Community Engagement/Employee Engagement
Connecting audiences – inside a company or the community at large – to feelings, information, ideas, and to each other takes innovation and creativity.
That’s what we do at Charlotte Is Creative.
In 2015, we launched the Charlotte chapter of CreativeMornings, a monthly breakfast lecture series, and began gathering creatives together to celebrate the incredible power, diversity, and joy in our creative community. We did it to change the narrative of Charlotte. We’re not a boring business city. We’re an innovative city, full of passion and creative prowess in every corner.
We thought 45 people would show up - 150 did. Eventually, more than 400 people joined us every month. During COVID, we didn’t miss a beat, hosting an energetic Zoom every month for around 200 people.
People crave connection. But they don’t want to be bored.
They want to learn about their city and about each other. They want to find themselves in other people’s stories and in their work.
When we work with you to create an internal employee event or a community engagement your guests won’t be bored. They’ll leave invigorated.
We use fun, entertainment, and interaction to fuel engagement. We want everyone invited to feel welcome, seen, and special.
It’s not enough for them to BE there. We want them to know they BELONG there.
HOW DO WE WORK?
We start every planning session with a blank slate and our bag of tricks. And, we’re always looking for any opportunity to invite (and hire) individual creatives and creative to be part of the solution.
We don’t presume to have the answers until we hear from you.
There’s no “off the rack solution” or “unisex” way to accomplish your task. Your goals are unique, your needs are specific, and your audiences are precious. You need engagement strategies that are just as unique, specific, and tailored to make your audiences feel that we’re speaking directly to them.
Everything starts with you telling us your story.
- What do you need?
- What’s your mission?
- What are your goals?
- What’s worked in the past? Why has it worked?
- What hasn’t worked? Why not?
And our most important questions are:
- What does “success” look like to you?
- How do you want your audiences to feel when they’re part of this engagement?
Once we know that, we create WITH you. And, we bring our “crazy crew” of creatives with us to build the foundation for an engagement event or a series of events that will leave your employees or your attendees excited and wanting more.
The ResultYour audience feels connected to you, your mission, and the information and feelings you want them to carry with them long after we’re all done.
Charlotte Is Creative transforms complex data you need to share into wonderfully engaging, high-energy and fun meetings your audience will never forget.
WHO’S WORKED WITH US?Time for a little bragging
About this time, you may be thinking... Artists? Quiz shows? Embracing humor? Adding entertainment to meetings?
That may not sound like the usual approach from a strategic consultant?
You’re right. It isn’t.
Ask companies like Wells Fargo, Lowe’s, the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, OrthoCarolina, and more.
Case Studies: A few programs we’ve developed.
Queen City Quiz Show
Let’s be honest. Most meetings are boring. The speakers are sharing information we really should know about – and in most cases WANT to know about – but the presentation leaves us unenthused.
Most meetings and public events are passive. The exciting stuff happens on stage and we sit inert as the information washes over us. We lose focus. Our minds wander. We miss it all. We leave wondering what just happened and we make excuses not to attend the next one.
To combat this, we developed the idea of the Queen City Show. The Knight Foundation gave us a grant in 2016 to create an entertaining way to structure community discourse – by treating it like a game. By making it fun.
We were supposed to do five Quiz Shows to prove our concept. We did 15 instead. Once people experienced it, we were invited to add a quiz to their next meeting – taking the data they want their audiences to learn and “gamifying it.” That’s why, six years after the Quiz Show was supposed to wrap, we’re still creating public and private quizzes for municipal groups, companies, and community organizations.
Our latest? A live, online, phone-based quiz about the dangers of vaping for the Mecklenburg County Health Department and Livable Meck.(And, yes. We made it educational AND fun.) LEARN MORE HERE.
Creative Lunchtime Series
When Honeywell moved to Charlotte, they began work on a building that would make their employees feel right at home. Unfortunately, COVID-19 pushed all of their plans back. The time to bring their team into their new office hit in the fall of 2021. By that point, many of the employees were new. Not only did they not know Honeywell, but they also didn’t know the new office and each other.
To help them feel right at home AND excited to be in Charlotte, Honeywell engaged us to conceive, manage and organize five weeks of lunchtime engagements that would surprise and delight their teams and encourage them to come into the new building and congregate.
We did just that, assembling and managing more than 20 different artists and groups that ran the creative gamut - from musicians and fiber artists to shoe designers, floral artists, and pet portraiture artists. (Yes. You read that right.) As the weeks went on, the employees engaged with the artists and each other more each week.
Wells Fargo Forward
Wells Fargo asked us to help them engage a new generation of community leaders inside their Charlotte office. To help these employees fall in love with Charlotte and encourage them to get involved in Wells’ name, we created a program where experienced executives could nominate emerging leaders to participate in a series of events held in innovative and exciting community spaces across the city.
At each meeting, we employed quizzes, games, micro-talks from inspiring community leaders, and performances from local creatives. In between events, we invited the cohort to participate in challenges and secured access for them to other community meetings, events, and gatherings that would help them further ingrain themselves in Charlotte.
At the end of the program, participants reported feeling much more connected and ready to get involved in Wells and in community work.
- 95% emerged feeling more connected to Charlotte and their co-workers
- 100% emerged more informed about their company’s work in the community
- 77% were encouraged to get more involved in the Charlotte community
- 91% were ready to join a board or internal community committee
Need more information, from initiatives like Charlotte SHOUT!, the City of Charlotte’s Corridors of Opportunity Program, Livable Meck’s education programs, SHARE Charlotte’s annual campaign, and team engagement programs for Deloitte, Lowe’s, and UNC-Charlotte, we’re happy to provide more examples of our creative approach to community engagement.
And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can riff off the above … or we can create something totally new for you. We’re ready for the challenge. Put us in, coach!
LET’S CREATE AN ENGAGEMENT TOGETHER!
Enough about us. We want to know about you. What’s your biggest challenge engaging with audiences today? Let’s start dreaming up a creative solution together!
How we start together … short copy about sitting down and defining the challenges and the opportunities and then on to the fun part – co-creating
We’re ready when you are.