Good Morning Poundland & Dealz

Re-thinking the virtual conference

Unprecedented times and turnarounds

Devised, created and delivered within two weeks, the 2020 virtual conference, Good Morning Poundland & Dealz, will live long in the memory of the M&P team. Not because of the uncertainty over the timing and feasibility of live events, or the unprecedented challenges that 2020 presented to us as communication professionals, but because of the enormity of what can be achieved in a short space of time, when you have a truly collaborative working relationship with a creative and ambitious client.

With the pandemic creating an ever-changing environment in which we all lived and worked, the plan for the annual conference morphed many times in the pre-production process, which it’s fair to say it was a challenge for all involved. But when it became clear that a fully virtual version of the conference was the only option, wow did we pull it off – on time and on budget. Concepts were agreed, scripts written, ideas for creative delivery concocted, hosts booked, sets designed and technical solutions organised in a matter of days, to deliver an event that both the Poundland and M&P team could not have been more delighted with.

Creative concepts and professional delivery

Based on a morning TV show format, fronted by Retail Director Austin Cooke and his co-host Anthea Turner, the content for the two hour show was pre-recorded on a set constructed at the client’s head office. The Conference Room was transformed into a professional broadcast studio hub, complete with stage set, cameras, lighting, sound and vision mixing, managed impeccably  by the M&P content and technical teams. With a floor to ceiling, 6 metre wide LED screen providing multiple studio backdrops, the Poundland & Dealz Exec team flawlessly delivered their key messages to the retail teams and CSC colleagues. A variety of TV style formats were used – sofa interviews, fashion segments, TV picks and news reports to name but a few – Managing Director Barry Williams even cooked up strategic storm in the kitchen.

The content was a perfect recipe of important updates, engaging delivery and a good pinch of Poundland personality. The day ran without a hitch, leaving the client eager with anticipation of the final edited show.

The audience reaction

Eighteen video segments filmed prior to the Studio recording day to support the ‘live’ programme were added in post production, to create a final show that was brilliantly received by Poundland & Dealz colleagues. Broadcast seamlessly multiple times to ensure everyone had the chance to view the programme, the project was a huge success. The response from the retail and CSC teams was phenomenal, with many taking to LinkedIn to express their sheer admiration for the effort the company had made to ensure that the annual conference did not disappoint, despite teams not being able to meet in person. M&P were ecstatic with the response their superhuman efforts received from a delighted client, most notably our collaborators-in-chief Austin Cooke and Head of Retail Excellence, Rus Curtis.

After such a positive experience, Poundland & Dealz have gone on to embrace virtual communications for their forthcoming Roadshow events too. There’s nothing quite like a live event, but the success of the 2020 virtual conference proved that a creatively devised online experience definitely doesn’t have to feel like a compromise.