125+ Employees enjoy their 1st Internal Hybrid Experience! 

After living a year of hardship during 2020, ICOM’s annual “Business Review Conference” was completely different.  In a truly hybrid format, the conference was live streamed for four days to all employees inside and outside of Egypt aiming to combine the in-presence event with virtual sessions.

The team who was supervising the organisation of the conference worked hard to add extra desks and space to the venue meeting rooms to maintain a safe and healthy atmosphere for all participants.

“Employees are the assets of the company, and their health & safety are always first and foremost in our minds, there is truly nothing more important.  We wanted our employees to be comfortable in order to live this new experience of the Hybrid Conference”, said Walid El Menessi, Chief Operating Officer.

“In ICOM Group, we believe that our employees are our number one customer.  And because we truly care about their health, safety & comfort, we changed the format of our “Annual Review Meeting” to be a Hybrid conference to be able to integrate a rich agenda with several topics to guarantee the full concentration and interaction of all virtual and in-person employees over the four days”, said Iman Ragheb – Executive Board Office Manager.

 The Business Review Conference was an incredibly powerful experience for all parties involved.  We utilised this gathering to celebrate our collective accomplishments and, more importantly, have employees from different offices around the world meet face-to-face to get the most benefit.  The main focus of the Management Team was to help the employees live a Hybrid Conference of their own industry, to see with their own eyes and feel with their hearts what attendees are experiencing during a hybrid event.

“Our cutting-edge software was the lifesaver behind this exciting experience.  We were able to promote an engaging atmosphere that succeeded in developing an augmented experience for all employees in the various destinations around the world.  We are sure that applying our 1st Hybrid Conference will elevate the business productivity and our employees’ sense of ownership during 2021”, said Marwa Emam, Marketing & PR Manager.

We tailored the conference agenda, based on researched guidelines, to assure that it will engender pride, loyalty, and future business opportunities:

  1. Bring Together Live & Virtual Attendees: Networking was very important during our Business Conference. We brought together all employees through simulated sessions, live polling and Q&A, and breakout sessions similar to any physical event.  It was important to make some room for networking sessions in the event itinerary and it was a great opportunity for our teams to connect with each other especially when they are located in various destinations.
  2. Diversified Topics: Our agenda was full of virtual and in-person sessions covering many tracks that generated considerable valuable discussion and insights about the future of the business:
    1. Case Studies & Product Awareness
    2. Best practices sessions, where the employees were requested to submit their projects through a ‘Jot Form’ prior to the event in order to be evaluated properly from the Management Team The top 5 winners received their awards the last day of the conference
    3. Crises management in Events Industry
    4. Reviewing the business plan 2021
    5. Demonstrating 2020 successes nationally & regionally
    6. Clients data protection sessions
    7. Industry knowledge sessions
    8. Digitalisation in the Events Industry
    9. Safety & Health Sessions
    10. Motivation sessions
  1. Offering Take Home Messages: Each speaker identified some takeaway messages of his or her presentation. The takeaway message was the one thing we wanted our employees to remember after each conference day and so start working on the 2021 Business Plan.

“The ICOM Group Management Team intended to do the annual meeting differently this year for the employees, especially after a long time of isolation.  They needed to meet, network and brainstorm, it is human nature after all.  So it was our role to help our employees enjoy this new engaging experience with certain safety constrains” said Salma Darwiche, Chief Business Development Officer.

We consider this annual gathering a unique opportunity to cement the relationship between the Top Management and the employees.  It creates a stage so that our staff can shine, it is a once-in-a-year team-building exercise that supercharges the whole company.  And, is a very honest way to do business.

When our employees know that every year they will have to stand in front of their management and colleagues to acknowledge everything they did correctly as well as the mistakes made, it is a humbling yet important step in making the company a better place.  We were delighted to see how engaged our employees were during the conference days.

We work with passion and commitment, we strive for the highest level of professionalism, alignment and employee engagement by organising these business meetings.  And so, the conference programme was customised to cover all the business aspects that are of interest to the employees” said Hossam Mady, Chief Commercial & Partnership Officer.

Transforming the annual business meeting into an engaging hybrid conference was not an easy mission.  It involved creativity, in-depth planning, foresight, tech streaming capabilities using our Flexible and customisable software, a competent team of digital executives and much more.  Thanks to all the technical team members who worked tirelessly over the four days to help make the meeting a successful and engaging experience for all.

“Employees who are aligned and engaged in their work and committed to their organisations give companies crucial competitive advantages – including higher productivity and lower employee turnover. Thus it is not surprising that we invest substantially in team building events and best practices, ones that foster engagement and commitment into our workplace” said Belal El Chal, ICOM Group CEO.

Special Thanks to Mr. Martin Boyle, IAPCO CEO, and Mr. Senthil Gopinath,  ICCA CEO, for their participation in the opening ceremony of the Business Conference.  Their motivational and encouraging speeches made a huge difference to the employees’ spirits.

And finally, thanks to all our employees for bringing their expertise and experience around the various tables and engaging in such fruitful, constructive and open exchanges throughout the four days of our Business Week.

Have a prosperous 2021!