#MarketingEventsAwards 2020 highlight: Manulife Singapore makes learning and upskilling fun

Taking home the most coveted Event Marketer of the Year 2020 award for this year’s Marketing Events Awards is Manulife Singapore. The financial service provider bagged six gold awards for the categories Best Business Event: Internal, Best Creative Element for an Event, Best Event Ambience, Best Event by an In-house Team, Best Experiential Marketing, and Best Immersive Experience. It also won one silver award for Best Use of Live Streaming.

On top of that, Manulife was also finalists for three other categories: Best Digital Integration, Best Innovative Transition - Physical to Virtual, and Best Virtual Event (B2B). The financial company has most certainly impressed the judges at Marketing Events Awards this year. Here’s a deeper dive into one of its award-winning campaign.

Challenge

Facing the global digital disruption brought upon COVID-19, Manulife Singapore decided that it needed to upgrade and upskill its employees. As a 130-year-old financial institution facing keen competition and fast-evolving customer preferences, the team needed to organise an event to:

  1. Empower all 700+ employees to embrace a digital-first culture
  2. Get employees engaged and excited to upskill and upgrade
  3. Roll out an integrated programme to unite its existing corporate initiatives

Strategy

Manulife named the initiative “Power Up”, as it sought to empower its employees to level up and become version 2.0 of themselves. The initiative was a three-day event organised for employees by a small internal team of two. The company also used the platform to unite various existing corporate activities such as corporate social responsibility, HR training courses, Global Women’s Alliance, Shift! Lunch & Learn, and IT events/trainings.

The team created Power Up cards for the initiative, which employees could collect stamps on. Employees would receive a stamp – aligned to one of Manulife’s six core values – each time they completed any corporate activity under the Power Up umbrella. At Power Up Day, they could earn a whoppin’ 8 stamps! Those with 10 stamps and more would qualify for the grand draw, where three winners would win an all-expenses-paid trip to CES Asia, a tech event in Shanghai.

Manulife also created Power Up collaterals to hype up the event. From exhibition panels, hand-drawn display boards, lift­ and mirror stickers to ceiling signages, the team made sure to pique employees’ interest and ensure the event stayed top-of-mind.

Execution

Prior to the event, Manulife got its employees excited and engaged by getting a person to dress up as Marvel’s superhero character Iron Man and distribute the Power Up cards. Iron Man then explained the purpose of Power Up to the employees across all five levels of the Manulife Tower. After that, Iron Man roped them into a rousing live sing-along of the Power Up Theme Song – with cheekily-tweaked lyrics sung to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody.

For the Power Up Day event, Manulife got seven industry giants to share their valuable insights with its employees. These include Disney, St. Regis, TBWA\, and Love, Bonito. The invited guests covered topics such as customer experience, creative disruption, future career 101 and fintech.

The event also inspired Manulife’s employees to form teams to create Lunch & Learn sessions, where they brought in even more speakers to inspire fellow colleagues to be version 2.0 of themselves.

The team at Manulife also made sure to engage employees with its venue. It transformed its usual meeting room to one filled with colourful seating, exhibition panels, and activity spaces that encouraged interaction. Manulife also provided a sumptuous selection of food during the event.

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Results

Power Up Day was attended by over 400 people, which is more than half of Manulife’s employees. A survey was carried out post-event and found that 100% of the respondents said they would recommend the event to other colleagues. Majority of the respondents also voiced positive sentiments, with 82% inspired to participate in staff events and 92% who want more Power Up events.

For the first time in 40 years, the Singapore Manulife office topped the internal staff engagement survey across 11 Manulife offices in Asia. Power Up is the most successful internal engagement campaign in Manulife’s history and has become the blueprint for the other markets.

 

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