What do you do when you are the World’s largest retailer but you have just a few months to plan and execute a meeting that will woo and wow a globally diverse audience of fifteen thousand? You dial our digits of course.
Big but personal. Fast but not furious.
There are a lot of shareholder meetings rattling around out there in the corporate world. None however, hold a candle to the Walmart Shareholder Meeting LEO Events put together in just 9 short weeks.
Think Grammys meets General Sessions. Think superstars of pop and rock doing what they do best while top executives rock the audience with critical messages and yearly results. Think international audience of 15,000 representing 28 countries. Think big. Really big. Now you have an inkling of what this event was like.
Every event comes with its fair share of challenges. This one? How do we showcase corporate speakers in a dynamic and engaging way while also setting the perfect stage for a variety of rock and pop acts? Three words. Quick set changes. In order to accommodate multiple musical acts operating within a business-meeting environment, the arena stage was comprised of twin 37’ x 21’ LED screens suspended above, configured in a chevron with state-of-the-art lightweight tiles. A pair of lower chevron screens – each spanning 26.5’ x 9’ flanking a 5’ x 9’ center screen “door” that receded to allow Walmart executives to walk out onto the stage. The clear visibility this stage arrangement provided made every seat a perfect one.
To keep the show moving along, each pair of screen walls could move independently. So while Walmart’s executives delivered important information about the company’s investment in new technology, equipment for Nick Jonas, Maxwell, and other performances could be set up in seconds behind the screens and dramatically revealed, instantaneously during their introductions. Even the flooring was inset with LED for sophisticated graphics prepared by LEO designers, creating a spectacular look for late-night comedian and event host James Corden to work the crowd.
If there’s one thing LEO loves to do, it’s finding innovative ways to wow an audience. Enter image projection mapping. In making his address, CEO Doug McMillon turned pages of a custom pop-up book while the images projected onto it depicted the history and growth of the company, starting in the ‘50s through the present. Overall, this sophisticated kind of stage set facilitated a seamless presentation and cemented Walmart’s position as a tech-savvy, forward-thinking company.
So what was the result? So glad you asked. The enthusiasm level of all participants was so high that associates were literally cheering and stomping before, during, and after every part of the show, especially the celebratory closing performance by superstar Katy Perry. Walmart associates went back to their stores in all corners of the globe feeling energized and proud to work for such an amazing organization and excited to share the experience. Put another one in the win column.
Services Provided: Staging, Production and Equipment, Content Management, Content Flow, Creative, Graphics, Speech Coaching, Technology, Environmental Design Services
If Santa had a Holiday Meeting, this would be it.
You know Dasher and Dancer and Donner and Vixen… but do you recall the most talented holiday event Grand Poobah’s of all? Yep, that would be LEO.
So every Fall, Walmart holds their annual Holiday Meeting. It’s that time of year when just around the corner are crazy crowds and incredible sales. A huge deal for retail, an even bigger deal for Walmart. And if they want the holidays to go off without a hitch, their internal team has to be up to speed on all the details about the upcoming sales season. LEO was tasked with guiding that giant sleigh of pertinent information.
The event includes two general sessions, plus a giant show floor set up to replicate a full-size Walmart store. In between sessions, store managers visit the show floor to take in a lot of important information and learn about featured products. Messaging is critical for this multi-day event, so we concentrated on what was important – sightlines for the presentations, visibility of the product, and clarity of content.
We started by creating a half-hexagon shaped stage with screens hung above to mimic the lines of the stage. We wanted to ensure everyone had perfect sightlines to both the speaker on-stage and their presentation overhead while also creating a more intimate environment for the 7,000 invitees. No easy task, but by constructing raised seating platforms in the rear of the hall, we accomplished just that.
LED walls served as a backdrop with a line of Christmas trees placed in front, while centered steps leading to a dais served as a grand entrance for presenters. This provided a unique, flexible dimensionality for a moderately-sized stage, but gave us the opportunity to place toys and gifts around the edge of the stage to give it that ‘it’s-beginning-to-look-a-lot-like-Christmas’ feeling.
Now, this holiday meeting is strictly a business meeting. But we all know what all work and no play makes… a very dull meeting. This event is all about the holidays. And the holidays are magical. So we proposed adding a little holiday sparkle and spunk to the speakers’ introductions. LEO assembled a unique troop of holiday dancers to enliven the meeting and provide the grandest holiday entrance ever for the company’s lead executives.
Like Santa and his elves, LEO handled everything from top to bottom to guarantee a very successful meeting. We originated the event logo and templates, created presentations for all general session speakers, and handled speech coaching to ensure all messaging was on target and on brand. And with that, the WalMart holiday shopping season was beautifully wrapped and ready to go!
Services Provided: Staging, Production and Equipment, Content Management, Content Flow, Creative, Graphics, Speech Coaching, Environmental Design Services
Sometimes you win, and sometimes you win together.
Is there anything better than winning? Well, there is one thing. Winning together. Now wouldn’t that make a great theme for the annual Walmart Year Beginning Meeting (YBM). We absolutely thought so.
Every March, Walmart, the world’s largest retail corporation and e-commerce giant, holds its annual Year Beginning Meeting (YBM). This year they wanted to get the more than 6,500 Walmart store, district and regional managers excited about the brick-and-mortar core business working in tandem with its online platform. And LEO knew just how to make it happen.
It’s one thing to say you promote the idea of Winning Together, and quite another to actually show it. To support the idea of together, LEO created a custom-built triangular stage that allowed event speakers to move out among the audience and engage the crowd. The Winning Together vibe continued throughout all design elements ––from the entire set-design to the graphics used in the presentation decks including the creation of a custom event logo.
To further support the meeting message points, Walmart needed outside reinforcement. Did we ever tell you how much we love securing talent? Well, we do, and in this case we tapped Ron Clark, whose background as an educator and motivational speaker not only reiterated the key messages of the executives, but who was also instrumental in reactivating attendees’ commitment to the company. We didn’t stop there. Walmart needed A-list talent fast, another one of our many talents…but who’s counting? In less than six hours from request to confirmation, LEO landed Grammy Award winning artist, Kenny Loggins.
A unique component of the show was the full-size Walmart store built on-site and within the 325,000-square feet of convention center space. It served as a display for suppliers to present merchandise to store managers. And it made highlighting new trends and products, as well as sharing creative practices to boost sales, relatable and super cool.
Often at these events, sound expertise becomes the unsung hero. While on the show floor, specialized presentations were delivered by subject-matter experts to individual group rotations of about 500 store managers per group. As you would expect, competing audio from presenters was a loud and annoying problem. LEO saved the sound and everyone’s sanity by creating a wireless, in-ear listening system, which provided separate headphones and receivers for all attendees to participate in specific demonstrations at dedicated times and in dedicated locations. Once each program began, the presentation was delivered live and directly from the speaker to the group through the headphones. Everyone could hear with no frustration. Plus, traffic jams of people were avoided since audiences were guided through the experience in a predetermined rotation.
In the end, Walmart managers, presenters, executives and LEO all did a whole lot of winning together. And that’s just the way we like it.