"We created simple setups using unexpected, everyday materials so as to turn the meeting environment into a wonderland of creative ideation, problem-solving and exploration."
Global Meeting Designed With Innovation in Mind
How does innovation happen? It’s a process that’s likely difficult for many of us to articulate, perhaps because in the fast-paced world we operate in, we’ve never stopped to give it much thought. That’s exactly what the physical experience and interactive sessions at this year’s annual partner's meeting challenged leaders to do: pause, observe and ultimately see things in a creative new way.
This particular event was a designed to be a catalyst for innovative thinking, giving 600 attendees from around the world the chance to come together to review strategy and performance, learn about the latest developments across the business, and plan for the future. All this, through a series of problem solving activities from sudoku to tangrams.
The space was laid out as if you were walking into a story book, where the chapter themes of 'WE LOVE SOLVING COMPLEX PROBLEMS TO HELP CUSTOMERS THRIVE' was brought to life through intricate installations, hidden clues, immersive storytelling and a secret finale activity for social good.
One consistent theme that made this year’s meeting unique was that there was more to seemingly ordinary props that met the eye. Innovation often involves taking something old and reimagining it for a new purpose, and that was the inspiration behind many of the physical installations throughout the environment.
The audience were also taken through the story of the organization's future growth strategy through multiple 'chapters'. At each booth, there was an activity built into the environment. Attendees were encourage to solve challenging mathamatical puzzles along the way.
Innovation is never one thing. A spectrum from incremental to disruptive.
A simple solution to a problem or a new way of living in our world.
Innovation can be technologies that bring fresh water to developing countries. It can be unique business models and self driving cars.
For the event theme graphic, the design expression is inspired by the puzzle, problem solving game of ‘Tangram.’ Building off the dexterity and agility of the game, this year’s graphic expression will showcase the infinite ways in which attendees innovate, develop and get busy with creating new ideas, technologies and client relationships.
A key highlight of the three day conference was the playing of an innovation-themed game, where attendees and their families dismantled entire mission statement -themed installations—including the stage which, to everyone’s surprise, was constructed of cardboard boxes.
Together, 600 attendees filled these specially designed boxes with supplies from the rest of the deconstructed exhibits such as art supplies, blankets and toys, creating 400 care packages to be sent to dozens of Ronald McDonald Houses—a nonprofit organization that accommodates the families of children who are receiving medical care at hospitals across the United States.
INNOVATION STARTS HERE
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to walk in the shoes of a patient, or reimagine what ZS might look like from the eyes of a kid? Have you ever wondered what it might be like to attend the ultimate workshop meeting that was not just a place to collaborate, but also a playground of learning? Well you might just have stumbled across the right place of that. Welcome to the 2018 Partner's meeting! Come on in!
This year, the theme centers around ‘innovation.’ Over a short period of four months we were given the challenge of developing an attendee experience that could be easy to understand, visually memorable, yet dynamic enough for attendees interact with, learn from, and take ideas home to their teams / clients.
After multiple iterations and brainstorming sessions, we developed a narrative that placed children at the center of the experience. From the theme graphic shaped as a tangram cube, to an onsite adventure story, to different ‘empathy set ups’ replicating a hospital space or a hotel lodge, you’ll discover what it is like to solve complex problems through fresh eyes.
Simple set ups using cardboard, toys, and print graphics turn many of the spaces our clients and their patients experience everyday into a wonderland of creative exploration. Our goal was to also design an event that will be welcoming to the families who will be there, and integrate them more into the programming so that the experience is relevant to all, no matter what their age.
Finally, innovation must always be for social good. We concluded the event by spending the final day having attendees dismantle the entire stage backdrop made of boxes, where each one was uniquely matched to a child in need. Partnering with Ronald McDonald House Charities, attendees took these gifts to the centers, and spent the afternoon visiting patients around the area.
Game Concept, Environmental Design, Music Direction, Visual & Creative Direction: Lee Changzhi
Venues: Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, California
Project date: 2018