Namely HR Redefined Powers up New York City

Category: Ideas, Work

With over 500 HR professionals who attended Namely’s third annual conference, HR Redefined, MC² helped organize a successful 2-day event featuring inspiring sessions and panel discussions with over 30 prominent speakers and also threw in a client boot camp for Namely “power users”. 

It’s like this. The first year you and your team decided to have a conference you did it all yourselves. You booked the space, hired the caterer, created the theme, masterminded the agenda, designed the invites, tracked registration, handled payments, sourced speakers, developed breakout session topics, hired A/V staff, and so forth. The outcome was positive, but it was exhausting.

And always lurking in the background was the mantra “What did we forget?” Yet, the positive feedback from the conference guaranteed another the next year. But who wants to go through all that again?

The Ask

That scenario was similar to what Namely, a human resources software company in New York, faced when their successful event was poised for its third annual conference.

MC² was chosen to produce Namely’s “HR Redefined” conference because of our experience, expertise, and simple but compelling conference design.

Strategy and Task at Hand

Then we went to work. The conference was to take place in a film production studio in Tribeca— also home to screenings of the Tribeca Film Festival. The atmosphere was fashionable, sleek, and pristine.

Registration was at street level and an elevator ride to the sixth floor for 30-plus break out sessions and keynotes from the likes of New York Times Best Selling Author Shawn Achor and more.

The seventh floor was reserved for in-depth training sessions with Namely’s newest HR software. Floor five was home to sponsors and a lounge with charging stations and a chic cold brew coffee station.

A vertical conference plan is not new in New York. Often, venues in other cities have the luxury of spreading out on one floor. For HR Redefined, the elevators and stairs were in constant use. Wayfinding was imperative to keep attendees headed in the right direction– up or down.

As soon as Namely approved the blue-on-blue theme treatment and supersized cut-out letters for the event logo, production commenced. The MC² team pulled together an ace experiential conference account staff consisting of an event producer, stage manager, audio, video, lighting, and graphics teams.

Namely Paints the Town Blue in New York City

Luckily, the venue was supportive and played a big role in making an efficient set up possible. A multipurpose space is like a hiking trail in the Adirondacks or Red Rock Canyon. If you pack it in, you pack it out.

Here, instead of sleeping bags and trail mix, it was chairs, furniture, and curtains. The space did provide truss, so we were able to provide lighting — an often overlooked feature that lends drama and excitement to a presentation.

With top-notch A/V, the keynotes and breakouts sounded great and were fed to a conference-wide audio system and to an internal live webcast for Namely staff in Manhattan, San Francisco, Austin, Atlanta, and LA.

Having a stage manager means presentations start on time, speakers are prepped in advance and all moving parts are kept in motion without interruption.

With over 30 inspiring speakers including poet Azure Antoinette, author and happiness researcher Shawn Achor and one of the most successful coaches in NCAA history, Valorie Kondos Field, HR Redefined was a complete show stopper for all who attended.

Here is a clip of Valorie, also known affectionately as “Miss Val”, engaging with the audience as she added more power to her mantra of “Be anxious for nothing and grateful for all things.”

When there was a need for a prompter yet a teleprompter was not available, printed cards were broadcast on a closed-circuit monitor for the comfort of the presenters. There was ample seating and private meeting spaces for attendees, whether they wanted to chat with colleagues, catch up on their emails or simply seek a moment of zen with a cup of coffee.

Every venue has its quirks and foibles and New York City is no exception. For some reason, even though this conference was totally indoors, New York requires an application for a public assembly permit. There were other challenges like restricted load-in times (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.), tractor-trailers prohibited from deliveries in the city, and small hurdles like the Five Boro Bike Tour with 32,000 cyclists the same day as load-in and working around the Tribeca Film Festival during load out.

Working with Namely, was a fantastic opportunity for MC² to showcase expertise in the Meeting and Convention space, which is just another one of our experiential strategy strengths.

If you are looking for a company that can help you strategize, plan and create an unforgettable and engaging meeting or conference, no matter the scale, drop us a note. Our experiential experts will get right in touch. 


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