Case Study: GRA Employee Experience


GRA 1The GRA Employee Experience 2015 was an internal event for Johnson & Johnson Global Regulatory Affairs, taking place from October 12th-16th October. 700 employees from all over the world gathered in Chicago for the 4day event.

The GRA Employee Experience had three primary objectives. Firstly, to encourage networking and strengthen the relationships within the JnJ organization.  Secondly, to nurture the professional development of employees through sessions and workshops. Finally, JnJ wanted the event to be as ecologically friendly as possible, minimizing the amount of printed collateral that would go to waste.

With these objectives at the forefront of their planning and decision making process, JnJ adopted the Poken event platform to create an innovative and effective event experience; one that took engagement to the
next level.
Elements of the Poken platform that were deployed included:

  • Web-based Registration, including session enrollment
  • On-site badge printing using a light wireless tablet deployment
  • Digital interactive “Touchpoints” to make digital files available for download
  • Digital quizzes and interactive sessions
  • Gamification
  • A full-featured Event Mobile App
  • Metrics reporting
  1. Web-based Registration & Session Enrollment

JnJ required a solution for session registration and onsite badge printing. Before arriving, attendees enrolled in sessions and workshops online. This not only helped to foster pre-event engagement, but also provided a logistical advantage for the organizing team, as they knew the number of people that would attend each session. They also got insight into the sessions and workshops that resonated with employees.

An instructional guide was included in the event web portal. A personal schedule displayed in their web account and on mobile helped attendees keep track of the sessions and workshops they had registered for.


  1. On-site Badge Printing Using Wirelessly Connected Tablets

The event looked very professional, with a registration area complete with large tablet kiosks and badge printers provided by Poken.  Support staff were on site to help with any questions, and to make sure the experience was easy and convenient.

The registration process was as follows:

  • The Attendee typed a few letters of their name on the tablet
  • A new poken device was touched to a reader on the tablet, to link it to the Attendee account
  • Attendees could then update profile information and upload a photo (optional)
  • Attendees would then click ‘Print Badge’.
  • As the badge was printed, the attendee would receive a brief explanation of how poken works and how to get the most benefit from it throughout the event

gre reg

In total, it took less than 15 seconds for an attendee to register, pick up their badge, lanyard, and poken.

Each attendee’s personal schedule was printed on the reverse side of their badge, giving them a convenient way to keep up to date with their agenda.


  1. Digital Interactive “Touchpoints”

gra tpRather than having participants sit and listen to speakers, JnJ created the interactive conference experience. Participants were led along a specific ‘path’ that had interactive areas at each stage. As participants walked through each stage, they could use their poken device to participate in surveys and quizzes, as well as to collect important digital information. Participants were encouraged to engage with the material, and ask questions, thus creating a much more effective learning experience.



  1. Gamification

Participants were assigned to teams of 10 randomly selected people.   Each member could then win points for their team by participating in three team building and networking activities.

The three activities were:


  • Team Selfiegra appGRA3
    Chicago became the backdrop of a city wide ‘Selfie Challenge’. Teams could submit their best team building selfie via the event mobile app provided by Poken. Using the same tool, participants could then vote to elect the top 3 best selfies. After the voting was closed, each team received points according to their score in this activity.’
  • Networking Lunch

During registration, participants filled out questionnaires, that included both serious and fun questions. The results were then fed Poken’s Match-Making engine and create a seating plan was created.  To make things entertaining, it was the objective of participants to figure out why they had been selected to sit at a specific table. As questions were fun and personal in nature, it encouraged participants to actively find out more about their dinner partners.

  • Colleague Connection

To add an additional level of networking, each attendee had a secret list of 20 colleagues that they had to connect with using their poken interactive USB stick. Each connection would earn them 50 points.

“Amazing! Poken really encouraged me to go up to anyone and say Hi!   Without it, I would not have approached so many people and therefore, would have had less engagement in the meeting.”                                                                     -Event Participant


Participants could keep track of their team’s status on their profile in the app, or they could come by the Poken support desk. Here they could tap their poken to a tablet equipped with a wireless reader, and view scores in real-time.  Three large screens also displayed the overall GRA team leaderboard throughout the venue.


  1. Full-Featured Event Mobile App


gra 6As most JnJ employees use work phones that are restricted from downloading apps, Poken provided both a native app and a “Web App” with similar functionality, running in the participant’s mobile browser. This had the benefit of making the app features available with a single click, on all smart phones.

Prior to the event, attendees were encouraged to bookmark a link sent to them in an email.  They could then download the app content to their phone, cached within their browser. With this pre event communication, more than 50% of attendees saved the app to their phone before even joining the event.

The app contained the complete event agenda, which was extremely useful as it meant that it didn’t need to be printed, further helping JnJ achieve their environmental goals.  In addition, each attendee could see their personal schedule, personal points, new contacts, the documents they had collected and much more.
“POKEN is a fantastic tool and I loved the “green and digital” approach to networking.”                                                                                    -Event Participant



  1. The Results
  • 188,391 digital interactions at the event
  • 117,260 digital business cards exchanged
  • 8,528 digital files collected
  • 5,978 user logins
  • 33,517 unique page views on the mobile app
  • 62,110 total page views on mobile app
  • Agenda, personal schedule, contacts – these were the top 3 pages viewed on the mobile app

In short, the Johnson & Johnson GRA employee Experience was an astonishing success, with over 188 thousand interactions over the 4day period. On average each of the 700 participants connected with 167 people. The Poken platform and gamification tools not only helped create a fun atmosphere for networking and education, but also drove the entire event experience to new heights.

The number of page views on the mobile app showed how the combination of using the Poken interactive USB stick and Mobile App can be an integral tool for the attendees to stay informed, keep up to date on their personal schedules, and to make the most of the time at the event.

Johnson & Johnson also achieved their Green objectives, saving 22,584 documents from printing (approximately 37 trees).


“Bringing 700 people together from different cultural backgrounds from around the world and expecting them to feel comfortable introducing themselves to one another at a global meeting can be quite challenging.  Poken’s device for saying hello through an engaging and fun glowing-green “high-five” hand helped pave the way for comfortable introductions—and opened the door for meaningful conversations to ensue!”                                                                                                 Barbara McNamara


Check out the Whitepaper or Webinar on Igniting Conversations and Boosting Networking. Or click here to get started on making your event a success today.

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