Case Study: An Enterprise Webcast Heard 'Round the World
The OutcomeStarr acknowledges that he had apprehensions about the webcast technology prior to the meeting. "I am a complete amateur when it comes to webcasting; I wasn’t sure this would even work. We have all experienced problems getting video and audio to broadcast properly," he says. But Mellinger says that implementation went very smoothly, thanks to On24’s on-site producers in London and New York. "We started the project in mid-March and the meeting was broadcast in May. Technically, it went off without a glitch. On24 was able to switch between speakers seamlessly so you couldn’t even tell that they weren’t all in the same studio."
Nearly 1,400 employees were on the live webcast to listen to and watch MRM chief executive officer Reuben Hendell and other executives "bring strategy to life," as Starr characterizes it. Questions from the audience were submitted online and began arriving as Hendell talked, and, as Mellinger notes, "it was great to see questions coming in from countries like Norway and India as the webcast was taking place."
One detail that didn’t quite come together as hoped was the presence of a live studio audience of employees, due to a lack of time. Koellner notes that the presence of a live audience can actually help loosen up presenters. "Most executives are used to giving presentations to groups of people, so it can be easier for them to talk to an audience than to a camera," he observes.
Even so, Starr says, "The feedback on the webcast has been fantastic. Employees said there was a real sense of occasion, an awareness of being part of the global community as their colleagues from all over the world asked questions." Employees also said that the webcast showed that management was taking seriously its commitment to communicate better with employees.
In fact, the kickoff meeting was so successful that MRM plans to use the company webcast as an annual or semi-annual event going forward. Starr says, "During the webcast, management made a number of promises to employees, and we’ve delivered on them. It’s great to hear back from employees who participated in the webcast, heard our plans and are impressed that we’ve done what we said we would."