So, How’s Your Culture?
A look at 3 ways to elevate your culture through your next event
Depending on who you ask, corporate culture is either a top-five consideration for where they want to work or an unimportant abstraction that Millennials brought with them into the workforce (along with their tattoos and untucked shirts). And while more companies seem to be recognizing culture as an important aspect of both recruiting and retention, culture has existed as long as groups of people have gathered.
The dictionary defines “culture” as the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular group (or company). With all due respect to our friends Merriam and Webster, Herb Keller was the pioneer who defined culture for Southwest Airlines as the development, improvement and refinement of the originality, individuality, identity and personality of a given people. In other words, being better at being yourselves every day. And anyone who’s flown with Southwest in the last 40 years or so knows they have one of the most enviable cultures around.
So if you’ve read this far and you’re thinking, “Pssh, Southwest wishes they had OUR company culture,” then congratulations. You’ve made it. You can stop reading now and go back to running Google. Richard Branson is probably calling you from his space phone anyway.
For everyone else who might be feeling that slight pang of self-consciousness about whether their company culture is really as great as they claim it is in their job listings – that’s a good thing. Culture can always get better, and your company will always get better for the improvement.
To reiterate: company culture is important. And it isn’t something you merely decide, it’s something you create. Do you claim to have a fun work environment when everyone is working silently in their cubicles? Do you say you’re a collaborative company when departments are passive-aggressively ignoring each other? How’s your turnover rate? Are employees going above and beyond or just batting .200? Is the parking lot empty by 5:05 every day?
Beyond the culture your employees experience every day—another key piece that companies often overlook is how their culture translates beyond the office walls.
3 Ways to Amplify Culture through Live Events
Beyond that great video series or social post, amplifying your culture and creating engagement at live events is perhaps one of the most visceral ways to bring your brand to life. Whether a sales meeting, annual user conference or holiday gala, Encore Live’s team has seen and done it all. And we’ve come to believe there are 3 critical touch points to translating your culture to your event.
1. Select the Right Venue.
A lot of companies, especially when faced with having to plan their own annual meetings, will simply default to the nearest convention center or hotel ballroom. That might make sense from a logistics standpoint, but it also might be killing the potential for a killer meeting. Encore Live aims to get you out of your boring ballroom by either transforming it into an immersive theater or take you to a venue that speaks specifically to your event. For example, have you considered the space at your local professional sports stadium? We do. AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, doubles as a state of the art meeting space just as much as it does for a Cowboys home game. We blew Dallas-based client away when we told them that their employees could meet in the same place as their favorite NFL team. You should have seen their faces when they made the walk from the meeting space to the field for the after party. Whether its in your hometown or a faraway destination, we look for unique, unexpected venues that add interest and excitement to your program. Think outside the beige box!
2. Convey Your Brand through the Right Design.
Once we’ve chosen the perfect setting, we’ll design the entire experience around the goals and themes of your corporate event. Your stage, directional signage, name badges, videos, presentations, and even your registration site should all coordinate with your central message and theme. We spend time with you to understand those critical points and then make sure every aspect communicates them. For example, with a recent client event in Houston, we knew that the local art scene was very important to them. Houston is known for its graffiti art, so our set designers and graphic designers made sure that all of the elements of the conference were inspired by Houston’s beautiful spray paint graffiti. Listening to a client’s unique desires ad delivering as many of those messages throughout every touichpoint of the vent helps make it more memorable and meaningful.
3. Rock the House with Your Keynote Speakers.
So we’ve found the perfect spot and crafted your message through thoughtful design. Now, it’s time to turn down the lights, open the doors and get inspired by an amazing speaker. There’s nothing worse than having all your hard work planning your event go to waste with a boring speaker. Encore Live knows the ins-and-outs of sourcing and booking talent whose content will speak directly to what your team needs to hear. Take for example an event we did in Los Angeles. Our client wanted to completely refurbish a dilapidating public elementary school, so who better to talk about giving back than the woman who gives and gives some more? We booked Ellen DeGeneres to speak during the giving back portion of a conference—finding a celebrity whose heart aligned with this specific project. Then, we surprised the group with an intimate talk from Ellen.
Your culture is unique. And it’s important. Events are an extension of your culture, and Encore Live is the culture agency that helps you improve, establish and live out your culture through memorable, meaningful events.
It’s a little difficult to talk about how great your specific event could be because we haven’t met you yet. But if you’re one of those people who won’t risk a phone call without some kind of proof, check out this glowing review of an event we put on for Mattress Firm, one of our oldest clients. Or if you’re ready to take the next step, contact us to explore how we could help you elevate your culture.