We had the privilege of working with Rare Affairs Event Management and First West Financial on three Annual Leadership Summits (with plans to continue partnering on this conference in the future). All conferences had very unique challenges and both utilized highly customized conference package solutions that aimed to boost retention, networking, and overall employee engagement.
Before our first conference with First West, the company had never used a professional emcee or a facilitator at their events. They had gone as far as hiring an Event Management company, but they were not aware of the potential for increased ROI that stems from better participant engagement. Keeping participants active and involved within the conference was becoming a challenge.
In 2014, we showed First West the value of a Conference Emcee who focuses on the participants, and provides real opportunities for networking, collaboration, and fun. Roger Haskett acted not only as their Emcee but as a Learning Coach. He stayed with the participants through the entire 3 days of their program to re-iterate objectives, encourage questions, discussion, and promote a playful energy that kept the conference alive. We also provided a comedy improv night and a Family Feud team building game show that helped solidify bonds and make memories between the participants (while keeping them engaged in the evenings!)
Due to the overwhelming success of the 2014 Summit, mid-level managers wanted in on the transformation conference experience, and due to demand the meeting was expanded and divided into two separate programs: one for senior leaders and one for emerging leaders. We as suppliers also experienced a new challenge, as a new entity had been brought into the First West brand and some tension about the merger was hanging in the air.
Roger reprised his role as Conference Emcee and Learning coach and provided breakout sessions and keynote presentations on his most successful topics “Pressure Cooker Confidence” and the “Power of Play”. Both of these active sessions encourage people to be a better version of themselves with strategies to accomplish this. We also provided a range of entertaining team building activities that gave the group extremely important breaks from the all-day sessions not to mention the opportunity to bond further in a fun, dynamic way. The energy in the room was truly magical! A picture is worth a thousand words. If these don't scream engagement to you, what does?
We believe that all conferences should include elements of our Active, Participatory Model. The response to this methodology has been overwhelmingly positive and it is clear that the participants are still feeling the effects of what we shared at the First West Leadership Summits.