Friday May 23, 2008

A look back at the Sun Second Life event ... and how we got executives to participate!

Now that the Second Life event is over, our project team is getting asked “How did you pull an event like that together?”

For starters, it required a ton of planning. Forging new ground is never easy – especially when it's in the virtual world. Our first order of business was getting some of our Sun executives to participate. One event goal was to enable newly acquired employees from MySQL, Vaau and innotek to meet Sun employees and learn more about the Sun business groups, products and services. This goal, along with an explanation of the time commitment required, was enough to draw the first handful of execs. And when word spread about who agreed to participate, it was only a matter of time before we had 14 execs confirmed for the event. Plus, the allure of reaching many global employees for free in a matter minutes was pretty compelling.

Executive Presentations

Another selling point? We (as in the Second Life planning team) made it easy for them to participate. A team of Sun Second Life stylists was employed to ensure the exec avatars looked their best. Plus, 1:1 training was held in a secure Second Life area so execs felt comfortable navigating around the new world.

Prior to the event, we booked a conference room and installed phone lines and hard wire internet. We borrowed and configured laptops (with great graphics cards) from colleagues to give our executive presenters the best inworld experience possible. This room became “command central” on the day of the event, and all the execs were invited to come to this room to give their Second Life presentations.

Executive Presentations

Because most of the executives were still “newbies” in Second Life, a small team controlled most of their avatars inworld on event day. Despite having some execs who were brave enough to present and control their avatar simultaneously, we still implemented one safety net - a very discreet barrier circled the stage so that someone could not tumble off accidentally.

The resulting presentations were amazingly natural, full of information, and very personable. Jonathan talked about his
small children connecting with other kids via WebKinz (a Sun customer), some execs poked fun  their avatars, and nearly all the execs talked about why they came to work for Sun. The goal of getting to know the leaders was met!

Plus, we had a good turnout - with an average of 185 avatars in the Sun theatre at any one time and about 1,751 people accessing the webstream throughout the day.

Executive Presentations


A multitude of other activities took place throughout the day too. Check back here for future blogs about how we planned the other components, like setting up the entertainment, organizing the information booths staffed by Sun employees and sandbox events.

So there you have it. Considering it was our first event of this magnitude, we think it went pretty well. Sure, there were some avatars who forgot to put their clothes on, and others couldn't hear the audio well, but most of the event went off without a hitch.  Did you go? We're curious what you thought...

- Employees Connect in SL Planning team

Wednesday Apr 30, 2008

We Rocked

April 29th - I woke with real trepidation about the day ahead!!  Our first employee event in Second Life - not only that we were going to stream the event to those employees who could not attend inworld.  

We had roped in Chris Melissinos our Chief Gaming Officer to host the event (that guy is incredible - not only did he do an outstanding job hosting but also acted as DJ, streaming in a few of his favourites sounds during the breaks).  Trinity 3 an incredible jazz band kicked off the day with some incredible live music - dancing at 7am in the morning is definitely good for the soul!. 

Bill MacGowan - EVP People & Places was the first on the agenda, followed by Rich Green - EVP Software, Marten Mickos - SVP Database Group, Scott McNealy - Chairman, Karie Willyerd- CLO & VP Sun Learning Services, Jonathan Schwartz - CEO & President, Don Grantham - EVP GSS, John Fowler - EVP Systems, Lin Lee - VP Global Communities, Mary Cay Kosten - VP Global Customer Services, Liz Matthews - Software Marketing, Mike Dillon - EVP General Counsel, Ingrid Van Den Hoogen - SVP Brand Marketing and finally Hal Stern - DE & VP Global Systems Engineering.

Not only did we have a formal agenda but all through the day employees inworld had the opportunity to have some fun as well, from skiing and skating at Alpine Resort, Racing cars on some of the fastest tracks in SL at Racers Island to participating in building classes, a dukes quest and an egg hunt on our own islands.  (The golden egg has not been found - its still out there hidden on one of our public islands)

We are still experimenting with virtual environments - as someone said to me we took the plunge with this event and it was a totally amazing experience!

Just to give you an idea of the size of the build - the complex sat on 4 islands and is reportedly the biggest building in SL


Jonathan Schwartz & Chris Melissinos.

This was not only an amazing experience it created a real buzz around the possibility of these virtual environments.  Keep your eyes open for what is happening in Second Life around JavaOne!

I will leave you with my most embarassing moment of the day.

In preparing the Employee Egg Hunt

Fiona May: "need to sort these eggs out and I will go lay them"

Thursday Apr 17, 2008

I'm going to Sun's Employee Second Life party... are you?

I'm not one to miss a party, so when I heard that Sun is throwing a big one - I made sure to mark it in my calendar: Tuesday
April 29 in Second Life!
(Sun employees ONLY)

It's not often I get to attend an event with Jonathan Schwartz, Don Grantham, Bill MacGowan, and so many other executives, so I'm going to make sure I look and act my best by attending a Sun Employee Second life workshop on customizing my avatar and functioning (walking, communicating). That way, I know I'll be appropriately dressed, unlike some of my colleagues who have inadvertently wound up in Second Life in the buff!

Barrel guy

As a newbie to Second Life, I'm sure I'll encounter a few hiccups at the party, but luckily several Sun Second Life mentors will be
available to answer any questions I have. I also heard they'll be passing out welcome packets containing Sun swag, an agenda, and a map of the Sun landmarks, so I feel like I'll have lots of support should I encounter any issues.

But the most exciting aspect of this whole shin dig is that I get to mix and mingle with many old and new Sun employees from around the world. What a great way to make our Sun world feel smaller - and more connected.

Hope to see you there!

Gillian Tucker
Global Employee Communications and Communities (GECCO)

 connect event banner


Information, learning, stories and more about Oracle in virtual worlds.


« July 2016