This story first appeared in Xperience, the official publication of AVIXA. For more articles, take a look inside.
By Hanane Abdalla
Kyle Hogan, HomeAway
According to Kyle Hogan of Expedia’s HomeAway vacation rental marketplace, corporate events don’t have to be tired, boring affairs — all presentation, no sizzle. This from someone with a vast production background: Hogan’s gone from mega churches to turning company “all-hands” meetings into “hands-on” engagement. AVIXA asked him how companies create experiences that employees look forward to.
Tell us again: How’d you get where you are?
Hogan: I came from the church broadcast production world — think large mega-churches where you have multiple cameras, lighting, switchers, the full suite. Stepping into the corporate world, we were originally doing standard events and it was just very stale. Single camera, super-wide shot to try and get everybody in the frame. I was brought on-board particularly to take the events at HomeAway up a couple notches by implementing knowledge from my production background and bringing it into corporate events.
And how were you able to kick it up a notch by applying your live production know-how?
Hogan: For starters, by enhancing what we had to work with. We still use videoconferencing codecs, but instead of relying on built-in cameras, we set up our own, plus switchers with multiple computers feeding into them. So we now have manned cameras and it creates a broadcast environment rather than just another static videoconference. We use the equipment to produce our “all hands” events with the CEO and broadcast them to our employees globally, such as in Singapore, London, Marseille — all those offices enjoy tuning in.
As someone who clearly sees value in implementing these technologies, how do you make the business case for this kind of solution?
Hogan: One way is through employee engagement. If you present a better product, then employees will be better engaged. There are people who have been with the company for a long time who thanked me because they see the difference. Also, CEO time is valuable, C-suites’ time is valuable, employee time is valuable. Do you want to hold meetings they all just show up to, or do you want everybody to be engaged? That was our pitch.
How do you see AV evolving in the next few years?
Hogan: I see a big transformation in the workplace. Like what we’re doing right now: I’m in my home office and we’re able to have a full conversation. AV technology will unlock a huge amount of capability when it’s used to free up people to work and live the way they want.