Agency Focus: The C&IT Challenge

This month's brief is a one-day event in central England to introduce the new MD and board to 500 employees of a blue-chip company that has just undergone a merger and restructure.

Venue choice is key - it's important to pick somewhere that reflects a client's brand, but doesn't suggest unnecessary expenditure.

The Heritage Motor Centre in Warwickshire is close to major motorways and has excellent rail links. This Art Deco-style venue, adjacent to a fine collection of British cars, offers high-profile elegance with a functional conference space.

It also has the capacity to seat delegates cabaret-style to promote interaction. It is set in 65 acres of countryside, so it can host a range of team-building activities to add a fun element and encourage the formation of a corporate team.

I'd recommend a morning conference to convey the business message, followed by afternoon activities, ending the day with a barbecue. This would produce an informative, enjoyable day that encourages team spirit without blowing the budget.

CHARLOTTE WILSON IS MANAGING DIRECTOR AT PURE EVENTS

I'd be looking to address the anxiety many employees would be feeling, while also ensuring that the corporate messages are presented clearly.

The event would be created around a 'pit stop challenge'-style format, with an ideal venue being Donnington Park, Derby.

In the racing world, getting the pit strategy right can mean the difference between winning and losing, so the principles of planning a 'pit strategy' can be used as a foundation for the day.

Energetic and interactive, the format will include a number of planned 'pit stop' workshops. At the end of the day, the whole team should share and understand a clear vision.

They would have had the opportunity to interact with fellow colleagues and company leaders, instilling a feeling of security, confidence and belief in the future of the business.

ANNA ROBINSON IS AN ACCOUNT MANAGER AT PARALLEL BLUE

The tone and content of this event must offer reassurance to a workforce now and for the future. I'd begin pre-event by surveying staff concerns and addressing these during the day. I would stage the event at Bedfordshire's Concept Centre, because of its space, easy access, and more importantly, to reflect a dynamic future, without showing opulence to a sensitive workforce.

An 'on the spot'-style stage presentation would introduce the management team, creating a rite of passage and displaying strong but human leadership qualities. Questions highlighted in the surveys or raised via an interactive delegate system would be addressed here. A roadmap for the future, laid out in an interactive exhibition style would then be unveiled.

Post-event, a communication strategy would enhance the message.

RICHARD BOWDEN IS PRODUCTION DIRECTOR AT PENGUINS

I'd focus on the message to staff and cost-effectiveness, rather than overthinking the venue and other bells and whistles. I'd propose an off-site day ahead of the event for the management team to establish its company vision and a plan of how they will introduce change. This would result in clear information that is easily communicated.

The main event would take place on an afternoon, to avoid encroaching on employees' personal time, and would kick off with lunch so staff can mingle.

The keynote would then be delivered by the new managing director and the management team would be introduced. The group would then split into teams, so that workers and management could network in a less formal setting. The day would end with casual drinks and finger food. Each person would be given a copy of the vision document.

ANNETTE WALSH IS A DIRECTOR AT JIGSAW MANAGEMENT.

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