EventHub for centralized information access and personalized agendas. Thoughtfully plan the agenda, balancing informative content, interactive sessions, and networking opportunities. Design engaging and interactive content, incorporating different formats and multimedia elements.
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