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August 18, 2008

Economic downturn can’t derail Old Mutual leadership forum

The mounting pressures of the credit crunch couldn’t deter financial services company Old Mutual from holding its biennial Top Leadership Forum in Florida recently.

More than 90 senior global managers descended on the St Regis Fort Lauderdale Resort for the four-day event, organised by Line Up.

The programme covered a review of the previous two years' strategy, thought-provoking talks by an external speaker and individual workshops to plan future strategies, which delegates then presented to their colleagues.

From a production perspective, Line Up adapted the look and feel of the set to suit the focus of each session. The first session greeted delegates with a dramatic, moving light effects sequence, employing compass gobos to reflect the firm's global reach. The circular theatre-style seating was divided into the company's regions and the lighting shifted as each one presented to the audience.

Subsequent sessions saw Line Up continually redesign the scene: coffee tables were brought in for intimate discussions and a cinematic atmosphere created for a film-themed session, using a theatre curtain-red stage wash and moving searchlights.

To add a twist to the event, an editorial cartoonist shadowed the delegates and produce amusing drawings to offer an alternative point of view on each day's activities. The cartoons were mounted on a large ‘Journey Wall' in the conference room that filled up with ideas, pictures and strategic proposals as the event progressed. After the conference, Line Up took high-resolution photographs of the Journey Wall, which were converted into a document and distributed to the attendees, so that the output formed an integral part of the ongoing strategy.

Commenting on the event, Mandy Moss, leadership forum project manager at Old Mutual, said: "The Top Leadership Forum is key date in Old Mutual's calendar and it is vital that the event provides delegates with a stimulating working environment in which to develop strategy. Line Up played a central role in the successful delivery of this year's event."

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