By Kelly Karn, QPC Member
Visualize this with me: It’s the day of the all company meeting. You enter a space alive with music and excited energy. You’ve attended this event at locations ranging from an art museum, to a historic downtown hotel, and even the stadium of your favorite home team. This time it’s at a live music venue with a retro twist.
You grab your nametag and a cup of coffee and take your seat at your first table. To your right is the familiar face from your start group, to your left is a new hire you’re meeting for the first time. The space is decked out in purple and the videos are ready to roll.
But wait—there’s more to this meeting than company updates at cool venues! There is purpose behind this event that extends beyond the agenda items alone—it dives into the core of the company culture.
So why do Quarterly meetings matter? The short answer: Because people matter
Corporate events like the Sendero Quarterly meetings—attended four times a year by employees from both of our office locations—provide an opportunity for employees to strengthen their connections within the company. This is especially relevant in the consulting industry, where employees are dispersed throughout client offices for their day-to-day work.
How do you maintain a consulting company where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came?
You purposefully create opportunities for relationship building and provide a space for “internal networking” to happen organically. Setting aside dedicated time like a Quarterly meeting to bring the people together in one place gives employees the opportunity to become more connected with each other, and the culture of the company follows suit.
Quarterly meetings are the Sendero culture in 3D. They provide an opportunity for Sendero to fill its people back up with our “Why”, so that they can turn around and continue to pour their best work into their clients. The content of the meeting agenda, the choice of venue, and all the little touches in between are an opportunity to show employees that the company is passionate about its people. One of Sendero’s favorite ways to do this is through having fun!
How can you create “fun,” and why does it matter?
Fun is the sprinkles on top that take a Quarterly from a meeting to an event. We decorate the venue to give it a festive and welcoming feel. We have all company Rock, Paper, Scissors tournaments. We laugh, we cheer, we have a good time.
Do we have “down to business” updates? Absolutely! But they’re more impactful because we sandwich them in between moments that allow people to connect. Fun allows internal networking to happen naturally. It shows people that they matter to the company and that this was an event planned for them. Including an activity that gets people out of their seats, showing entertaining video content in place of a traditional slide update, and hosting a social mixer afterwards turns a regular meeting into an event that keeps people connected to each other, the company, and the culture that surrounds it all.
Elevating Your Meeting
Here are 3 tips to elevate your next corporate meeting into a meaningful event:
Remember the Why
“Purposeful” is the key word here. Using your “Why” as a checkpoint at every stage of the planning process will help guide your decisions, big and small.
- Will these slides provide an update in a way that’s meaningful to our people? Yes, can’t wait to hear it! If not, consider a different method of sharing this information, such as a handout or Q&A session.
- Will these catering choices be inclusive to all our people? Yes, let’s eat! If not, work with the venue’s catering manager to tweak the menu.
- Will this venue show our people that they are valued? Yes, it’s a cool location that our people will be comfortable in! If not, get creative with the decorations or A/V set up to add flair and make it conducive to your event’s needs. Bring out the up-lighting and add a second projection screen.
Keep your core values in mind
To tie your event to your culture, think about how you can showcase your core values.
- Sendero values Shared Success, so the activity that we chose for our most recent quarterly meeting involved cheering others on as a team. Designing an activity that gets people out of their seats and comfort zones puts the focus on sharing an experience.
- Challenge new hires to showcase your core values through a skit or unique video.
- Introduce a friendly competition between employee start groups, or between your interns and your leadership team.
Focus on the people
Set aside spaces in your meeting agenda that shine the spotlight on your people and their accomplishments. This is a great opportunity to incorporate video content.
- Introduce new hires through a 20 questions style interview video.
- Showcase a project through a “day in the life of” video submitted by the project team.
- Change up the presenters often and give people at all levels a chance at the mic.
Corporate events—like the Sendero Quarterly Meetings—are an investment in your people. Wherever the purpose of your event may fall on a spectrum from meeting to celebration, meaningful events happen when people are the focus of your plan.
To follow along at future Sendero events, follow us on Instagram!