How do you maintain an intimate vibe at a 15,000-person conference? For Isagenix, the key is making everyone feel at home.
Creating a compelling large corporate event is more challenging than ever. When unlimited entertainment choices are only an app-click away and a clever selfie can ignite an instant meme on social media, is it any wonder that Fomo—fear of missing out—is increasingly driving our behavior? With so much external stimuli competing for our time and attention, pity the beleaguered conference planner, who strives to break through all the noise. But for Storey Pryor, senior director of events at Isagenix, a direct-selling health and nutrition company, FOMO is a strategy to embrace as she plans its annual Global Celebration event. Last year’s affair brought together 15,000 people for a bespoke affair at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas in August. Another 20,000 Isagenix customer-entrepreneurs took part via live video feed. And while Pryor wants those people to experience the proceedings vicariously, she also wants them to see the fun they’re missing. “When someone is putting our show on Facebook Live,” she says, “we love to create that fear of missing out for the people who aren’t in the room.” The team at The Venetian worked with Pryor to create an experience facilitating meaningful connections and lasting bonds. That was especially important for an event like Global Celebration, which has ballooned from the 2,500 who attended one of the first events in 2010. Since then, the company’s annual sales have catapulted from $200 million to nearly $1 billion, and attendance at the event has risen accordingly. The challenge now is providing each attendee with the same sense of community and personal commitment as at that first get-together—no small feat for a massive event. “The bigger we get, the [greater the] challenge of creating the touchpoints that engage every attendee,” Pryor says. “You can feel small when you’re in a room with 15,000 people, so we have to get more creative.” She and her team aimed to create a space “where everyone feels like they’re part of the show, whether they’re in the front row or the very last row.” In The Venetian, Pryor has found a partner that helps her team do just that. That includes completely reconfiguring the main event space, offering a vast array of health-conscious fare, and providing dedicated support from an in-house tech team. The Venetian was fully equipped to make each attendee feel like the star of the show.
PARTY FOR ALL
For Isagenix, Las Vegas wasn’t the most obvious choice for an event of this magnitude. “We’re a health and nutrition company, and we want to make sure that we’re in an environment with a very healthy and familyfriendly setting,” Pryor says. However, The Venetian’s emphasis on sustainability and wide-ranging varieties of event spaces aligned with the company’s values, allowing Pryor and her team to focus on creating an event to remember.
The Venetian Resort boasts a Gold LEED certification, demonstrating a commitment to sustainable development, and offers a variety of health-conscious dining options. “People get pretty mad if it’s all hamburgers and fries,” Pryor says, referring to a problem the company has faced at other venues. With vegan, gluten-free, organic, and locally sourced meals offered by The Venetian, the fitness-focused Isagenix attendees were able to dine well without guilt. And for a company like Isagenix, it’s important that all feel welcome and secure at an event, no matter the size. “It’s our job to make sure we’re creating this loving, warm environment where they feel happy to be part of something that’s bigger than them,” Pryor says. “We were able to see how we could transform the room, and we just loved the setting.” The location of The Venetian, its ability to accommodate children, and professional in-house team eliminated the challenges of being stretched throughout venues across a city—in essence, the venue becomes a small city unto itself.
BIG . . . YET SMALL
The vast event space at The Venetian was instrumental in determining the atmosphere of the multiday event, especially for a company in which many employees work remotely or with small teams. “When we have our events, we have to make sure that [attendees] feel like they’re at home,” Pryor says. Each detail is designed within the Isagenix community, from customized letters and key cards to personalized in-room decorations. The unified event space at The Venetian, one of the world’s largest hotels, provides the backdrop for this cohesive experience. “Along with having enough hotel rooms for all our attendees, The Venetian also hosts 12 receptions within Global Celebration, all of which were right near the hub of the event,” Pryor says. “We walked literally 50 steps to go from the general session into the store.” This allows Isagenix to carry the celebratory spirit from events and product demonstrations to meals and networking events. “We want everyone to feel close and connected,” Pryor says, emphasizing the myriad of options at The Venetian for both events and downtime. Having guests stay just a five-minute walk from the main event space solved many of the aesthetic and geographic hurdles Pryor’s team has encountered elsewhere. To streamline communication and keep people connected, Isagenix employs an app to ensure smooth registration and facilitate up-tothe-minute changes. “As our events get bigger, technology takes [more] focus,” Pryor says. Isagenix collaborated with the in-house team at The Venetian to give the premier events an interactive concert vibe, including LED wristbands that lit up during key presentations and social media photo displays. It took nearly two years of site visits and careful planning with the team at The Venetian, but to Pryor, finding her dream space was worth the effort. “I look at the before-and-after photo quite often because I’m so proud of how we were able to all come together,” she says. With The Venetian, the company has a collaborator that recognizes the company’s unique needs and adapts to accommodate them. These features—from personalized details and centralized events to dependable technological infrastructure—allow Isagenix to focus completely on what lies at the center of its growth: each and every member of its rapidly expanding team. And for Global Celebration, the partnership resulted in an epic party tucked into the family-friendly environment of a world-class hotel.
The team at The Venetian worked with Isagenix to create a dazzling, bespoke experience. But Storey Pryor, Isagenix’s senior director of events, also wanted the 20,000 Isagenix customer-entrepreneurs watching the live feed to experience the fun vicariously. “When someone is putting our show on Facebook Live, we love to create that fear of missing out for the people who aren’t in the room,” she says.
The challenge of producing a massive event like Global Celebration is providing each attendee with a sense of personal attention. “You can feel small when you’re in a room with 15,000 people,” Pryor says. “Everyone must feel like they’re part of the show, whether they’re in the front or the very last row.” In The Venetian, Pryor has found a partner that helps her team do just that.