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Booz Allen Hamilton

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2013 American Business Awards

Company: Booz Allen Hamilton
Company Division/Group: Studio D11
Company Description: Booz Allen Hamilton is a leading provider of management and technology consulting services to the US government in defense, intelligence, and civil markets, and to major corporations, institutions, and not-for-profit organizations. Booz Allen is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, employs more than 25,000 people, and had revenue of $5.59 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, 2011.
Nomination Category: Live Event Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Internal Recognition/Motivational Event

Nomination Title: Booz Allen Ideas Festival: A Big Idea with Huge Impact

The date on which this nominated production was first presented:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Briefly describe the nominated event's objectives and how it met those objectives (up to 500 words).

How does a company inspire new ideas year over year from all levels? At Booz Allen Hamilton, a strategy and technology consulting firm with over 25,000 employees worldwide, bringing new ideas forward is more than a notion—it’s the firm’s signature innovation program and event.

Since 1914, Booz Allen’s success has hinged on its ability to develop game-changing ideas and original thought leadership. Starting in 2008, the professional services firm has looked to its Ideas Festival as the premier program for motivating—and recognizing--staff for their ideas and impact.

The Ideas Festival has two components: a Contest where staff compete for the opportunity to win investment funding for their ideas and a Summit, a daylong event with thought-provoking roundtable and panel discussions.

Making the Summit a “must attend” event year over year takes a concerted, year-long effort to generate interest, collaborate to devise a compelling program, manage all the production and logistical details, and ultimately, deliver an awesome experience for the several hundred employees who attend – and the many more who access live streaming and video archives.

We held focus groups and used digital tools to help get the word out and feedback in early in the planning process. Using social media like Yammer and blogs and a crowd-sourcing site called, we incited interest and ideas from staff worldwide. Fueled by these recommendations (blogs alone generated over 26,500 hits!), we were able to devise a relevant agenda of topics and panelists. That was step one.

Step two was ensuring the perfect locale. After careful vetting, we chose the Newseum in downtown Washington, DC. It had the right ambience and space to meet our needs for hosting upwards of 500+ people on site and handle concurrent panels.

Step three was ensuring an enjoyable, educational experience. To pull that off, the program team carefully plans, manages, and times every aspect of Summit programming and production. This includes providing experienced producers, videographers, bloggers, and writers to capture all the happenings and share them with staff unable to attend.


The Summit event reached new milestones this year. First, we drew a record crowd -- of which 75.7% were first-time attendees and 92% were junior staff, our primary target! Second, we improved the experience itself – 81% rated the Summit as positive overall and 83% were encouraged by the chance to make an impact, specifically citing the engagement tools we used. With topics brought forth from our broader workforce, staff had built-in interest in the agenda.

Also helping draw a bigger, more diverse crowd was our “star attraction,” entrepreneur Dean Kamen who spoke on the critical role that innovation plays in a challenging economy; 94% of participants were very satisfied with the keynote. These tactics helped energize staff like never before – before, during, and after the big event itself.

Booz Allen’s Ideas Festival is successful on many fronts. Most important, it has given staff a voice, making them feel more engaged, and encouraging them to take ownership of the firm’s success.

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List the appropriate creative and production credits for this entry: Advertising Agency/City: Client: Art Director: Cinematographer: Creative Director: Designer: Director: Illustrator/City: Music Producer/City: Photographer/City: Printer/City: Producer: Production Company/City: Programmer: Writer: Web Development Firm/City:

Janine Cornecelli, Executive Adviser
Erin Comer, Program Manager
Kim Heanue, Marketing & Communications Team
Patricia Kennedy, Marketing & Communications Team
Beth Mancuso, Marketing & Communications Team
Andy McIlvaine, Marketing & Communications Team