In 2020, the two-day virtual meeting ran from Sept. 8-9 and drew 7,500 Walmart associates from around the country. INVNT built, designed and managed the virtual experience, which aimed to evoke a Walmart store during the holiday season. The retail corporation used virtual merchandise booths, an interactive trivia game and other creative strategies to engage employees during its annual meeting.
The Basics: Walmart’s annual holiday meeting is a chance for the brand’s U.S. store leadership to preview new merchandise and make plans for the season—but it’s also a place to share best practices, recognize key accomplishments, and create a sense of camaraderie and team bonding.
Steal-Worthy Innovations: Organizers made attendee engagement a priority—and that was achieved by accommodating different learning styles and schedules. “How our associates were going to experience the meeting was the basis for all decision-making—it had to be meaningful, informative and engaging for them,” explained Jenifer Bice, Walmart’s senior director of event solutions.
Instead of asking associates to stick to a specific hour-by-hour schedule, the virtual environment “gave us the flexibility to have a mix of live sessions at specific times and rotational sessions on-demand, so that attendees could access them in the order and time that made the most sense for each individual person.” The team also utilized a variety of different sets, interview formats and content styles to keep attendees interested for the duration of the meeting.
To further keep employees engaged, the meeting featured an interactive, holiday-themed trivia game. The idea was to reward attendees who could showcase their newfound knowledge of the brand’s 2020 holiday strategy. Associates could click on a series of wrapped gifts to answer questions about specific business units, and there were live leaderboards and prizes that recognized the high performers.
Lessons Learned: Bice noted that moving to a virtual meeting allowed the team to “push the boundaries of creativity. In an in-person setting where you can touch and feel everything, it has to be real. So to create an environment where attendees had real-life elements—like leadership messages and in-depth videos of merchandise—coupled with a feeling of the virtual world, complemented each other nicely.”
This article originally appeared in Biz Bash.