Although Verizon Media sort of cancelled its flagship event “Build It” last April 02, the event pushed through in 3 weeks time by transforming into a digital format. True to its mission of changing the ways by which people can stay connected, more so now in the midst of the coronavirus health crisis, Verizon Media has shown how event organizers can move forward in reactivating and revitalizing the events industry.
Traditionally held twice a year, Verizon Media’s Director of Global Events, Allison Galloway refused to cancel this year’s “Build It” event, saying
”“It is important for us to hold this internal event twice a year, being our way of letting our employees know about the company’s newest and greatest products.”
Since they now have to reach employees situated and working from home in more than 20 varying time zones, Ms. Galloway said they had no other option but to take the digital route. That being the case, the event was able to kick off on April 02 as scheduled by having Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan deliver a live keynote speech. After which, all employees were given five days to log in before proceeding to carry out the actual “Build It” digital event .
How Verizon Media Enhanced the “Big It” Digital Event Experience
Ms. Galloway said they wanted the digital format to bring the same feeling of the original live event, but they also wanted to add something fun. MVRK, the experiential agency based in Orlando and in charge of creating the original event, took to incorporating the games that were actually set to take place on the Verizon Campus lawn, by turning them into interactive games. The digital event came to be dubbed as “Build It: WFH (Work From Home).
In carrying on with the main concept of “Build It” events, the company’s new brands and services were delivered as part of a physical game board; featuring sizzle reels, information plus competitions, product demos, whilst interpolating conversations from keynote speakers, plus the awarding of prizes for attendees.
Although the matter of incorporating the participation of scheduled speakers initially posed as a challenge, Verizon Media solved the problem by creating a production kit. The kits were designed to teach the scheduled speakers how to produce their own videos, which Ms. Galloway said was probably the most difficult aspect, but nonetheless turned out incredible.
All things considered and all challenges met, she said we now have production kits in addition to new capabilities that enable the event team to better perform work in a virtual environment.
As the Global Events Director, Ms. Galloway was proud to report that the turn out was amazing. Where at first they saw only 3,500 employees who joined the April 02 launch, the number grew to as many as 5,600 employees — coming from the different city-based Verizon Media offices; from North America to Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Ms. Galloway added that in looking forward to the second “Build It -WFH” event this year, they will be sticking to the digital format. In looking further ahead after the pandemic, they are planning to hold a hybrid version where both onsite and remotely located employees can share a unifying experience.