BBN Academy goes Virtual

BBN’s culture is a collaborative one. It has a compelling proposition with such widespread talent globally and strengths in so many niche business sectors. Bringing just a few of these people together results in something quite extraordinary.

The BBN Academy provides an impressive platform for learning and collaboration. Every year, we incorporate a series of activities designed to bring our people together, strengthen our culture of collaboration, and support our people’s skill development on a worldwide stage. It has become the highlight of the year for many of its attendees, and this year will be no exception.

There is one significant and noticeable difference though this year, and that, of course, is that it’s online! In a pandemic-free world, we’d have been packing our bags and heading to the airport to meet at Chateau De Mello in France. Well, of course, this year, that just wasn’t possible, so we brought the Academy venue into the homes and offices of our participants.

By nature, we are a resourceful and adaptable bunch. Therefore, moving this event online presented us with lots of opportunities rather than challenges.

BBN Central and our clever colleagues at wob re-created the venue online using a platform called Expo-IP. Hence, colleagues still got to explore the Chateau De Mello in all its splendour. Pulsating hotspots led delegates around the Chateau, from the front door entrance, through the lobby, which led them to four primary areas of the event.

Chateau De Mello, France


The main stage is where the action happened! It’s where we delivered our live broadcasts and pre-recorded sessions across 3 different time zone schedules.

Main Stage

The webinar room displayed posters on the wall for a series of webinars scheduled to broadcast during the second week. Participants could pre-register or watch the recordings on-demand.


The breakout area is where the teams gathered to meet online. They could access downloadable material and assets from the ‘magic mirror’ on the wall and their designated private meeting room.

Breakout Area2

In the team meeting rooms, clicking on the BBN logo on the wall launched their private Teams video meeting.

meeting rooms

A BBN Academy would not be complete without a bar to hang out. It’s where the fun and friendships happen! This engaging, interactive environment courtesy of SpacialChat allowed our participants to mingle and network using video chat technology in the grand hall at Chateau De Mello. Cocktails were optional!

The bar

Over 10 days, attendees were given a real-world BBN learning experience. Teams were brought together from all corners of the world, unrestricted by travel, to work in a virtual environment to tackle an exciting brief. They enjoyed all the thrills, surprises and learning that comes with a real-life BBN collaboration.

Like our partners who work together, teams also had to solve time zone challenges, language, and communication. They worked together to create a clear, thought-out response to the brief, which they presented online on the penultimate day of the Academy week.

During the first three days, all participants were required to attend a series of sessions designed to help them tackle the brief. Then the teams gathered online and began working on the project, applying their new knowledge from the previous week to deliver a final pitch presentation.

At the end of our Academy, we held our annual Golden Bee Awards celebration to recognise some of the best work our partners produce for their clients. This year we received 60 submissions across ten categories. Together with our four special awards, it was an impressive showcase of BBN talent.

GBA compilation

The event culminated with the award for the winning pitch judged by the Academy presenters. It was followed by a virtual After Party to toast the winners.

After Party

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