Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, launched a worldwide rebranding effort to all their employees over a two-day period in February 2010. Because of DSM's strategic and successful use of meetings and events to promote the new brand identity — Bright Science. Brighter Living™ — they received the 2012 Recognizing Industry Success and Excellence (RISE) Award for Organizational Achievement from MPI.
In the latest edition of MPI's One+ magazine, Alise Long, CMM who is the Manager of Corporate Events & Meetings at DSM was interviewed about the steps they took to make this happen. Here are three steps every meeting planner can use in launching a new product, service or brand initiative.
Step #1: Realize every employee is important.
Royal DSM set forth an event that had two primary goals: 1) Allow employees to socialize and get to know one another better and 2) Present the information on a local level with a global message in mind. They realized that a rebranding initiative delivered from the top and disseminated through the management chain could get lost in translation and take too long. Delivering important branding information to everyone in a relatively short duration validated the importance of each employee to the organizational structure.
A red carpet movie premiere event, where everyone was treated like a star, was planned. Over two days, DSM held 134 face-to-face events with about 170 persons at each meeting — thus creating a more intimate setting versus having one event for 23,000 employees of which most of the message would have had to be handled virtually.
Step #2: Develop a theme and team to deliver the message.
DSM had the local, regional, corporate and global staff involved in delivering the theme "Bright Launch". This team worked for five months on the creative and logistical messaging for the meetings. They determined the number of meetings, locations and content necessary to disseminate the message.
Step #3: Measure message effectiveness.
96% of the employees thought the meeting was effective and employees were able to explain the vision and direction of the company and its new brand.
What are the key takeaways for meeting planners?
Whatever the purpose of the product launching event, treat all employees, customers and prospects as a vital component to the success of the launch. Rent iPads for attendees to take notes during the session, post on social backchannels and communicate with other attendees about the announcement.
Create a diverse team to help with creative approaches to your messaging.
- Measure meeting effectiveness by polling attendees with wireless Audience Response Systems (ARS), computer kiosks or through the attendees' mobile devices. Understanding if they got the message and can explain it, is important to calculating overall launch effectiveness.
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