This year, VO Event successfully organized the 10th Magritte Awards ceremony. An event that took place on 1 February at the Square-Brussels Convention Centre and at which the films released between mid-October 2018 and mid-October 2019 were rewarded.
More than 4,000 visitors attended the very first Maker Faire in Brussels, a creative and innovative festival, organised and steered by VO Citizen. Held on the 6th and 7th of December at SeeU, Brussels (the former barracks in Ixelle), the event featured around a hundred stands and workshops.
Last November, VO’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) team organised an awareness campaign for its employees on the consequences of CO2 produced by different forms of transport. And the first edition was already a grand success!
As of now, VO will start recycling cigarette ends. Last October, as part of its CSR policy (corporate social responsibility) and in collaboration with WeCircular, VO replaced all the old ashtrays in its little garden by a new ashtray dedicated to recycling.
This autumn, the European Research and Innovation Days (R&I Days) were held in Brussels. The aim was to discuss and map out the future landscape of research and innovation in Europe. The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation tasked VO Europe, our communications agency and specialised service provider for European and international institutions, to develop this brand new convention as part of its RTD framework agreement.
3 years ago, a financial profile was added to the VO team to support the strategic development of the group and help management and the different agencies manage our finances in the short, middle and long term.
After many years of collaboration between our graphic design agency SIGN and the town of Anglet (north of Biarritz), our team has won the invitation to tender to provide the Scène Nationale du Sud-Aquitaine with a brand new identity. And it managed to fight off a few major competitors on the way.
Our employees’ well-being in the workplace is a matter close to VO’s heart. For almost two years now, a very special effort has been made across the group’s relocation, with daily adjustments, to develop various measures aimed at implementing the values of the VO group - respect, an open mind and entrepreneurial passion.
Who could forget! For 3 whole days at the beginning of the summer, Brussels hosted the start of the Tour de France 2019. More than 170 cyclists and 1 million spectators lined the streets of Brussels during this event. Against this unusual backdrop, Brussels Mobility entrusted VO Citizen with the development of a new transmedia campaign.
Using an orange bin bag for apple cores, coffee grounds, peppers and all other food waste is the right thing to do. After all, these waste products take up 40% of your white bin bags. If you separate them from other waste, they can be recycled into green energy and compost, thanks to biomethanisation. All this and more is the message of the communication campaign brought to you by VO Citizen, the corporate communications agency of the VO Group.
After more than a year of testing, several of the projects co-created in the VO Lab have come to fruition. The Lab is our resource centre. For more than a year, it has been giving the VO agencies and their clients a range of tools – from a structure and setting that foster collective intelligence, to internal and external experts and inspiring documentation – to co-create innovative, long-lasting communication solutions.
At the start of this year, as part of its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), VO Group became a member of the non-profit Be.Face. The aim is to help build a more responsible, supportive society – something that is very much a part of who we are here at VO.
Two of the values that drive VO Group are employee well-being and environmentalism. With a view to combining these two values, VO Group has introduced soups in winter and fruit baskets in summer.
After a year-long test phase, LAB VO and our interactive marketing agency, Voice, are finally launching their internal project. There are two events in the pipeline, borne from the groundbreaking ideas LAB VO came up with during two collective brainstorming sessions.
A hackathon – a portmanteau of hack and marathon – is a sprint-like innovation event aiming to develop new solutions to a given problem. It is an increasingly popular approach for organisations wanting to think outside the box and devise innovative solutions. Bringing together participants from the IT, tech, start-up and other sectors, who form groups to respond to a particular challenge, hackathons are a collaborative creative process that can run non-stop for up to three days.
The VO Group is always keen to encourage collaborations between its agencies. Launched in late 2017, Studio Gondo is a hotbed of artistic ideas, much to the delight of the other agencies, and particularly VO Event which regularly calls on its services.
VO has proven to be a goldmine for youngsters looking to build their experience: this spring, we have beaten our own record for the number of interns, with 14 youngsters working across all of the VO agencies (VO Group, VO Event, Voice, VO Citizen and VO Europe). Some of them will be staying on with us for longer, while others will be moving on to the next step of their careers.
At the start of March, in partnership with communications agency SENSE and Emmanuel Mossay – an expert in the circular economy – VO Event was named the winner of Brussels Environment’s “Be Circular” call for projects with its proposal for a “Circular Event Toolkit”. This toolkit is a collection of the techniques needed to run an eco-friendly event and will be available to the entire Belgian events industry from late 2019.
Getting around town isn’t always easy when you have a disability. There are more than 940,000 parking spaces in Brussels but only 4000 are designed for people with reduced mobility (PRM). But nowadays we are all aware that everyone should have access to a parking space that is appropriate for them.
To start 2019 on a positive note, VO allocated a budget for donations to three NGOs. You were asked to choose between BXL Refugees, La Maison des Enfants au Sénégal and Plastivor. The good news is that we split the sum almost proportionally between all three: 38.2% for BXL Refugees, 25.3% for La Maison des Enfants au Sénégal and 26.5% for Plastivor.
The VO Group is fine-tuning a tool that will see it throw away the rule book and boost creativity in the projects entrusted to it. This tool is the LAB, and it will not only improve the way the teams “think” things but also the way they “make” things. It implies a new attitude to foster more collective intelligence, greater meaning and better ideas in the interests of the customer and his event.
As the year draws to a close, we are particularly proud to present a coat drive - collecting warm clothes for the needy - as one of the actions and initiatives undertaken by our employees within the VO group. Fully committed to our heartfelt policy of Corporate Social Responsibility, Timothée, one of our collaborators at Sense, has challenged himself and his colleagues by launching an appeal to collect as much warm clothes for vulnerable people as possible.
Just over 50% of families in Brussels have a private car. And when you consider that these cars are stationary 97.6% of the time, there is an obvious conclusion to be drawn. Today, many people are aware that a shared car can replace up to 15 personal vehicles and that there is a well-developed range of such car-sharing services on offer. This awareness and knowledge of the possibilities that are available is the fruit of a collaboration between two of the VO Group agencies: VO Citizen and Voice.
Front Desk Officer - Fatima is a member of the CSR team and has daily contact with the entire company, driving changes in behaviour and encouraging the VO Group to take as green an approach as possible.
The courses in collective intelligence and agile project management for the VO teams were in full swing this summer ... Some 60 employees were introduced to this new approach and were able to work on developing solutions to the challenge launched by the Group: "How to encourage teams to cooperate creatively, ensure enjoyment at work and increase the quality of recommendations made to clients." This investment in training aims to achieve the vision "Make sense and be remarkable".
Based on the awards won since 2006, and as part of its call for entries 2018, BEA World has publicised the top 30 best event agencies in the world. VO Group is delighted to announce that VO Event did very well, ranking 14th and the only Belgian agency among the 280 agencies from 29 countries involved.
Two months after the official launch of the test phase, we take a look at the progress made by the LAB, our centre for collaborative, creative and agile resources.
Manager at Sense and member of the CSR Team since 2014
Given the group’s growth and the need to shake things up, VO left its Forest offices and moved to Uccle, where it is now occupying one of the buildings on the Schlumberger site
Concerned about present and future challenges, VO invests in an agile and collaborative dynamic of continuous improvement, both for developing answers to challenges posed by clients and for the agency’s day-to-day methods and approach.
Project Manager for VO Europe and member of the CSR Team since its creation
At VO Group, like at all of the VO agencies, we believe that we can use technological innovation, creativity and inventiveness to ensure that we respect people and the environment
Dimitri, Project Leader at VO Event and member of the CSR Team since the beginning
At the end of March 2018, VO launched a new VO Lab project that would allow it to offer its clients something completely unheard of and cement its long-term position within the communications market.
2018 has seen us striving to push ourselves further, particularly when it comes to our client services and solutions. For this reason we are launching a large-scale project to create our own reporting tool for our events.
Julien – Head of Content & PR, and active member of the CSR Team since 2017
Aware that getting around Brussels can be a problem, and with a view to improving the group's environmental impact, the CSR Team is prioritising the issue of travel.
Optimising purchasing has been one of the VO group’s aims for a number of years. A significant part of our business (events communication) is short-term, so it is essential for us for both in-house and client projects to select suppliers who are as committed as possible to sustainability.
Audrey, a driving force behind the CSR Team, is the CSR coordinator. She is responsible for water, air, energy and biodiversity within the CSR Team.
Our first experience with carbon offsetting for events was at the request of the European Commission when we organised the very first Sustainable Energy Week, which we ran for three years in a row.