Event Design: Pivoting Educational Deliveries

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Event Design: Pivoting Educational Deliveries

By Annette Gregg | Apr 9, 2020

Annette Gregg, CMM, MBA, senior VP of experience for MPI, recently spoke with Tim Woodring, chief creative officer, and Katharine Landmeier, VP of experience design, about how their company, Unbridled, “connects companies to their people.” Here, they share more about one of their premier programs, Chipotle AMC 2018.

TMP: What were some of the biggest challenges in designing the program?

TW: There was a shift in corporate structure that summer before, so we had to be agile with some components related to visioning and aligning the stakeholders. With several new C-suite executives, we had to form a relationship and learn quickly. Additionally, many of the Learning & Development team priorities shifted, so we needed to pivot our educational deliveries three months before the conference.

TMP: Wow! How did you pull this off?

KL: We could only do it with empathy and trust. We’ve worked with many companies going through leadership changes, so we came alongside them and remained extremely flexible, and that gave them the confidence they needed based on our past work with them and our understanding of their culture.

TMP: So, what didn’t work?

KL: We were nervous about the size of the learning labs at 1,000 people each. Logistically, they were challenging and then ensuring they felt small and intimate was a challenge. Also, we learned that we might have overshot our intention with the opening video. We put a lot of thematic messaging into it. When attendees are just gathering for the first time, we’ve learned that it may be more valuable to start with high-energy than high-concept. That way, we can let the story develop throughout the session, culminating in more of an arc. Doing it over again, we would insert smaller video spots throughout the show to help crescendo into more of the overarching story.

TMP: Overall, what were the reaction and results?

TW: From the survey results, we could see participants felt connected and engaged. Equally important to us is that from 2018 to today, the client’s retention has stabilized, and they are known as best in class for employee engagement and operations. Their stock has doubled since the event, and their attendee count and budgets are increasing. We are proud of the overall business results ignited by AMC 18. Still, real success and results live with our clients who lead the charge and trust us to help manage and produce their important events.

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Annette Gregg
Annette Gregg

Annette Gregg, CMM, MBA, is senior vice president, experience for Meeting Professionals International.