McCarthy Stone

Overview

Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, McCarthy Stone have reshaped their internal event and communications strategy, demonstrating both resilience and the ability to adapt, in the most difficult of circumstances.

With the aim of ensuring employees are both engaged and informed, it was important to create a framework for a series of internal virtual events, that allowed presenters to not only share valuable information and updates with teams across the business creatively and effectively, but to also provide a platform for discussion and feedback throughout the sessions, to deliver measurable data post-event.  

Within this series of face-to-face and virtual events, McCarthy Stone were also preparing for the launch of their rebrand focussing on championing older people, which included dropping the ampersand from its brand name and launching a brand-new website, as well as a half-year update celebrating their achievements across the business and focussing on ‘Lifting off from Lockdown’.

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Solution

The Virtual Studios here at Corporate Events provided the perfect virtual environment for a varied and engaging series of online events for McCarthy Stone employees.  

A custom-made, secure website was created to host each event, ensuring all content and messaging was accessible across the business, and each session provided employees with a Sli.do chat feature, which was used as a feedback platform, as well as Q&A and polling throughout the event series. Download links were also made available and post-event data was reported from across the platform.

Once the rebrand had taken place, a simple reskin of the custom-made website took place to enable a swift transition between one event and the next.

Studio 1 provided a larger virtual environment complete with a 9m LED wall, sound and lighting, live-streaming, and film, which enabled McCarthy Stone to bring senior members of the business together safely throughout the pandemic, with use of private meeting spaces and green rooms.

The key focus was camerawork and creating an effective mix of shots that continued to engage the audience and capturing key moments within each virtual event, that were mixed out into the live stream. This also meant mixing camera shots on top of slides, rather than having one or the other, which added another layer of production value.

For the smaller, more intimate events within the series, our team utilised McCarthy Stone’s choice of internal video conferencing, Microsoft Teams for the presenters. This was then integrated into the in-house Desktop Streaming Studio here at Corporate Events to maximise content and online experience for the employees attending.

In September 2021, McCarthy Stone hosted their first face-to-face live event since 2019, at The Belfry Hotel & Resort, reinforcing the value of bringing people together to learn, discuss, share and debate.

Outcome

McCarthy Stone continue deliver on their new blended event and communications strategy which looks to the future. 

Our client commented, “Throughout COVID, like many others McCarthy Stone had to adapt its internal communications and engagement strategy to embrace new approaches, technologies, and channels. Following the initial lockdown period, we needed to bring our teams together more than ever to remind them of the difference they had made to older people’s lives throughout 2020, and how their hard work had protected the health and wellbeing of our 20,000+ homeowners.

We have worked with Corporate Events for many years, and it was fantastic that they had been able to make the switch to virtual events so seamlessly during COVID and support us in engaging our 2,600 employees through an online event.

The event planning was extremely well supported as always, and once on-site, with all safety measures in place, the team were able to provide an extremely professional service and guided us through the new landscape of virtual events step-by-step! They supported our presenters, who had to learn to present to an empty room and worked with our IT teams to make sure that the technology was ready to go.

Although we are once again embracing live events going forward, broadcastings to ALL employees live using the Corporate Events studio is something that we will continue to do as it has proved so popular – and also cost effective!”