If you’re lacking a clear vision or a well-defined strategy, the scribing wall can be the perfect canvas on which to project people’s ideas and shape a picture of where you’re heading. When Google merged some of their existing departments to create new Google Cloud Connect teams in Europe and Asia, we used digital scribing at their events to encourage interaction and bring their teams on board their exciting new journey.
If you’re lacking a clear vision or a well-defined strategy, the scribing wall can be the perfect canvas on which to project people’s ideas and shape a picture of where you’re heading.
When Google merged some of their existing departments to create new Google Cloud Connect teams in Europe and Asia, their need for a blank canvas was clear.
Megan Stack, Executive Communications Manager, says: ‘We were really excited to have formed these new regional teams, but we didn’t have a strong strategic statement or vision to share with them. We had the idea of hosting a series of ‘write it together’ conferences, where the teams could contribute their thoughts on the direction of GCC, and we could embark on a journey to find answers together.’
It goes without saying that Google employees are well accustomed to the latest cutting-edge technologies and innovations. The tricky task for Megan was finding two unique digital experiences for events in Dublin and Macau that were interactive and impactful to audiences of 400, while also staying true to Google’s fun and quirky culture.
It was also key that Google captured the content from each of the conferences to share with wider departments in the company.
Megan had heard of ‘live drawing’ before and thought it might fit her criteria: ‘I got in touch with a few companies who offered live drawing services, but as soon as I came across ‘scribing’ on Scriberia’s website, I immediately knew they were the right artists for our events. I not only loved the look of their illustrations, but also how they used scribing to encourage interaction at live events.’
She got in touch with Scriberia’s Live Events Producer, Emily Spicer, to see if they could deliver the digital experience she had in mind.
‘Emily understood what I wanted straight away,’ Megan says. ‘She was brimming with ideas on how we could innovate our events with a unique interactive experience. From the first phone call, I was confident she would be able to deliver something amazing.’
Megan and Emily worked collaboratively to bring to life two digital scribing formats that fostered interaction and engagement.
At the first conference in Dublin, delegates were given sheets of paper on which to complete the sentence, ‘I want to work in a GCC that…’ Scrunching up the paper, they then threw their ‘snowballs’ of wisdom onto the stage, where GCC’s Vice-President, Anwar Akram, was on-hand to read each answer out.
As he read the teams’ thoughts, Scriberia’s visualiser, Sam Hubbard, began drawing their ideas on an iPad, which was being live-projected onto a screen behind the stage. The team could see their thoughts immortalised on the screen as they were read out. Sam then scribed a Q&A session and talks from other key stakeholders within the business.
Posed with the same question, the team in Macau used an app to submit their ideas for the GCC Asia team. The app analysed their answers and identified key trends, which Sam then illustrated into a word-cloud when the conference took place.
For Megan, it was key that the digital scribes in Dublin and Macau looked different. And, so, Sam created a visual pathway, rather than a table of squares, that featured valuable advice from gTech and GMS Sales VPs, as well as a Q&A session at the end of the event.
Megan says, ‘Scribing was the perfect metaphor for what we were trying to say. The blank screen represented the start of the teams’ journey; a place where everybody’s ideas could come together to forge a direction for the future.
‘I had to really trust that Emily and Sam, two people I had never worked with before, could deliver an amazing experience on a huge stage in front of 400 people, including important stakeholders. They 100% delivered and the scribing added a ‘wow’ element that encouraged interaction from the teams. You don’t really understand the impact of scribing until you’re there seeing the picture unfold.’
Sam’s ability to draw while listening for new content was particularly impressive, putting Megan’s mind at ease that all the key moments were being captured. ‘Sam was fantastic, not just because of his artistic skill, but because of his amazing ability to identify key quotes and important takeaways. Despite having limited knowledge of the business, Sam instinctively knew which were the important insights and killer quotes. I found his talent remarkable.’
Megan has since used Sam’s illustrations to promote the event to the rest of the company: ‘Following the event, we were able to pull the visual assets together and create a really nice interactive flyer, which we sent to all of the wider teams. People loved them and they were really well received.
‘The illustrations have really helped to get people excited about these events and their interactive formats. Some of our executives have even changed their photos on our internal directory to Sam’s illustrated portraits, so the events definitely live on within the Google offices.’
Scriberia’s Live Events Producer, Emily Spicer, too, found it a particularly exciting and creative experience: ‘The possibilities for engagement and interaction through digital storytelling are really exciting for us at Scriberia. It was a fantastic experience working with Google on such a creative project, exploring different formats to visualise their teams’ journeys and bring their ideas to life. I look forward to seeing what other forms of digital storytelling we can work on together in the future.’