In my previous blog post I discussed the format of GSX (Cisco’s annual global sales meeting) and tactics deployed to listen to, engage with, and motivate the audience. In this blog post I am going to dive into new approaches we took to enable peer networking and team appreciation.
Enabling meaningful networking and recognition for attendees at any event is challenging, but in the hybrid format of GSX, this task is exponentially harder. This year, a number of new tactics were deployed to address these challenges.
A new networking tool called ‘Make Connections’ was created exclusively for use at GSX. This tool was available on desktops and mobile devices. Using a variety of criteria such as market segment expertise, technology interests, job roles, and sales recognition status, attendees were able to control how they were found, as well as what they were looking for in a network connection. Once a match was made, attendees could add individuals to their personal network, chat with connections one-to-one, and make notes about the connection. After the event, attendees could download their network for reference and/or import it into a contact management tool such as Outlook. The response was very positive with a 6% increase in year over year “ease of networking” satisfaction score, and utilized by 57% of registered attendees during the event.
Although we have a robust sales recognition program, every year we hear from the winners and the audience at large that they would like to find a way to recognize the contributions their teams made to their success. So this year we decided to tackle the request head on and deployed a digital engagement called ‘Team Appreciation’. Via a clearly labeled step-by-step process, any attendee could provide their team name, select their team members, the teams’ regional/global affiliation, key characteristics of the team such as Leadership and Innovation, and enter a personalized text message and/or record a 30 second video message. Once submitted, the back-end engine dynamically created a rich video digital greeting card featuring the team member’s photos and short clips of dancers evoking the characteristics selected. The team members being appreciated would then get an automated email letting them know they were being recognized and by whom, with a deep link to the digital greeting card. The solution exceeded expectations, with 43% of the registered audience being recognized in this format and over 1,500 Team Appreciation cards created.
These tactics clearly addressed the challenges of a hybrid event format by enabling attendee networking and meaningful recognition. The GSX team strives every year to reset the bar and this year was no exception. Now on to making GSX FY14 even better and richer experience!