Spiria’s “Great Fair”

At Spiria, at any given time, different teams are working on different projects using different technologies. To provide our people with an overall vision of our company’s work, and to allow them to share their knowledge and experience, we organize an internal event several times a year: the Great Fair.

Grande foire, Spiria.

At Spiria, at any given time, different teams are working on different projects using different technologies. To provide our people with an overall vision of our company’s work, and to allow them to share their knowledge and experience, we organize an internal event several times a year: the Great Fair.

Grande foire, Spiria.

Goals

The Great Fair is a way for our people to find out what their colleagues are working on and to get better acquainted with clients and projects they may have only heard of. This is also a chance to share experiences in relation to the various technologies used, strategies chosen, challenges encountered, and solutions found. Anyone and everyone can join in: project managers, developers, integrators, designers, etc. Better yet, the Fair is also a chance for employees to get to know each other, see each other and understand each other, and to gain a better understanding of the company as a whole.

Grande foire, Spiria.

How does it work?

The Great Fair takes place in the basement, in a room normally reserved for important employee activities such as ping-pong, foosball, pool, etc. It takes place at lunchtime, over a complimentary meal provided by the company. This makes the event all about information, exchanging and relaxation, rather than a formal, didactic and boring experience. Attendance is voluntary and informal. The success of the event is a function of participants’ innate curiosity and appetite to learn and discover.

Usually, six projects that are either underway or have just been completed are selected in consultation with the teams, and a booth is set up for each of the projects. Each booth consists of a presentation table and a poster summarizing the project and listing the participants. Attendees walk around the booths at random, getting a short, very informal presentation of each project, or just engaging in questions and answers, depending on their level of interest and expertise.

Grande foire, Spiria.

Assessment

After each event, we send out an anonymous, on-line survey to all employees to get their feedback in order to adjust and improve the event for next time. Thanks to this survey, we have been able to enhance the overall organization of the event, fine-tune the number of projects presented per event, and improve the placement of the booths in the room. But we are constantly improving future experiences based on past experiences.

Presenters are also asked for feedback on their experience, how they felt about it, and whether they would volunteer to present another project. Thanks to this feedback, we realized that it is better to team up presenters in twos rather than have just one per booth.

Grande foire, Spiria.

Success

Employees’ responses show that the Great Fair is a worthwhile event, since, according to the survey, all responders learned more about at least one or two projects, and over half of responders learned more about at least three projects out of six. These figures are the result of time spent at the event as well as time spent on the actual projects. Qualitative feedback is also positive, praising the event’s organization and the interest it generates. And if that doesn’t sound convincing enough, attendance figures are the surest sign of success: most employees attend most Fairs voluntarily, just because they find them interesting.

The Great Fair allows our people to meet up in a different context and to chat with people they wouldn’t normally interact with because, for example, they work on different projects or in different fields. The Fair is also a source of inspiration and cross-pollination of knowledge: people pick up ideas and learn new techniques that they can apply to current or future projects. And if someone’s interest is piqued by a project in particular, they can make a date for a more in-depth discussion with the team in charge of the project.

Grande foire, Spiria.

Grande foire, Spiria.

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This entry was posted in Working environment
by Zakia Messaoudi.
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