Freudenberg’s Global Mission Impossible

International management conference as a digital agent adventure

Freudenberg is a global tech giant with approx. 50,000 employees in 60 countries. In 2021, the company was faced with the challenge of having to digitally host the international management conference ‘Dialog’. Through a mix of interaction, exciting story telling and (brain) gymnastics, we still managed to turn the ‘Dialog 2021’ event into a unique and unforgettable experience.

In times of constant team calls and zoom meetings, it seems a Sisyphean task to make online events interesting. Nevertheless, we managed to make the ‘Dialog 2021’ event a unique and unforgettable experience through a mix of interaction, exciting story telling and (brain) gymnastics. Our digital agent adventure brought a breath of fresh air to the conference without feeling like an out-of-body experience.

Freudenberg is a global tech giant with approx. 50,000 employees in 60 countries. The international management conference ‘Dialog’ happens every three years and is a pretty big deal: special locations, special guests, special programme. Until a certain virus turned everything upside down, forcing the Dialog 2021 event to take place digitally. Anyone who has ever been to a long online meeting knows: It can drag on. So if you want to keep 450 people from all over the world happy for three days, you have to come up with something special. Ideally, it should match the themes of the event and its serious nature.

Our task was to develop a common thread that would run through the entire event, match Freudenberg’s image, but also provide excitement and variety. At the same time, the motto of digitalisation should not be left out. Digitalisation, a team from all over the world, an even spanning three days, and a seemingly impossible mission to bring it all together. But our result from these ingredients was just that: A MISSION IMPOSSIBLE.

We created Diane, a charismatic secret agent who welcomed the team to her event with bad news: A mysterious thief had stolen sensitive data from Freudenberg. But Diane was there to find and turn him in – with the help of the participants, whom she designated to be her co-agents. What followed was an entertaining and varied adventure full of games, puzzles and suspense.

We created animated films that were played in time slots before and after the main programme of the event. These videos showed everything from the story to the puzzles that would take place on screen during the adventure. However, we also used two other elements. One was an agent’s suitcase, which was sent to all participants with the request not to open it in advance. In various locked compartments, the participants found important items for the event. For the second element, we made use of the communication channel of the event. We created a separate account for the heroine Diane and kept firing content through it to create even more interaction. In addition to answers to solutions that the participants sent to the account, Diane also used it to give tips or make snappy remarks.

The feedback from all participants at the end of the event was overwhelming and exclusively positive. With 450 participants, we achieved 100% participation in some of the game formats. The key messages were also firmly embedded in the subsequent work sessions and thus supported the strategic work with the participants.

Mission Impossible succeeded in keeping participants engaged for three days and playfully communicating the core messages for the actual strategic work.

The "Global Mission Impossible" has already won several awards in various national and international competitions, including Internationaler Deutscher PR Preis 2022 (Internal Communication), Deutscher Preis für Wirtschaftskommunikation 2022 (Live, Hybrid & Digital Event Communication), Silver Telly Award (USA, Employee Communications), Inkometa (Shortlist Digital Transformation and Leadership Communication, jury decision pending), European Excellence Awards 2021 (Shortlist) and Deutscher Preis für Onlinekommunikation (Shortlist).