Cel­e­bra­tion Na­tion

How do you main­tain an in­ti­mate vibe at a 15,000-per­son con­fer­ence? For Isagenix, the key is mak­ing everyone feel at home.

Fast Company - - World-changing Idea - This story was cre­ated for and com­mis­sioned by The Vene­tian.

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.

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