24% Off

👋 Stuck with ON24? Switch to Brandlive and save 24%

1-800-BTS

Anatomy of a Show: 1-800-BTS

If you want to keep your team’s attention, you can’t do boring meetings anymore.

Everyone wants “better meetings and events.” But many folks don’t know what to do to make their meetings more interesting (or, how to do it).

That’s where Brandlive comes in. 

At Brandlive, we’re in the business of helping companies and leaders concept, produce, stream, and host their high-impact communications

In this post, we’re showing you how we create our own Allhands meetings. We want this to be an example of not only what’s possible, but how to make it possible, so you can set the bar high for all of your internal meetings to come.

You can, of course, hire Brandlive to fully concept and produce your pre-recorded or live meetings & events, whether on-site, remote, or a little bit of both.

Finding Our BTS Inspiration

“Why don’t we show our team how these meetings get made?” 

Born from an off-hand suggestion, the wheels started to turn on how we could execute on this idea for our next Allhands – but make it bigger and better than anything we’ve done before. Gathering up our creative executives, we put our brains together in search of inspiration.

In just a few hours, Brandlive Studios put together a moodboard to help influence the focus and theme for our show.

The moodboarding process, we usually try to do it rapid-fire. We pull inspiration from Google or anywhere that we create a little spark or sets the mood. This can be anything from architecture, videos, design – anything that sort of plays into what the theme will be for the show.

-Ben Drake, Creative Director

Taking to the internet, we searched for videos and photos showing behind the scenes content of anything creative, and came upon a behind the scenes video on YouTube of Drake’s 2015 hit song “Hotline Bling.”

From there, the inspiration bloomed. In “Hotline Bling” Drake is wearing a red puffy jacket, reminiscent of the red jacket Harry Styles wears in a more recent song, his 2022 hit “As It Was.” Continuing our internet sleuthing further, we found similar behind the scenes content to Drake’s “Hotline Bling” video and knew we were onto something – we had found our theme.

It’s the remix of ‘Hotline Bling’ with behind the scenes, so it really works – and we wanted the graphics that live in this Allhands to be a little bit mysterious and elusive; ‘What’s coming? What is that?’ I’m sure folks saw the imagery and thought, ‘Hmm that could be Drake inspired,’ but most didn’t. And that’s the point.

-Sam Kolbert-Hyle, CEO
We found inspiration for 1-800-BTS in all sorts of ways; Drake’s “Hotline Bling” music video led to Harry Styles’ “As It Was” music video, where we picked out this particular style of reeded glass to use throughout our theme.

The visuals of Harry Styles standing behind reeded glass serves as the central design inspiration piece, and was the visual inspiration for the theme. You’ll notice how this image of Styles behind the glass informs the creative throughout the show – like the transitions, title cards, lower third, fonts, and more.

Calling back to Harry Styles’s “As It Was” music video and the reeded glass effect, we incorporated that style into our show’s graphic package, including the walkup title cards.
James Turrell and the reeded glass effect showed up in title cards, lower third, fonts, and more.
Greenroom let's you easily customize overlay graphics, including custom title cards, for each shot in your show.

When thinking about the overall creative strategy for 1-800-BTS, it can ultimately be traced back to the artist James Turrell, who inspired Director X for the “Hotline Bling” music video. Turrell pioneered custom lightboxes, and used light and space to create artworks that engage viewers with the limits and wonder of human perception.

The overall inspiration behind 1-800-BTS can be traced back to James Turrell, an American artist most notable for his use of light and space.

Lighting was key here: with the set being three walls, all of the color would come from the lighting, so there was heavy focus on ensuring that was executed perfectly. Our video production team spent a day setting the lights, cameras and mics – and done intentionally, so that it could be reused and repurposed for many shows to come. (Pro tip: You also might notice everyone sitting on stools. That’s so everyone on stage is at around the same height, which is helpful for camera and lighting purposes.)

Finally, when finding the title for the show, we knew we wanted to come up with something more provocative and less run-of-the-mill, which is how we landed on 1-800-BTS.

When looking at a catalog of meetings, what are you more likely to watch? Are you going to watch something that just says 'Behind the Scenes' or '1-800-BTS'? Why not make it interesting? We try as hard as we can to make the visuals interesting, the run of show – everything. Why not the title of the show?

-Ben Drake, Creative Director

Anatomy of 1-800-BTS

Opening Music Video

Our show starts off with Drake’s song “Hotline Bling,” leading into a behind the scenes talk with the iconic music video director, Director X. Our own Brandlive Studios put a spin on those graphics for the name of our Allhands – 1-800-BTS – to start securing the theme for our show, all while maintaining a little intrigue as to what, exactly, will be the focus of that day’s meeting.

We then start to blur the lines between Director X’s explanation of the “Hotline Bling” video with our own Allhands, even cutting to a version of the music video set that we’ve superimposed 1-800-BTS on to. At this point, it starts to become clear what kind of tone we are setting for our show.

Cold Open

We then cut to Brandlive’s CEO, Sam Kolbert-Hyle, opening the show with a cold open; explaining how our theme was inspired by Drake, and how for today’s show we’re celebrating the hard work and creativity that went into this very Allhands. Before this live shot, the team ran through two rehearsals, focusing on timing the delivery perfectly with the music. 

This is where we pull the curtain back and show you how we make magic happen. Yes, we know it’s a bit meta – but it’s important that we give our teams and customers a peek behind the curtain so everyone can see how hard our creative teams work on our internal meetings. Walking through the production crew for the day, we highlight Ethan, video producer; Eli, Greenroom producer; Zack, audio producer; Courtland, lighting director; and Melissa, our showcaller.

Walkup

Introducing the main cast for the show today, our opening walkup graphics feature Sam, CEO; Shelley Phonharath, Customer Success Manager and star of our Storytelling segment; Saira Mathew, Vice President of Brandlive Studios; Ben Drake, Creative Director; and Roberto Lasso, Director of Video Production.

Mixed together with custom, on-theme graphics created by Brandlive Studios, and overlaying Harry Styles song “Music For a Sushi Restaurant,” this short segment gives our attendees a quick glance at the familiar faces of their co-workers that they can expect to see on stage.

Introduction from the CEO

Sam comes back on the stage (in a similar coat to Drake’s in “Hotline Bling”) going on to explain the set we built in our 4th floor studio at Brandlive HQ, and how it mimics the lightbox from the music video. Giving even more context to the actual production of the show, Sam goes on to mention the creation of our set (completed in just two days), our four camera set-up (to create a more dynamic show, much like how television cuts between cameras), and how the meeting’s run of show was organized.

Allhands Theme Spotlight

The spotlight segment is one we do every meeting, rotating between executives and teams. It generally consists of an interview, where we use a narrative, linear analogy of how the event came to be to help guide and shape the discussion. For this meeting, we put a spotlight on the folks who led the creative production of 1-800-BTS: Ben, Saira, and Roberto.

This segment in particular showcases the benefits of an appropriately timed transition. Here, the spotlight segment title card needed to be shown for 20 seconds to allow for time for stage changes, getting new people onto the stage and settled in (analogous to stage theater doing a scene change). This is why the attention-grabbing graphics and music involved is hugely important; the audience won’t even notice a mini, minor delay when they are entranced by the visuals.

With the right attitude and the right team, this was pulled together quite easily.

-Saira Mathew, Executive Creative Director

Q&A Time

Using the question feature within the Brandlive platform, the team is encouraged to ask questions around the show or about the broader organization. While we normally reserve time for this segment towards the end of the show, we decided to include the folks in the spotlight segment to answer questions about any of the design or production of that week’s Allhands. This is a great way to keep the audience engaged and actively participating in the live show, as well.

Building your show in Greenroom gives you the flexibility to easily shift segments around.

Ch-Changes: Role Change Announcements

Bringing on executives from the team, this segment was focused on promotions within various departments. Most teams want transparency around these types of role changes, and we wanted to create this segment to not only offer up this information to the whole org, but to highlight our incredible teammates who do so much to create a better business for everyone. 

At Brandlive we believe in rituals; ongoing segments that set the tone and cadence across our org. We’ll use this segment as a repeatable template for future meetings, and to make it more of a ritual for each Allhands, so everyone watching can get an update on what’s happening within the company. 

Brandlive Feud

During every Allhands, we play a game – like Truth or Dare, Whose Line Is It Anyway, and Two Truths & a Lie – with our new hires to introduce them to the team and to get to know them a bit more. For this meeting, we did a parody of the game show Family Feud to introduce our two new hires. Together with Sam, they played “Fast Money,” the bonus round segment typically seen towards the end of Family Feud. With Sam asking rapid-fire survey questions, the newbies had to guess the top answers for a chance to win $500 to the Brandlive merch store. 

We recorded this segment the day before the Allhands, following a script that was written specifically after researching the language used in the show. We filmed with a two-camera setup, which allowed us to cut out any parts where there may have been a slip-up or other unfortunate moment (luckily, we didn’t need to do that). Mixed together with custom graphics, laugh tracks and theme music – and using Greenroom to bring the remote guests onto the virtual stage, one at a time – this segment had some suspenseful moments and got a lot of laughs from the people engaging in the platform’s chat feature.

Storytime with Shelley

As we adapt to hybrid work, we rely more and more on connection and community to counter any feelings we may have around feeling lonely or isolated. To get to know some of our own associates better, we invite teammates to share their personal stories of how they grew up and became the person they are today during our most popular segment, Storytime.

This week, we highlighted one of our Customer Success Managers, Shelley, where she shared her story of growing up in a Laotian family in the United States. This pre-recorded segment mixed in stock music and b-roll, and gave the team a chance to get to know Shelley’s background. These stories are short, typically in the 6 to 8 minute range. And depending on the personality of our protagonist, we tend to either let them ad lib their story live or, as Shelley felt more comfortable doing, pre-record her segment and use a script.

Showing the background, boom mic, lights, cameras, and teleprompter, this behind the scenes look at Shelley’s Storytime segments shows just how much goes into producing an incredible show.

Wrapping Up

Sam wraps up the Allhands giving thanks to all the teammates who made an appearance and helped put on the incredible show. He also took this time to remind everyone of our AAPI happy hour that was taking place in the office later that day, encouraging folks to come into the office (even if they live locally and didn’t work in the office that day) to hang out with their co-workers, have a drink and grab some local food. This aspect of building culture as a hybrid workplace is hugely important for our org, so we take as many opportunities as we can to promote it.

The Allhands ends by wrapping up our “Hotline Bling” theme, making mention of the various staircases you see throughout the video, including one that seems to be a staircase to heaven. This detail tied into two particularly tough, recent moments; the anniversary of the death of one of Sam’s family members, and the recent tragedy in Texas that took place just days before our Allhands. Using this opportunity to talk about the injustices of the world and what we can do to help effect change in Washington are just a few ways we can use our platform to try to make a difference, no matter how small.

Closing Music Video

We closed the show with a remix of Harry Styles original “As it Was” music video, mixed with behind the scenes shots from the music video as well as behind the scenes footage of our own Allhands show. 

After the show wrapped, we were able to take stock of the attendance and how the show was received. Using data from the Brandlive platform, we saw that 94% of our team watched the Allhands live or asynchronously, with the majority of our attendees staying through the very end of the show and the ending Harry Styles song (can you blame them?), plus clocking in over 180 comments, messages and gifs sent through the chat in the Brandlive platform throughout the live showing.

star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star
star

Stay Updated on the Latest Brandlive News