So, your company has employees in multiple time zones, across the country or across the globe. And you want them to feel together and united, even if they're working remotely or from different offices. You want to plan and execute a global event that is fun, fresh, and focused. Well, we're here to tell you how to make it happen.
We've planned and run multiple global events—some of them spanning 24 hours of non-stop action—for some pretty exciting companies. Here's what we recommend for your planning process.
1. Focus on your goals.
Like any project or event, make sure you understand what you're hoping to accomplish before you begin planning. It's so easy to get distracted by extraneous ideas, but before you start adding to what MIGHT be possible, start with the most important things.
If your primary goals are:
- Relationship or team-building
- Setting and clarifying strategy
- Having fun together!
...then skip activities that overcomplicate the event but don't contribute to those goals.
2. Lay down the foundational moments.
Every good event has a smart, thoughtful flow. But with a global event, spanning multiple time zones, not everything has to be the highest of the high points, the most fun thing ever, or the most mentally engaging session. But you do need to be purposeful and intentional about creating signature moments so that employees know what's most important.
The opening sets the tone for the event, so what do you want it to be? Who should speak? What's the message?
The closing makes the event memorable and cathartic. Should it be a meaningful activity or a few remarks from company leadership?
And what are the other keystone sessions throughout the event? From a scheduling perspective, how can you make sure that everyone—regardless of time zone—is tuned in and a part of those moments at the same time?
3. Build up from there!
Okay, you've nailed down your goals and the most important sessions of your company-wide global event. Now comes the fun part. Filling in the gaps with value-added content that makes the experience feel curated, fulfilling, and FUN for the whole team.
We like to mix it up with different kinds of sessions that appeal to a variety of personalities and interests. So, perhaps a few engaging speakers from inside and outside the company. A handful of connection games and team-building activities. Live entertainment (virtual or in-person) options that make it clear that you CAN mix work and play.
4. Assign roles.
Who is the tech lead? Who is the event/session timekeeper? Who is the emcee? Who will send the invitations? As you go through your planning process, make it clear who owns what and what they're responsible for doing to make the event a success. Give them plenty of prep and training time to get comfortable with the role, and empower them with the authority they need to get the job done well!
No matter what you plan, know that your global event is sure to be successful if you stick to these main guidelines. After that, everything else is gravy!
Looking for help planning your large scale company event? We'd love to help with both virtual and in-person events.