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Grant Thornton scales its quarterly summits to new heights by going virtual

Virtual quarterly summits
154 mins
Average time spent at each event

Every two years, Grant Thornton Bharat (GTB) holds an in-person internal conference for its partners, but in April 2020, with the advent of the pandemic, the company was forced to cancel. But where some would have simply accepted the status quo, Team GTB saw it as an opportunity to shake it up instead. The company is known, after all, for empowering businesses to unlock their potential for growth by going beyond the norm.

When the company turned to virtual events as a solution, Grant Thornton Bharat  (GTB) wanted to leverage the unique benefits of the medium to its utmost potential. 

“When we started planning and hosting virtual events, we found Zoom and Teams quite basic in terms of providing a great event experience - especially in differentiating an event from a meeting.” states Bhawik Kapoor, Senior Executive, Marketing and Communications. “And there were significant challenges with the tools we used, from speaker management to inability to make and control last-minute changes. Once we discovered that Zuddl’s tools and capabilities had all the answers to our challenges, there was no looking back.”

In working with Zuddl to turn their quarterly company summits virtual, Team GTB wanted their gatherings to not resemble a meeting. They wanted to curate high-quality, highly engaging experiences where their partners and employees - really the whole Grant Thornton Bharat community - could come together in one place.

Grant Thornton Bharat's virtual venue brought together all stakeholders

The event objectives:

Team GTB had three main goals in mind when planning their virtual company conferences:

  • Expand their impact by attracting a greater number of attendees
  • Ensure high-ticket speakers, partners, and attendees alike enjoyed a smooth, seamless and memorable event experience
  • Enable employees and partners to converge and collaborate, not just with each other but with leaders across the world

Here’s how Team GTB approached these challenges and achieved their goals:

Boost in event scale and attendance

By virtue of being virtual, Grant Thornton Bharat’s quarterly company summits were accessible to a greater number of people than ever before. As earlier conferences were hosted at physical venues with capacity restrictions, only a limited number of people were able to attend. With there being no such limitation with Zuddl, Team GTB was able to invite all employees of the firm to the event. 

Ease of access (no travelling involved) also meant that there was an extremely high registrant-to-attendee conversion rate: the turn out percentage was around 70% for both the virtual quarterly summits they held.

A seamless and enjoyable event experience for everyone

Having encountered login and lag issues when hosting virtual events on other platforms, Team GTB was determined to ensure that all the speakers and attendees at the Quarterly Summit had a smooth and seamless experience throughout. They were able to do so by leveraging the following Zuddl features:

  • Magic links: Zuddl’s event experts worked with Team GTB to make the login experience as frictionless as possible. To this end, they created custom login links that the organizers could share with high-ticket speakers from the field of business, entertainment, and sports. “No passwords, No OTP  - making it as simple and quick as possible for speakers”, says Bhawik.
  • Lag-free live streaming: If there is a delay in the livestream or if the video is constantly buffering, this detracts from the real-feel experience people look for. This had been a major issue for Team GTB when they used RTMP-streaming dependent virtual event platforms. Leveraging Zuddl’s near zero-latency capabilities, the organizing team was able to make real-time streaming and communication between attendees and speakers possible. 
Vishesh Chandiok, Grant Thornton Bharat CEO, speaking at one of the company's virtual summits.
  • Backstage: One of Team GTB’s biggest challenges was ensuring that high-ticket speakers could enjoy the event just like other attendees. Zuddl’s powerful virtual greenroom, the ‘Backstage’, proved to be a gamechanger.  As it cannot be seen by the audience, speakers could comfortably prepare before going live,  have conversations with other speakers, and, unlike other platforms, could even watch live sessions as they occurred, and enjoy the event like everyone else. 

    Even better, since the ‘Backstage’ allows event organizers to make last minute changes - a change to the speaker lineup or edits to content that needs to be shared during the session for instance - Team GTB was able to control every aspect of event production with confidence. “The complete flow of the event was in our control”, Bhawik points out.

Better learning through two-way conversations

An important aspect of being a virtual organizer is to make sure your attendees feel heard and seen. With Zuddl’s engagement tools - virtual Chat, Q&A, Polls and even Emoji Reactions - attendees at the Quarterly Summits were able to turn each event session into a lively, conversational hub of dialogue.

“Earlier when we used other platforms, the speakers and attendees were on different frameworks so live communication was missing,” pointed out Bhawik. “But Zuddl has done it in such a way - for instance the Emoji Reactions tool- that helps to keep that build the connection between speakers and attendees, and keep that positive energy going because speakers can see that in real-time.” 

Team GTB also set up virtual Tables for employees to socialize with each other in between sessions. “This was something that all of our colleagues really liked,” says Bhawik.

To sum up...

Team GTB's virtual large-scale internal events truly brought their community together in a way they were not able to accomplish before.

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From ease of customization to a backend that gives you full control over the showflow, Zuddl gives you everything you need to make a virtual event feel as close to an in-person event as possible.

Bhawik Kapoor
Senior Executive, Marketing and Communications

Grant Thornton Bharat is a member of Grant Thornton International Ltd. It has 6,500+ people across 15 offices in India. The firm is at the forefront of helping reshape the values in the industry, and in driving a more vibrant Indian economy.


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