Client: Global application intelligence software company
February 15 – 19, 2016
Number of attendees
900; 400; 100
San Francisco; Fairmont San Francisco
Training, training and training with a small component of recognition
Client initially envisioned this as their SKO. However, once they took a closer look at their goals they determined they needed to take advantage of the fact that so many of their key people would be together and expanded it into three separate programs:
- Company kickoff – 1 day; 900 people
- Sales kickoff – 3 days; 400 people
- Customer success event – 1 day; 100 people
Overview of event deliverables
MFactor provided full event management services. When it expanded from one program into three we essentially managed three programs: three contacts, three well identified but different sets of goals, three budgets, three websites and registration and more. Our deliverables included but were not limited to:
- destination/site search and hotel contracting
- budget development and timeline management
- pre-event planning
- website registration build and execution
- onsite management and execution
- onsite registration and badging
- F&B management
- offsite venue management
- Hospitality Desk and onsite staffing
- production oversite
- final reconciliation
Expansion of program from one into three/multiple contacts/multiple goals
Once the program expanded from one program to three we had different contacts, objectives, budgets, attendee demographics, messaging, production, meeting space needs and more. Each group was working independently and it wasn’t until 3 ½ weeks prior to program operation that one person on the client side stepped in to oversee all the moving pieces.
Change in leadership – A new CEO joined the company several months prior to the program. We continued with preplanning as much as possible but certain elements of the program were put on hold until he became more familiar with company and program objectives.
Overview of key metrics and how success was measured
Metrics for a sales kick-off focus on the effectiveness and sales power attendees take back to their territories. Did they embrace the message? Did they leave enthusiastic about getting back in the field, strengthening their client relationships and selling the products and services. Did they recommit to the company and their personal drive for higher sales? Feedback from executives and attendees was extremely positive. They felt re-energized about the direction for 2016 and appreciated hearing about the new directions. They also appreciated the opportunity to meet the new C-level leadership members. Effectiveness of their sales numbers will be evidenced by the year’s sales and how well they meet their personal numbers.
Highlights of the event
These programs were specifically training focused and did not include any “wow” elements. However, we knew everything needed to happen flawlessly. Since we had managed this event last year we identified two areas that were improved upon:
- Onsite registration and badging – We conducted these two activities at separate locations…close enough for easy access but far apart enough to allow for smooth traffic flow. This worked extremely well and eliminated delays experienced last year.
- A transfer to offsite venue – Last year, the boarding location for transportation to the offsite venue was bottlenecked due to Fairmont and city restrictions. Anticipating this, we proactively worked closely with the key decision makers at the hotel and the city. We received approval to load the coaches in the porte cochere of the Fairmont (rather than at the Tonga Room entrance where it was last year). The group was transferred to the Exploratorium and this seemingly small refinement meant hassle free movement of these large groups.
Description of team role
MFactor managed this event for the client in 2015 so we had an insight into their expectations and used last year’s experiences as a springboard to greater success. This year, we managed everything from A to Z and added additional touches for effectiveness and maximizing budget spend.
A comprehensive budget was prepared at the beginning of preplanning. It had clearly identified line items and we worked within that budget with no overages.
Timeline to execute
Initial planning began a year in advance. The 2015 program was at the Fairmont and we contracted with them again since the space was ideal. Many elements were put in place early with final 2016 preplanning starting three or four months prior to program dates. However, the last minute change in program scope, just two months before the program dates, put everything on a fast track. We suddenly had three different contacts each of whom had specific goals. It was imperative that this should be a cohesive planning and execution process to maximize effectiveness of the venue specifics (meeting space, F&B spend, accommodations), production and transportation.
What would you do differently next time?
Working with a union hotel such as the Fairmont San Francisco presented challenges in 2015 and again in 2016. Moving forward with any union hotels, we will have candid conversations well in advance with hotel contacts and ask them to identify the top five challenges we might face (production? power drops? set ups? etc). By discussing these realities in advance with the hotel and client, we will be able to proactively identify solutions. In addition, we will ask for references from several people who have done similar corporate programs at the property to get their input on challenges they faced so we can be prepared.