How Sharethrough Managed to Execute a Virtual Kickoff that Employees Actually Enjoyed

5
at
5
minutes
Technical Level
March 28, 2022
5
minutes
Technical Level
March 28, 2022
Sharethrough
Contributing Authors & Industry Leaders
It was January 2022, and we spent the last 2 years on lockdown watching and re-watching movies on Netflix, and although we hoped to kick off the year in person, Omicron had different plans for us. Instead of dwelling on yet another Covid roadblock, we decided to focus on how to get everyone at Sharethrough motivated, inspired, and ready with a fun, team-building kickoff experience. 

Keep reading to learn more about how we used a theme, quizzes, and guest speakers to execute a virtual kickoff that people really enjoyed!

The Digital Shift

It’s 2022, and as the advertising industry experiences the great digital shift of linear TV to Connected TV, Sharethrough is getting ready to lead the video category. Although the last couple of years haven’t been easy and our plans for an in-person kickoff abroad were derailed, we were determined to have a fun kickoff, even if it had to be virtual.

Objectives

Our objective was simple: To motivate everyone at Sharethrough for the exciting new year ahead, inspire them to come up with innovative ideas and solutions, and be ready to face any challenges along the way.

The advertising industry is shifting towards cookieless environments, while connected TVs and ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) services are experiencing exponential growth, marking this as a pivotal year for ad tech. 

Read More: [Video] 7 Ad Tech Predictions for 2022: CTV, Addressability & the Metaverse

The Virtual Kickoff

The kickoff ran between January 24th-28th, and we’ll admit, it wasn’t easy running it virtually, let alone trying to make it enjoyable too. Although there’s no universal formula on how to run a successful and engaging virtual kickoff, we tried to keep it simple, light, and most importantly, fun. 

How did we do it? Having a theme for the virtual kickoff made the presentations more captivating, and all the cool props and fun skits were a welcomed surprise. We also had industry leaders join us as guest speakers, making the week all the more exciting!

Theme

We tried to think of a theme that everyone could participate in and movies sounded like the best choice. We spent the last two years watching and rewatching our favorite movies, new releases, and movies that we never got around to watching pre-pandemic. 

We asked the teams to use a movie as a way to drive their presentations forward. Movie genres were randomly assigned to different teams, so teams could avoid accidentally using the same movie example in all their presentations.

"I thought all of the presentation were engaging, interesting and it made it fun having a theme!"

Presentations

People wore costumes of movie characters, props were used for the presentations or as prizes. Original skits written and acted by the teams had everyone smiling, laughing, and participating! 

Teams re-edited movie scenes to add their own voices and faces to the movie characters, some created quizzes on Kahoot, others had Jeopardy-like quizzes. And to make it a little more interesting, winners would receive prizes like sunglasses, gift cards, or Sharethrough swag.

Guest Speakers

If the last couple of years taught us anything, it is that plans can unexpectedly change at any time. But we can find the best ways to prepare, thanks to the insights we learned from the industry leaders that joined us during our virtual kickoff.

We first spoke with Paul Ross, CFO at VideoAmp, about the explosion of mergers and acquisitions in ad tech. We also had the opportunity to chat with ad tech veterans Ari Paparo and Ben Antier, founders of CTV-driven companies, about their insights into connected TV.

Read More: 4 Ways Programmatic CTV is Uniquely Suited to Improve Attention

We were joined by Per Bjorke, Group Product Manager at Google, who told us about ad and supply quality at Google. And finally, we had the honor of meeting with Eileen Schloss, Chair of Sharethrough’s People & Culture Committee about what it takes to build a successful company culture.

Read More: How Sharethrough Supports Employees' Mental & Physical Health

Living up to Our Values

It may not have been what we hoped for, but if we maintain our resiliency and collaborate within and throughout the company, we can pull off a truly enjoyable virtual kickoff and come out stronger together on the other side. 

Was the Virtual Kickoff Fun?

We got the vibe that people enjoyed the virtual kickoff, but we wanted to give everyone the chance to say how they really felt. Using Officevibe, we sent out a survey to all our employees where they could give us anonymous feedback. We wanted to know whether people enjoyed the presentations and how they collaborated as a way to measure the success of the virtual kickoff. What did people think?

Enjoyment

Even though our original trip abroad was postponed, we were determined to put together a fun virtual kickoff. Our resiliency paid off, and we put together a kickoff that 8 out of 10 people truly enjoyed! Having a theme really added more to the enjoyment of the presentations, and we received some great feedback from our employees.

“The 2022 kickoff was fantastic and engaging. Couldn't think of any improvement because it's already out of this world!”

Collaboration

We hoped the virtual kickoff would promote teams to collaborate amongst themselves to come up with an engaging presentation. On average, 8 out of 10 of our employees felt their teams collaborated more. It’s not every day we make movie-themed presentations, but the collaboration within teams produced some truly engaging skits and quizzes while remaining informative of their OKRs. We were in stitches from laughing so hard, the virtual kickoff ended too soon! 

Not only that, the collaboration between teams helped to make our 2022 virtual kickoff an exceptional one.  

Life at Sharethrough 

To learn more about life at Sharethrough, click to find out how we like to have fun at work!

It was January 2022, and we spent the last 2 years on lockdown watching and re-watching movies on Netflix, and although we hoped to kick off the year in person, Omicron had different plans for us. Instead of dwelling on yet another Covid roadblock, we decided to focus on how to get everyone at Sharethrough motivated, inspired, and ready with a fun, team-building kickoff experience. 

Keep reading to learn more about how we used a theme, quizzes, and guest speakers to execute a virtual kickoff that people really enjoyed!

The Digital Shift

It’s 2022, and as the advertising industry experiences the great digital shift of linear TV to Connected TV, Sharethrough is getting ready to lead the video category. Although the last couple of years haven’t been easy and our plans for an in-person kickoff abroad were derailed, we were determined to have a fun kickoff, even if it had to be virtual.

Objectives

Our objective was simple: To motivate everyone at Sharethrough for the exciting new year ahead, inspire them to come up with innovative ideas and solutions, and be ready to face any challenges along the way.

The advertising industry is shifting towards cookieless environments, while connected TVs and ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) services are experiencing exponential growth, marking this as a pivotal year for ad tech. 

Read More: [Video] 7 Ad Tech Predictions for 2022: CTV, Addressability & the Metaverse

The Virtual Kickoff

The kickoff ran between January 24th-28th, and we’ll admit, it wasn’t easy running it virtually, let alone trying to make it enjoyable too. Although there’s no universal formula on how to run a successful and engaging virtual kickoff, we tried to keep it simple, light, and most importantly, fun. 

How did we do it? Having a theme for the virtual kickoff made the presentations more captivating, and all the cool props and fun skits were a welcomed surprise. We also had industry leaders join us as guest speakers, making the week all the more exciting!

Theme

We tried to think of a theme that everyone could participate in and movies sounded like the best choice. We spent the last two years watching and rewatching our favorite movies, new releases, and movies that we never got around to watching pre-pandemic. 

We asked the teams to use a movie as a way to drive their presentations forward. Movie genres were randomly assigned to different teams, so teams could avoid accidentally using the same movie example in all their presentations.

"I thought all of the presentation were engaging, interesting and it made it fun having a theme!"

Presentations

People wore costumes of movie characters, props were used for the presentations or as prizes. Original skits written and acted by the teams had everyone smiling, laughing, and participating! 

Teams re-edited movie scenes to add their own voices and faces to the movie characters, some created quizzes on Kahoot, others had Jeopardy-like quizzes. And to make it a little more interesting, winners would receive prizes like sunglasses, gift cards, or Sharethrough swag.

Guest Speakers

If the last couple of years taught us anything, it is that plans can unexpectedly change at any time. But we can find the best ways to prepare, thanks to the insights we learned from the industry leaders that joined us during our virtual kickoff.

We first spoke with Paul Ross, CFO at VideoAmp, about the explosion of mergers and acquisitions in ad tech. We also had the opportunity to chat with ad tech veterans Ari Paparo and Ben Antier, founders of CTV-driven companies, about their insights into connected TV.

Read More: 4 Ways Programmatic CTV is Uniquely Suited to Improve Attention

We were joined by Per Bjorke, Group Product Manager at Google, who told us about ad and supply quality at Google. And finally, we had the honor of meeting with Eileen Schloss, Chair of Sharethrough’s People & Culture Committee about what it takes to build a successful company culture.

Read More: How Sharethrough Supports Employees' Mental & Physical Health

Living up to Our Values

It may not have been what we hoped for, but if we maintain our resiliency and collaborate within and throughout the company, we can pull off a truly enjoyable virtual kickoff and come out stronger together on the other side. 

Was the Virtual Kickoff Fun?

We got the vibe that people enjoyed the virtual kickoff, but we wanted to give everyone the chance to say how they really felt. Using Officevibe, we sent out a survey to all our employees where they could give us anonymous feedback. We wanted to know whether people enjoyed the presentations and how they collaborated as a way to measure the success of the virtual kickoff. What did people think?

Enjoyment

Even though our original trip abroad was postponed, we were determined to put together a fun virtual kickoff. Our resiliency paid off, and we put together a kickoff that 8 out of 10 people truly enjoyed! Having a theme really added more to the enjoyment of the presentations, and we received some great feedback from our employees.

“The 2022 kickoff was fantastic and engaging. Couldn't think of any improvement because it's already out of this world!”

Collaboration

We hoped the virtual kickoff would promote teams to collaborate amongst themselves to come up with an engaging presentation. On average, 8 out of 10 of our employees felt their teams collaborated more. It’s not every day we make movie-themed presentations, but the collaboration within teams produced some truly engaging skits and quizzes while remaining informative of their OKRs. We were in stitches from laughing so hard, the virtual kickoff ended too soon! 

Not only that, the collaboration between teams helped to make our 2022 virtual kickoff an exceptional one.  

Life at Sharethrough 

To learn more about life at Sharethrough, click to find out how we like to have fun at work!

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About Behind Headlines: 180 Seconds in Ad Tech—

Behind Headlines: 180 Seconds in Ad Tech is a short 3-minute podcast exploring the news in the digital advertising industry. Ad tech is a fast-growing industry with many updates happening daily. As it can be hard for most to keep up with the latest news, the Sharethrough team wanted to create an audio series compiling notable mentions each week.

It was January 2022, and we spent the last 2 years on lockdown watching and re-watching movies on Netflix, and although we hoped to kick off the year in person, Omicron had different plans for us. Instead of dwelling on yet another Covid roadblock, we decided to focus on how to get everyone at Sharethrough motivated, inspired, and ready with a fun, team-building kickoff experience. 

Keep reading to learn more about how we used a theme, quizzes, and guest speakers to execute a virtual kickoff that people really enjoyed!

The Digital Shift

It’s 2022, and as the advertising industry experiences the great digital shift of linear TV to Connected TV, Sharethrough is getting ready to lead the video category. Although the last couple of years haven’t been easy and our plans for an in-person kickoff abroad were derailed, we were determined to have a fun kickoff, even if it had to be virtual.

Objectives

Our objective was simple: To motivate everyone at Sharethrough for the exciting new year ahead, inspire them to come up with innovative ideas and solutions, and be ready to face any challenges along the way.

The advertising industry is shifting towards cookieless environments, while connected TVs and ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) services are experiencing exponential growth, marking this as a pivotal year for ad tech. 

Read More: [Video] 7 Ad Tech Predictions for 2022: CTV, Addressability & the Metaverse

The Virtual Kickoff

The kickoff ran between January 24th-28th, and we’ll admit, it wasn’t easy running it virtually, let alone trying to make it enjoyable too. Although there’s no universal formula on how to run a successful and engaging virtual kickoff, we tried to keep it simple, light, and most importantly, fun. 

How did we do it? Having a theme for the virtual kickoff made the presentations more captivating, and all the cool props and fun skits were a welcomed surprise. We also had industry leaders join us as guest speakers, making the week all the more exciting!

Theme

We tried to think of a theme that everyone could participate in and movies sounded like the best choice. We spent the last two years watching and rewatching our favorite movies, new releases, and movies that we never got around to watching pre-pandemic. 

We asked the teams to use a movie as a way to drive their presentations forward. Movie genres were randomly assigned to different teams, so teams could avoid accidentally using the same movie example in all their presentations.

"I thought all of the presentation were engaging, interesting and it made it fun having a theme!"

Presentations

People wore costumes of movie characters, props were used for the presentations or as prizes. Original skits written and acted by the teams had everyone smiling, laughing, and participating! 

Teams re-edited movie scenes to add their own voices and faces to the movie characters, some created quizzes on Kahoot, others had Jeopardy-like quizzes. And to make it a little more interesting, winners would receive prizes like sunglasses, gift cards, or Sharethrough swag.

Guest Speakers

If the last couple of years taught us anything, it is that plans can unexpectedly change at any time. But we can find the best ways to prepare, thanks to the insights we learned from the industry leaders that joined us during our virtual kickoff.

We first spoke with Paul Ross, CFO at VideoAmp, about the explosion of mergers and acquisitions in ad tech. We also had the opportunity to chat with ad tech veterans Ari Paparo and Ben Antier, founders of CTV-driven companies, about their insights into connected TV.

Read More: 4 Ways Programmatic CTV is Uniquely Suited to Improve Attention

We were joined by Per Bjorke, Group Product Manager at Google, who told us about ad and supply quality at Google. And finally, we had the honor of meeting with Eileen Schloss, Chair of Sharethrough’s People & Culture Committee about what it takes to build a successful company culture.

Read More: How Sharethrough Supports Employees' Mental & Physical Health

Living up to Our Values

It may not have been what we hoped for, but if we maintain our resiliency and collaborate within and throughout the company, we can pull off a truly enjoyable virtual kickoff and come out stronger together on the other side. 

Was the Virtual Kickoff Fun?

We got the vibe that people enjoyed the virtual kickoff, but we wanted to give everyone the chance to say how they really felt. Using Officevibe, we sent out a survey to all our employees where they could give us anonymous feedback. We wanted to know whether people enjoyed the presentations and how they collaborated as a way to measure the success of the virtual kickoff. What did people think?

Enjoyment

Even though our original trip abroad was postponed, we were determined to put together a fun virtual kickoff. Our resiliency paid off, and we put together a kickoff that 8 out of 10 people truly enjoyed! Having a theme really added more to the enjoyment of the presentations, and we received some great feedback from our employees.

“The 2022 kickoff was fantastic and engaging. Couldn't think of any improvement because it's already out of this world!”

Collaboration

We hoped the virtual kickoff would promote teams to collaborate amongst themselves to come up with an engaging presentation. On average, 8 out of 10 of our employees felt their teams collaborated more. It’s not every day we make movie-themed presentations, but the collaboration within teams produced some truly engaging skits and quizzes while remaining informative of their OKRs. We were in stitches from laughing so hard, the virtual kickoff ended too soon! 

Not only that, the collaboration between teams helped to make our 2022 virtual kickoff an exceptional one.  

Life at Sharethrough 

To learn more about life at Sharethrough, click to find out how we like to have fun at work!

About Calibrate—

Founded in 2015, Calibrate is a yearly conference for new engineering managers hosted by seasoned engineering managers. The experience level of the speakers ranges from newcomers all the way through senior engineering leaders with over twenty years of experience in the field. Each speaker is greatly concerned about the craft of engineering management. Organized and hosted by Sharethrough, it was conducted yearly in September, from 2015-2019 in San Francisco, California.

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Sharethrough
Contributing Authors & Industry Leaders

About the Author

Sharethrough is made up of inspired forward-thinkers with first hand knowledge of the industry, who support the business & help the company flourish.

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