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Give us bread and circuses

by admin

What do you do if you, like us, are already tired of a year without offline events? Don’t know how to survive these quarantined-remote weekdays? And how not to lose all your energy and burn out in these Rapunzel four-walled conditions?
Give us bread and circuses
Before we could tell you about our experience with online conferences As suddenly we announce a new format – a video marathon! Let’s sort out what it is, why we came up with it, and what we got in the end. In a later article I’ll tell you about the formats and events in which we’ve performed or participated in 2020, but this article will focus on just one type of work.

What is it again?

If you read my previous article about our participation in online conferences, or rather non-participation, then you know very well that this year we were left not just without offline events, but without online format as well (although we had a couple of conferences).
Give us bread and circuses
Naturally, we looked for alternative forms of promotion and participation. Repeatedly we received offers ranging from sponsorships here and there to helping us organize our own conference. It was all interesting, and many thanks to business colleagues who approached us about cooperation. However, at that point I think we made a very rational decision and put all of our resources into ourselves and our team. So we got more involved in promoting our YouTube channel It’s understandable! After all, the whole world has gone visual and online, and we need to be competitive in this field.
While we were thinking over the concept of our channel an interesting idea occurred to us: why not try to make our own working format for shooting video clips? And there arises a logical question: "Why go somewhere, carrying equipment, people and shoot videos? Is it really impossible to shoot everything in the office? You can, but you do not want to:) Let’s see why.
Give us bread and circuses

Goals

In thinking about this format of work, we started with at least three goals.
First, we all went back to the office after the first quarantine, and we really needed an event to dilute the grayness of everyday life. The team was already half exhausted, everyone was tired, and wanted to get back to the office, work tightly in live teams, and feed off the energy of communication.
Second, multitasking in the office doesn’t allow you to focus only on videos. So this task could stretch on for months on end with periodic involvement of developers, leads, etc., which would very much stall the video content creation process and distract other employees from their focus tasks.
Third, we had to somehow pump up the developers’ skills in spokesmanship and public speaking. The lack of outside events doesn’t mean there’s no progress in those areas. Like all of you, we’re also planning to go back offline, and for that we need to train the team + during the quarantine we had new guys on staff who also needed to be adapted.
So the 5-day work week out of the office was killing several birds with one stone, which was very beneficial to us.
Give us bread and circuses

The process

And so the idea came, but how do we organize it? The first thing we do is remember that in preparing any event there are 3 stages (thanks, cap :D):

  • preparatory
  • day X
  • concluding

In the first phase we took apart the idea in details: we chose a place where we will go to hold such a format, chose speakers, organized logistics, made up the working schedule, wrote down the themes and scripts for the video in advance, checked or bought more technical equipment. As a result, the working group included not only programmers and some marketing specialists, but also our translator, who checked and translated the texts for the English videos. In addition, as a second event inside the video marathon, we organized training for managers, which fit very well into the plans and schedule.
The second step was putting our plan into action. On Monday, September 7, we drove part of the team out to the country compound to prepare the location for the shoot. It was intended that the team would be constantly changing. Some would leave, some would come. The people in charge of the video marathon and some of the guys who had a busy schedule for all the days stayed at the compound on a permanent basis. So, the project itself was very dynamic, and as an event manager I had to take a lot of things into account: from meeting each group of coming colleagues to some technical problems.
Give us bread and circuses
The third leg allowed us to gather feedback and form our own opinions on such events. After we returned, we got together as a team and discussed everything we got out of such a trip. We took out all the pros and cons. Of course, we can’t say that everything went smoothly. There were some controversial situations for technical or ideological reasons. One of the interesting versions that we heard from the guys was as follows: "Country complex is not associated with work, rather with a corporate event, so it is difficult to focus on the task". Surprisingly, it was the moment of discipline during the entire stay that was key for us. Everyone got so involved that we had to stop filming, on the contrary, as the guys got carried away and worked after 6:00 pm.

Conclusions

Someone may now, after reading this article, object and say that it is somehow irrational. On the contrary, we put people in a stressful situation. So yes, they filmed the footage… so what?
But here it is not. Stagnation is not an engine of progress at all. Yes, we could sit in the office and work and save resources until next year (or some other year, when everything goes back offline), but this year gave us a lot of stress, to which we had to adapt and create many times more than in previous years. Yes, our potential was limited because of some conditions, but we found a way. The video marathon showed us where to put more effort, what projects to develop. But most importantly – the whole focus was on the team – on the issues and problems of each individual person involved in the process! Such an approach certainly helped in maintaining the team spirit, because our people are the highest value of the company. After all, the product is also built on the team, so when I hear that only KPIs matter and people are just a resource, it is not surprising why the indicators of work done then do not grow or fall. A person comes in to work their salary, do their time and go home, because for that person it’s two different lives.
Give us bread and circuses
Our task is to work with pleasure, for everyone to feel a part of the team, for everyone to understand that he is a significant unit. Therefore, formats such as a video marathon inspire us and push us to continuous development. I wish you the same!
That’s it for me. Thanks for your attention 🙂
P.S. To see how it went, you can here

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