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

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