Arhive events architects - Universum



Personalized employee engagement programs: Tips&Tricks for 2015

11 Feb 2015

8. Personalized employee engagement programs - Trends and Advice for 2015

The challenges raised in HR are happening at an astonishing speed, whether we are talking about the sunset of pension plans, a quality management talent or the preservation of human resources in companies.

Companies have responded positively to these challenges, that is why they are creating more and more opportunities for employees, appropriate rewards and frameworks conducive to a work-life balance.

A wave of challenges is coming dictated by demographic and cultural changes, new technologies and start-up culture. Here are some things to consider for 2015 as an anticipatory strategy for these challenges:

    In recent years, it has been noticed that Generation Y has begun to take over a large part of the labor market. Studies predict that by 2030 this hyper-connected generation will dominate approximately 75% of the labor market, which leads to the conclusion that Generation Y will change the course of employee involvement in companies. Companies’ strategies will adapt to the needs of this generation, knowing that they want to make their mark in everything they do – the “9 – 17” program is becoming more and more irrelevant for them, they want to be involved in as many projects and to make direct contact with clients, they prefer coaching sessions instead of feedback sessions or they want to receive rewards for each step taken in their professional development. (
    Read more about Generation Y)
    In 2015, we want “out-of-the-box” thinking to come out of the typical cubicals that sit under the fluorescent light of the room. It is known that a place lacking inspiration leads to the detachment of employees.
    A catchy and engaging space will cause employees to get more involved in the company’s activity. Depending on the organizational culture, it offers employees the freedom to stay as far as possible from the cubicles, the possibility to decorate the work space as they like – for example, with pictures from within the company and from internal events or pictures painted by them themselves in teambuilding events.
    The sky really is the limit when it comes to creating the perfect environment for employees!
    Creating a balance between work and the personal life of employees is what is wanted in 2015. Today, companies have more possibilities to offer employees the necessary framework to work anyway and from anywhere – whether we are talking about a Hub, a terrace or a the cafe. Technological evolution offers the possibility for employees to work from home as well, this leading to maximum productivity and contribution as far as they are concerned.
    The involvement of employees also depends on the transparency of the information coming from the management. Whether we are talking about objectives, strategies and desired changes in the company, the employees must be made aware of them, where else do you stand if you involve them in setting the respective objectives? The result will be fantastic! 🙂
    The company Buffer has passed to the next level from this point of view, the one in which salaries and the calculation method are made public for employees, investments and internal emails sent between two people will have a specific list in “cc”.
    What do they have in common: Casual Friday, birthdays, Hawaiian Thursday or “Sharing (food) is caring” days? All this brings fun and a “boom” of positive energy in the office.
    Choose to celebrate the launch of a product, involvement in CSR activities in the community, a welcome party for a new employee or the conclusion of a big project, all of these break the monotony of the office and provide relaxation among the employees.

Transparency increases trust, and trust is the foundation for incredible teamwork. Employees want to know what the company’s long-term goals are and how they can contribute, practically they want to know what the impact of their work is. They must be given the necessary trust because their involvement in the company’s plan could bring the next success.

Just as the purchase decision does not start and end in the store, the employees’ decision to get involved in the job is not limited to the workplace.

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HR Manager magazine: How do we quickly restore energy in organizations?

11 Dec 2014


Somewhere around 80% of the briefs we receive include in the first part a phrase like “to motivate the team”, accompanied by explanations such as “they have low morale, there have been and are some difficult years, we have to help them find their the motivation”.

Having contact with many companies in the market and running projects with hundreds of teams over the years, you can’t help but wonder how some teams are united, full of positive energy and the motivation to make things happen, in while others seem blasé, drained of energy and without a bit of desire and aspirations to go on an upward path. The correct, desirable answer consists in a balanced combination between a leadership and management team, which inspires its people permanently, and a coherent structure of organizational systems and procedures, which ensures that all the important motivating factors, identified by the literature of specialty*, are present in the company and work. We are talking here about:

  • collaboration with colleagues;
  • the fairness of the distribution of resources;
  • procedural justice;
  • the possibilities of professional growth;
  • clear performance standards;
  • a relevant, impactful job;
  • autonomy;
  • receiving and providing clear and transparent feedback;
  • a balanced workload;
  • variety of tasks.

So far, all good and beautiful! The only problem is that in real life, this kind of construction takes years and involves areas that the human resources manager, towards whom the expectation of “doing something to motivate people” is directed, cannot touch directly because he does not have the necessary resources.

The obstacle to small plans
I’ve always envied start-ups for their opportunity to do this kind of organizational building right from day one. It’s just that we don’t live in a world exclusively of start-ups. What do we do if the organization is 10-15-20 years old in the market and has a legacy of people, procedures and habits that do not promote an inspirational culture, capable of motivating people to give their best? What do we do when we feel the need for a quick intervention to give back to people that sparkle in their eyes, that passion for the work they do, that confidence that together with their team they can achieve the proposed plans despite all the difficulties?

I think I have an answer and to formulate it I will use a quote, found earlier in a book. It’s a quote that remained deeply imprinted in my memory, because it turned out to be much deeper than I had perceived it the first time. It belongs to Daniel Burnham, the famous architect who rebuilt the city of Chicago from the ground up, after the great fire of 1871. He said this: “Don’t mess with small plans; they don’t have the magical power to make people’s blood boil.” And his vision was translated into a city that is still one of the most imposing and innovative urban centers in the world. What does Burnham’s quote teach us? If we were to paraphrase it on an organizational level, it would probably sound like this: “only an ambitious, revolutionary vision can bring passion and energy to the minds and actions of the people in the organization”.

And yes, I think nothing is truer than this statement. Just how many times does an organization have the opportunity to launch itself, to reinvent itself, to receive a CEO with a new vision, to experience a massive reorganization of the brand or operations, that kind of movement that instills energy and hope in people? Maybe once every 5 years… maybe 10. And then, what can we do to obtain the same mobilizing, inspirational effect, in the context in which we should reduce costs, grow organically by 5-7% or at least stay at the same market share?

A handy alternative, but less intuitive
The answer to the above questions can be surprising: offer your people the opportunity to achieve incredible things together in a team building. And I say “surprising” because I am referring here to a new philosophy of thinking and building a team building. This is not the place where we have fun and eat. It’s a total of two hours in which 100-200-1000 people work TOGETHER to achieve a totally and totally extraordinary goal.

I saw what it means to tell 200 people that in an hour and a half you will sing Carmina Burana with them on 7 instruments and voice. Everyone laughs and says it’s impossible. I then saw the emotion and tears in their eyes, the endless applause they offered each other at the end of a concert in which they were the only artists. The surprise of realizing that YES, you, together with your colleagues, can achieve absolutely unbelievable things, brings with it an energy and a confidence that you can hardly awaken simultaneously in such a large and diverse group. Many will tell you that it was one of the best things they did in their life and will talk about it for days on end.

I saw what it means for 100 people to work together for a whole day to build a 15m high replica of the famous Big Bang Tower only out of cardboard bricks. Starting from the impossibility of visualizing how it could look and ending up taking 10 steps back and saying “wow….how does it look!” Did we do this?”.

I saw what it means for 400 people to work for 3 hours to paint together a huge painting 15m long and 3m high, made up of 120 independent pieces that come together perfectly in the final moment. The feeling of fulfillment and belonging that you feel in such a moment is very difficult to describe in words.

The energy that is created in such a moment is unique, intense, and its concentration in such a short interval makes a team building event a memorable experience, whose motivational effects will be felt for a long time. When was the last time you had “goose bumps” thinking about the team and the company you belong to?

Article originally appeared in HR Manager Magazine.


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Microsoft Summit 2014: What innovation in technology means

28 Nov 2014

6. MS Summit - What innovation in technology means

The second edition of the Microsoft Summit event took place between November 12-13, 2014, in an exclusive location, Willbrook Platinum Business & Convention Center. Being the largest technology conference organized by Microsoft in Romania, this edition brought together over 1500 people from the C-level area, IT professionals and developers.

The agenda of the event allowed each participant to take over all the know-how in the field, considering the 3 tracks developed during the two days: Business Manager, IT Professional and Developer.

Considering the fact that business rules are constantly changing, the role of the 3 tracks was to guide each professional to participate in the sessions focused on the field in which they are active, at the same time having the opportunity to accumulate insights to Microsoft representatives and other speakers with a solid background in the field.

Also, the Microsoft representatives oriented their presentations around Microsoft technologies, so that the audience becomes aware of the impact they have in the current business environment.

Therefore, the event was an experience full of challenges and professional satisfaction. The feeling of safety and professionalism demonstrated by each member of the team, led us to realize how important it is that every time the whole team has the same goal, more precisely the successful conclusion of an event characterized by the spirit of uniqueness and professionalism .

Another important aspect consists in the high level of networking during the two days of the event, which proved to us once again that the IT market in Romania is a market with potential and in continuous development. A significant contribution in this regard was made by the MyConnector application, which represented an effective means of communication and according to the latest trends. The interest of the participants regarding the topics related to this niche was also manifested during the sessions, which is why they turned into a constructive dialogue between the professionals who wanted to take over all the know-how and the speakers willing to provide feedback as much as possible. concrete.

I noticed the professionals’ passion for Microsoft technologies right from the time of informing them about the quality of the event, and the surprises did not take long to appear. Thus, the sessions ended by offering prizes to the most active participants, who were delighted with the way the event went.

What have we learned? “You will have a thing when you believe in it”, Wayne Dyer

What did they learn? It’s simple. When it comes to the future, regardless of the industry in which someone works, the one who later adopts the new trends, goes out of business. A solid plan, built for the future for the company, gives it performance and longevity.

In conclusion, the passion for organizing events left its mark in the case of this large-scale conference, a fact that makes us happy to continue in the same formula.


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Elegance and generosity at Hope Ball 2014

28 Nov 2014

5. Elegance and generosity at Hope Ball 2014

On November 8, Hope Ball 2014 took place, the National Military Circle was surrounded by a superb atmosphere and “seasoned” with elegance and generosity.

The hosts of the event, Amalia Enache and Cristian Leonte, managed to create the atmosphere suitable for the theme of the event, and this could be seen through the participants of the event who offered the support that Hope & Homes for Children Romania.

Cristian Leonte: “I believe in the power of selfless help and I have all the respect for the work of Hope and Homes for Children Romania. I am honored to be part of the gala that will celebrate wonderful people and their generous projects” (source).

Amalia Enache: “I will have the greatest satisfaction when we will no longer play with fire with the destinies of abandoned children, too many in Romania – one every 6 hours – and the rest of us will not be left behind either facing their fate. Those who come to the gala, those who will bid on the fabulous prizes, are among those who know how to melt any ice with the fire of generosity, the most constructive fire that I know” (source).

5. Elegance and generosity at Hope Ball 2014_2

The sum of 68,000 Euros was collected with the help of the public auction that took place, but also through donations and sponsorships. From objects that belonged to great Romanian athletes or international stars, trips with the national rugby team to the World Cup, a brunch with Nadia Comaneci, a tennis match with Ilie Nastase or 4 seats at the Romania-Ireland football match in the company of Hagi, there are only a few of the lots that could be auctioned at Hope Ball 2014.

Thanks to Hope & Homes for Children Romania enjoyed an excellent evening, with excellent people, an elegant decor and a creative agenda, all for charity.


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HR Manager magazine: 5 technologies for the Upgrade of events in the company

27 Oct 2014

It often happens that we talk to clients who tell us: “We have been running this event for 12 years, we have done everything that could be done, we don’t know where to squeeze the next WOW idea from. Everything has turned into a mandatory, boring meeting, speech after speech, where employees come only because they have to and leave with nothing”.

In an environment where pressure on budgets means that every expense is carefully evaluated, there is a natural expectation that budgets for company events are all the more invested in high-energy concepts that keep employees engaged from morning to night, which it delivers the key messages and, more than that, helps to assume and internalize them. Now, we all know that digital will rewrite all the business models we know – we live, don’t we, in a world permanently connected to the Internet, in a world where Social Media has entered every aspect of our lives . The key question is “how can we use all these advantages, such as constant connectivity, real-time responses and gamification elements, to reinvent company events?”

The answer is one that could lead to whole hours of discussion, but because at Universum we are concerned with this very topic, we tried to describe some solutions that are already on the market and that can be implemented right from the start starting tomorrow.

GO Team treasurehunt application
It is an application for phones and tablets, based on GPS technology, which allows real-time interactivity anywhere in the world. It is suitable for outdoor teambuilding and conference animation. Capable of supporting any number of teams, GoTeam incorporates mini missions, which are activated as the team reaches the correct GPS coordinates. The statistics in real time, the possibility to communicate remotely with the facilitators and the rest of the teams are just some of the lovable features of the application. The missions can be thought of in a collaborative or, on the contrary, competitive philosophy, and the time pressure and the feeling of adrenaline will upgrade the classic version of treasure hunt.

The company logo made up of all the pictures of the employees
Excellent for the message – “Each of us is part of a unified whole”. The implementation is done as follows: a photo studio is placed in the central area of the event, the employees come and pose throughout the day (as they feel like and inspired), and at the end of the conference, with the help of a special software, an animated video is generated which goes through all the pictures, zooms out and generates the company logo from all the participants’ pictures.

Video mapping, movies, Prezi and Google Glass
There are two premises from which we start:

1) 80% of the speakers we see at events are not the best public speakers. They get on stage because they are very good at what they do, but that does not necessarily qualify them as good presenters.

2) the days when a PPT presentation was enough are over.

The dynamism and interactivity of presentations can have an explosive growth when a bunch of technologies are used (and I’m telling you this from experience). For example, Prezi ( is an alternative tool for building presentations, not at all complicated. And Google Glass has applications that can help you project notes directly on the lens. Then there are the video materials – today the accessibility of video processing solutions is fantastic and a film full of energy and emotion can be built, relatively easily, in 3-4 days. Video mapping is the last level, where practically every element of the event space becomes a living component of it. Each column, each table, the ceiling or the walls can become a support for a cramp from the story of the event.

Social Media Live Wall
In short, it is a way to aggregate and project all the Social Media feeds (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) related to the event in order to encourage the participants as much as possible to get involved in the conversations and debates. If we also add to the event a gamification mechanism to train the participants, fun and involvement will come naturally.

The technology exists, it’s just up to our creativity how to integrate it into the events we organize!

Article originally appeared in Hr Manager Magazine.

4. 5 ways to energize a conference_2


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The first “Orchesstrate” in Romania

17 Oct 2014

On September 18, on the Stirbey estate, we were greeted by a red carpet and the secret of a show that was about to begin. In the applause and looks of everyone, the violinist tunes the whole orchestra. The conductor appears in front of everyone and greets the entire hall, which welcomes him with applause.

As in any classical music show, mystery prevails, and “Carmina Burana” is the most suitable for such a show. Under everyone’s gaze is a story created by the delicacy of the violin, the sensuality of the cello, the contrast of the trombone, the perfect complement of the percussion instruments, the fine touch of the clarinet, all accompanied by the voices of the “tenors” and “sopranos” and guided artistically and professionally by a conductor full of of energy.

The coordination between the team members and with the other teams could be observed. The team’s mobilization and spirit played a very important role because the learning process was accelerated: for an hour and a quarter they learned to sing “Carmina Burana”.

Indeed, a real show supported by Top Management of Coca-Cola HBC Romania – 150 people, 7 instruments and a team that shared the same vision.

The whole process that the participants went through was truly impressive: from the shock of the news that in less than two hours they will learn to play a musical instrument, to the passionate and dedicated interpretation of a famous piece of music . An orchestra is one of the most representative team experiences, from the initial emotion to the closing creativity, the teams and tutors manage to create an impactful experience.

At the end of the entire performance, a murmur could be felt throughout the venue: “It was excellent!”, “I can’t believe how quickly I learned!”, “Who came up with this idea? It was something unique!” and the enthusiasm grew.

“The Orchestrate event was a truly unique experience for the top leaders of Coca-Cola HBC Romania. When you think of an orchestra as a metaphor, this is the complex illustration of a team performing together. You see dozens of people playing very different instruments and the result is beautiful and perfectly synchronized. Many people use this metaphor but few have the opportunity to put it into practice. When you listen to a symphony, it seems very difficult to copy this experience.


What we did was to follow a few steps: we learned to hold the tools and try to use them. Then we listened to the advice of some professional musicians who taught us in simple ways how to bring the instruments to life.


When the time came to sing together, we were surprised by how far we had come in such a short period of time. None of us even expected to be able to sing like an orchestra. Of course, we weren’t perfect, but we performed as a team and this result in itself was inspirational for all of us.


For me, this experience is similar to what happens in business – many times we are faced with goals that seem impossible. The Orchestrate experience gave us confidence that it is possible to achieve results that at first seemed unattainable.”

(Jaak Mikkel, General Manager Coca-Cola HBC Romania)

How do you want your team to evolve?

We are waiting for you in the comments section with opinions and questions regarding innovation and creativity in the events.

1. Primul Orchestrate din Romania_2


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