mclcreate’s conference solution empowers Swinton for the future
Swinton, the UK’s largest high street insurance broker, needed to launch a new direction and focus for the organisation. Event specialist, mclcreate, stepped up to the challenge, delivering a bold one day Annual Conference at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel in January 2016 that successfully focused the minds of all employees and marked the way forward for a bright Swinton future.
mclcreate’s thinking for the event revolved around a unifying theme: I Am Swinton. This creative vision provided the platform for the company’s core messages, representing the shared responsibilities of the new Swinton and giving all employees a voice. For the conference, mclcreate brought to bear all its expertise in creative content, digital and technical, on-site management and support services to deliver a varied, inclusive and interactive event on the day.
Pre-event research demonstrated that engaging Swinton employees held the key to success not just to the event but to the company itself. mclcreate worked with Swinton to identify Brand Ambassadors who could help drive interest in the event and energise employees at branch level to engage with the company and its new direction.
mclcreate felt that the significance of the issues being addressed challenged Swinton to think, work and behave in a completely different way. mclcreate embedded its event producer in the client’s offices to work with the management and executive team. All preparation, support, creativity and implementation could thus be meticulously carried out, with nothing left to chance. This covered all content creation, development and presentation training, so the executive team felt confident in delivering company messages directly to the audience.
In designing the creative content, mclcreate built a direct, transparent and trusted picture for employees of where the business was heading. The company implemented an extensive communications plan for Swinton. This first involved talking to employees in a specially designed email, supported by Swinton’s Brand Ambassadors, inviting employees to download and use the branded event app, by taking part in a series of polls in the run up to the day. These votes invited opinion on business and service issues that enabled employees to shape the conference programme as well as helping them to stay informed about the event and share excitement about what lay ahead. mclcreate also built and hosted a supportive micro‐site for the conference to manage registrations, communicate information on the programme and host the webcast content during the day and after the event.
On the day itself, the whole programme was produced by mclcreate’s on-site producer and technical team, in a production akin to a live television Outside Broadcast. Cameras deployed in the hotel’s Monarch Suite recorded the event for the live stream. mclcreate used its digital suite of products to meet the technical challenges of reaching out to all Swinton employees with the same content; again, a completely different experience for Swinton and giving those not at the conference a chance to see a ‘highlights’ version via a link on the microsite after the event. All production kit and technical delivery was also managed in-house by mclcreate.
On arrival, delegates were reminded by the app to wear the newly introduced Swinton branded uniforms for the first time, and were directed by mclcreate signage to the registration area to collect their branded lanyards. From here, they were invited to visit the Discovery Lounge in the hotel’s Palace suite. This space, designed and set up by mclcreate, provided an interactive exhibition for Swinton to demonstrate the new technology it would be deploying in the ‘Branch of the Future’ as well as showcase the new call centre layout and communicate how internal practices would change. mclcreate built a full size facsimile of the new style ‘Branch of The Future’ which delegates saw for the first time and were able to experience the new Swinton just as customers will in the future.
Using mclcreate’s webcasting expertise, Swinton was able to communicate to the entire business. mclcreate provided event app data, showing usage and the areas seen as most useful. 750 employees attended the conference with a further 1060 employees watching the stream, 886 of which were live. Engagement levels were high for the online content, with 10,000 hits on the Q&A session, equating to three views per employee.
When the conference closed, mclcreate transformed the Monarch Suite into a different environment where employees could relax over dinner and enjoy entertainment provided by a DJ and live music from the RPJ Band, against a backdrop of Swinton imagery.
“What a fantastic, memorable and dynamic way for Swinton to begin its new era,” comments Gilles Normand, CEO of Swinton. “We wanted a fresh, forward-thinking event that demonstrated our commitment to change, empowered our employees and showed how we could work together to achieve great things in the future. The levels of engagement at the conference and via the live stream were truly spectacular. mclcreate delivered in spades!”
Following the event, Swinton has engaged mclcreate to support on a number of additional events called “Open 2016”, which carry on the essence of this conference and link back to the key messages.