Quite a show: InSites Internal Congress #iscon (1)

That was…. quite a show. Last Friday, we had our annual internal InSites Consulting congress, with the theme “Once Upon a Time”. All the InSites employees and management were there in Rotterdam: also our people from the UK and Timisoara, Romania. We shared some thoughts on the future of marketing and research, we debated about our own Twitter-behavior and conversation management strategy, we came to the conclusion that we’re not already the best company in the world, our 9 managing partners gave an extensive, fiercely fueled with gossip thus hilarious, overview about the company’s history. We drank, we laughed and we twittered our brains out (see #iscon on Twitter). The great Kim has “fetched” the day in drawings we gladly share below.

Yes, we believe a picture tells more than a thousand words and we use that adagium (or cliché if you like), daily in our (qualitative) research. But hey, some context is needed here, although Kim’s done an amazing job by live covering all that is said and done in the congress halls. Here’s a short take-out. We hope you like it!
After Niels Schillewaert (he was the chairman of the congress and claimed some fame by opening the conference in a Steve-Ballmer-way) did his remarks about the programme, we were honoured to have Jean Philip de Tender as a keynote. De Tender is general manager of Eén (the family channel of the public broadcaster VRT in Flanders, Belgium). Since the theme of the congress was “Once Upon a Time”, De Tender’s keynote was all about stories. Punchline: There’s a story in everything, and there’s a story in everyone.

Working with spearheads
Anke Moerdyck, our relationship and brandmanager, did a short “rushtalk” about working with our spearheads Joerie van den Bergh (HowCoolBrandsStayHot), Steven van Belleghem (TheConversationManager) and Tom de Ruyck, responsibel for our research communities and member of the R&D lab at InSites. Anke’s analyzed that Tom always wears the same suit, that Steven preferring the color blue has impact of the clothing his wife and child wear and that Joerie is very adaptive in choosing his clothing, depending on the country he’s speaking.

Gamification Rocks
Elias Veris, Thomas Troch, Anouk Willems and Lies Vanzieleghem presented the way gamification is used in the research that is done by InSites consulting. Gamification can be used in a variety of ways, and it basically comes down to the enhancing of the researchexperience by adding gaming elements. You could win a badge, you can get 1000 bonus points if you’re fast and so on and on.

What it takes to become a superstar company
Steven van Belleghem kicked off this session with a more theoretical perspective (take a look at his presentation on SlideShare) on what’s needed for a company to earn the “superstar” status. Afterwards, there was a panel disucssion that was led by Hakim Zemni, Director Marketing Insights at InSites Consulting and Kim Verheyden (Talent Recruitment & Development Manager). Hakim and Kim were the judges, there were two hot seat and the discussion…. was very entertaining.

The storyline of tv-channels
Angie Deceuninck and Thomas Troch did a beautiful presentation in video about the different roles visible in the soap (Friends) and made a link with some of the people at InSites Consulting. Hilarious.

Of course, an internal congress cannot be without an MT-presentation where we’re heading with InSites. Financially, and of course the MT (Tim Duhamel & Kristof de Wulf) shared their thoughts on the recent growth in personell InSites has made and about the upcoming launch of our office  in the USA.

True or untrue?

Which brand stories are true, and which are false? Joerie van den Bergh had a nice live quizelement in his presentation in which he told the audience a brand story and asked: is this story true or false? Most of the time, the audience was wrong, but the main point that Van den Bergh’s made was of course that cool brands need cool stories: they can make brands really authentic.

The presentation Van den Bergh gave is available on SlideShare, you can do the quiz yourself, we’re curious what you think if you can easy define which brand stories are true and which are false.

SnowWhite and the 8 dwarfs
So, that’s where the “formal” part of the day ended: an extensive play, by the 9 managing partners of InSites Consulting. Erik van Roekel asked on Twitter why there wasn’t a livestream during the event. The play of the mp’s (8 men, 1 SnowWhite a.k.a. Magali Geens our salesdirector), and all the gossip and teambuilding stories shared in that play, were enough reason. The mp’s told the InSites story, from the very first start with 1 cellphone and 1 fax situated in the CEO’s living room.

Broader context?
Emiel van Wegen, business director for Insites at our Dutch office in Rotterdam, posted, after the congress, on Twitter some enthusiasm that was shared by more people than just him. It was a great day, with a lot of energy, a lot of ideas and a lot of inspiration. Why not put that in a broader context? Maybe something to think about for future editions of #iscon. What do you think?

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