While online meetings have become the new norm in the current climate, when the team at Showtime Event Group logged on last week for our company meeting, things looked a lot different.
It all started off in the standard way, a calendar invite with a Zoom link. But then it began to take a new approach. A registration link was sent to all staff, asking for dietary requirements and delivery address. Questions were being asked, but everyone was tight lipped.
Excitement was beginning to build in the lead up to the meeting, messages from colleague’s “has your delivery arrived yet?”. Around lunchtime my doorbell rang and when I opened the door I was met with a surprise (contactless, of course) delivery from work. A quick peak inside the bag revealed instructions for a Dumpling Workshop, pre-packed ingredients and a bottle of Sparkling wine. Intrigued, I put away the ingredients for later and began to wonder what time is too early to open the wine?
Logging on to the meeting we never expected to see Cargo Hall transformed into a studio, with a production crew, stage sets and a live cooking station. The scene was set, quite literally, and we were welcomed with a virtual hug from our host General Manager, Brad Dabbs. Some quick housekeeping, standard before every opening address, “Exits are located at your front door and bathroom are located wherever they are in your house”, and we were off.
Instructions were given for the first session, a breakout session online. Made possible with each group working in private chat rooms on different tasks and workshops. It was a chance for staff to connect with colleagues they might not normally and work face-to-face in a team environment, something we are all craving right now. Reiterating just how important it is to remain connected during these times, it was so refreshing to see how willing everyone was to participate, share knowledge and listen to others in this online environment.
The keynote address from Amanda Vinci, CEO at The EA Institute challenged us all to think about what makes us feel connected right now and how we can transfer this to our workplace and clients. Amanda has seen a shift in her own business and shared how online meetings is allowing The EA Institute to engage with a broader audience outside of the traditional learning environment. What was going to be a breakfast for 150 attendees at the State Library Victoria, the Admin Professionals Day was transformed to an online event with over 500 globally registered attendees. The event had participants from around the world including Spain who would not have had the opportunity to attend if it were held in its usual format in a venue.
A quick break before moving in to the next session, we picked up our laptops and took the meeting to the kitchen for a Dumpling Workshop led by Chef Ryan. While we took direction, some better than others, from Chef on how to make the dumplings, we also discovered who was excelling in the kitchen during lockdown and who keeping their local take away restaurants in business. Fifteen minutes later we were enjoying our home cooked dumpling feast together and yes, it was finally networking hour and time to open the wine.
No networking hour is complete without some entertainment and Miss Dee joined us online with an acoustic set, taking requests as we danced in our lounge rooms and toasted one of the most “normal” days we have had over the past few of months.
Not only did staff end the meeting feeling connected to colleagues while working from home, it was a timely reminder that there is much to be learnt from others and we need to continue the transfer of knowledge even though we aren’t physically able to facilitate large meetings.
Showtime Event Group is producing more than just business events online, with opportunities now opening up to wedding receptions, social events and celebrations that connect people across multiple destinations.
Let us connect your next event at Your Place, Our Place, Any Place.