In collaboration with the Galata ‘ON AIR’ team

Since 2013, Galata has inspired our Cisco employees in India. We hire a hall and perform dances, sing songs, play instruments, act out skits, organize a fashion show, and enjoy some stand-up comedy at this annual cultural event. It’s a time of coming together, and meeting our colleagues and friends in person. Local leaders participate in the fashion show. Employees boost their confidence by performing and participating in the event. We feel energized! Our employees eagerly look forward to this event every year. In 2020, Galata was cancelled, but 2021 was a year of new beginnings.

For the first time, our team geared up for Galata virtually – but not just for our India employees – for all Cisco IT employees too. The theme was, “Yatra around the world.” Considering we have been away from our offices and would love to travel, we decided to take the Cisco IT team on a virtual trip to a jovial and festive land, where we formed new connections in this time of disconnection. And we did it all in just 3 clicks.

Party together, but virtually

Delivering such a colourful and lively experience to everybody’s doorstep is no easy feat. Given the widespread footprint of our audience, we wanted everyone to have the same feeling of excitement that we felt. Some of the challenges that our ’ON-AIR’ team overcame were:

  • Multiple Locations: Offices and Homes Around the World
  • Multiple Endpoints: Webex Room Devices, Laptops and Mobiles
  • Content Type: Live, Share, Stream, and Engage
  • Audience Engagement: Entertainment and Retention

Graphic of In India - 170 Cities and Towns in 24 states Across the globe – 24 countries, 1056 participants

Making it happen in 3 clicks

Our primary goal was to have a seamless transition when switching among live streams, playing recordings, sharing presentations and hosting Slido quizzes. Using Webex Room Device and Webex Events, we were able to smoothly transition between recorded content and live content.

Before the event, our dancers choreographed and recorded their dances. Since each dancer was in a different part of India, we then merged their recordings together, capturing their movement and vivid colours of India in one video collage. Our bands recorded their songs separately in studios. All presentations were saved to OneDrive and we used our Slido integration with Webex to get some audience engagement. It sounds simple, but a lot of collaboration and planning was involved to ensure everything was just right. A huge thank you to the teams across India who spent weeks preparing, planning, and curating an experience we will not soon forget.

6 dancers pose in different parts of India
Galata dancers choreographed and danced over Webex, in different parts of India.
Galata singers and bands perform in a studio
Galata singers and bands perform Bollywood classics in studio.

We used two laptops for video, presentations, and Slido, and connected these to our Webex Room device in the Bangalore office. In order to share this experience, we followed 3 simple steps.

First, we joined the Webex Event from the Webex Room Device. Then, we previewed the content we wanted to share, whether it was a presentation, live stream, recording or Slido poll. We used the ‘Share in Call’ option from our room device and chose either HDMI 1 or HDMI 2 to swap between the inputs of our two laptops.

two laptops connected to a webex room device via HDMI cables
3 clicks in action: We used two laptops for video, presentations, and Slido. We connected these laptops to our Webex Room device in the Bangalore office.

The Galata Vibe

Audience engagement was critical given that we were virtual. We created buzz around the event through Webex. We created a space to share teasers and behind the scenes clips to get the excitement going.

Our host, Vivek V, just had to say, “Being virtual, your cheer can’t be heard. Show your love and blow up the event window using Webex Reactions and Chat!” And from that second, Webex Reactions lit up on screen giving us the vibes of a roaring audience virtually. Instantly, we had organic interactions happening between the audience and the event hosts.

We were so thrilled to share Galata with Cisco IT colleagues and their families across the world. We really missed being in person, but this experience was the next best thing and we have so many wonderful memories from the event. If you ever need to simplify an event like this, it’s as simple as 3-clicks with Webex. We can’t wait for the next Galata.