Reaching 100,000+ employees at the same time. This is Schneider Electric's "Global Pulse".
For decades Schneider Electric SE (SU.PA) held its annual kick-off meeting with a few hundred managers in some big convention center, somewhere in Europe. After the 2014 edition, held in Berlin, the Executive Committee (the CEO and his management team) had the idea to significantly expand the scope of this event to include around 2,000 managers (triple the event in size) and hold the multi-day meeting in Macau, to a) simplify the process of cascading the shared information to all other employees and to b) re-iterate Schneider's commitment to the region.
After an intense planning phase through the summer of 2014, and after studying the logistical, legal, and financial challenges, as well as after further understanding what it would take for the 2000 would-be-attendees to relay the learned information back to those "at home", I was able to convince Schneider's CEO of going virtual. Yes, you heard right - we got a shot at transforming a traditional in-person conference + expo to a fully digital, corporate TV broadcast experience. The killer argument? Simple: Reach all employees at the same time, and take many, many weeks out of the process cascading the information to everyone else. At the same time: No travel expenses and a massive reduction in CO2 emissions. So, Ed Baldi, our SVP of Creative travelled to Paris for a site survey and a whole new chapter started!
Fast forward to January, 15th 2020: "Global Pulse 2020" has just concluded. In its 6th consecutive year as a broadcast to all employees, fully secure and behind the firewall. The twist: We're talking cable television quality, not a webcam or two in a dimly lit room with a grainy picture. And we're talking about a program, which speaks to all employees, regardless of level. Together, we've structured and created a show with "pre-game" segments, integrating multiple locations, where employees are watching in groups, interactive Q&A sessions, all the way up to an award ceremony and ending credits.
In four out of the six times, we built between 4-6 sets inside Schneider's Paris headquarter "Le Hive" and most recently, we moved to their Technopole building in Grenoble, France. No, we don't rent a TV studio for this! Global Pulse has become a staple in the calendar for Schneider Electric employees. The one day a year where the vision and strategy of the company gets clearly laid out for everyone.
Chris Leong, the Chief Marketing Officer, had this to say today: "On behalf of Jean Pascal and the Executive Committee, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for another amazing Global Pulse! We know an event like this takes a village behind the scenes to ensure a seamless event in front of the camera and onsite in our facilities. Each year we challenge you to bring an even more impactful event and we could not be more proud of what you delivered in terms of content, creativity, and technical support and execution! Global Pulse sets the tone for 2020 and energizes the teams around their contributions to our priorities – thank you for your hard work and dedication to help bring this to life for our employees!"
Of course she didn't just mean el-j with this quote, as dozens of Schneider employees are key to making such an endeavour a success. And that's exactly what we mean when we say, that we don't have clients but rather have partners. And while we're at it, here's a shout-out to our friends at Kollective, the company behind the content delivery network.
When this transformation started, I was the SVP of Experience Marketing for Schneider Electric. And now - at el-j - it's my mission to help other clients out there to achieve the same level of awesomeness with their own event investments. Funny how that goes sometimes 😉...