Borrego’s Virtualized Corporate Summit
There’s nothing quite like a corporate gathering to get everyone fired up for the upcoming year and have some laughs.
Our friends at Borrego, a leading provider of utility-scale and large commercial solar and energy storage, have years of stories about the company’s annual Borrego Summit in San Diego, California.
Employees easily laugh when recalling the ever-popular Battle of the Bands, talk fondly about casual get-togethers to meet people from different offices at the bar, or have heartfelt gratitude around the company’s recognition awards.
Indeed, many point to the 2019 gathering as one of the company’s best.
So, there was a high bar to clear when setting out to plan 2020’s event. Then, you know, the pandemic happened, conspiring to cancel the in-person 2020 Borrego Summit.
Unwilling to lose the opportunity to get the group together somehow someway, Borrego’s management looked for a team of volunteers to pull off a virtual 2020 Summit. Aaron Hall, the company’s president, was the executive representative this year. The company’s office managers and executive assistant Olivia Basegio joined. Borrego’s marketing crew, including Director of Marketing and Sales Operations, Jackie Pitera, and Marketing & Communications Manager, Kristin Engstrom, was on the scene and others.
The Borrego team immediately started brainstorming. “We knew we couldn’t replace the in-person Summit, but we wanted our people to be energized from the day and to get a sense of the Borrego culture,” says Jackie. “We wanted to find a way for them to network and get to know people from other offices.”
Knowing that “just another video conference call” wouldn’t do, Jackie reached out to Atomic Productions to add some video-based engagement to the day.
Jackie and Atomic’s Matt Ruby mapped out 11 videos for the event. These videos covered the company’s response to COVID-19, its work in Maine and New York, new business processes, and the ever-popular Battle of the Bands, which features Borrego employees getting their turn in the rock star spotlight.
Step one for Atomic was collecting video footage and recording interviews with Borrego personnel across the country. Ensuring those videos were useable took a fair amount of coaching and pre-production from the agency’s Emeryville office.
“It was a lot of fun talking to these people who love their jobs and their industry,” says Matt Ruby, Producer at Atomic. “At the same time, these aren’t on-camera professionals, so we had to help set up their lighting, cameras, and backgrounds.”
In all, Atomic staff conducted around 30 interviews over a couple of weeks. Conversations took place in bedrooms, attics, job sites, and basements.
“For the most part, these people used the cameras on their laptops or phones, and they recorded the interviews on their devices,” Matt explains. “We set up a special FTP site for them to send the footage in, and then we edited it together.”
Atomic tapped Creative Director David Farinella from our partner creative communications agency Farinella to help fashion engaging stories and add whimsical flourishes throughout the videos.
“In addition to making sure we created entertaining and informative videos, it was essential that each had its own character,” says Matt. “David and I had a blast working with Jackie to bring these things to life. She let us have a lot of rope to play with and even gave us some inside jokes to use.”
On a practical level, Atomic relied on the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite of products — Premiere for editing, After Effects for graphics, and Audition for audio post-production.
The final deliverable included 11 videos and day-of-show production to ensure the day went off without a hitch.
“Our people loved the videos,” Jackie reports. “We heard many accolades. Everyone was impressed by the quality, professionalism, and engagement with the videos. No one was bored.”
Bringing the day together was an exciting challenge for Atomic. “We knew the company was missing the opportunity to get together,” Matt says, “so we wanted to do our best to get them fired up and keep them entertained throughout the day.”
“Atomic has a team of people who are easy to work with and bring creative ideas to the table,” Jackie says. “It makes my job easier. The end product is compelling, attractive, and professional.”