ICA, Sweden’s leading grocery retail chain, operates on a model where it is the independent store owners who set the agenda. Yet attendance numbers at ICA’s annual retailers’ meetings did not reflect this. In 2017, only 130 out of approximately 1,350 ICA store owners attended. Collaboration is key to ICA’s business model, but their meetings weren’t providing it.
In 2018, under the motto “by the owners, with the owners, for the owners”, ICA wanted to create an event that would allow the storeowners to experience that they, together, create the brand ICA, and that they are ICA. One of the aims of the meeting was for the owners to get the chance to network and to share experiences with each other. It was also crucial to gather as much input from the store owners as possible, which the ICA group could use to shape their strategy going forward.
In June 2018, Green Hat People delivered the revamped owners’ meeting (bringing more interactivity and excitement) at the beautiful Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre. This time, 870 store owners attended. That’s a jump from 10% attendance in 2017 to 64% for the interactive meeting in 2018! The day was divided into two blocks, according to themes on which ICA was keen to get storeowners’ input. The first block was about digitization and ownership, and the second was about profitability and safety.
We divided the participants into groups of six to seven people. Each block started with a fun 2-minute trivia quiz to get everyone going. This was also a nice way to introduce the participants (many of whom were over 50) to the tablets. As Green Hat People had already briefed all the group team leaders on how to use the tablets, and how to enter codes and answers into them, we got off to a smooth start. A moderator was onstage to announce to the groups when it was time use the tablets.
This was followed by 4-5 workshop questions related to the theme of the block. In bursts of around 5 minutes, the groups worked together on a question and sent in their answer. We then displayed the answers and comments from the tablets on stage. The moderator facilitated the lively discussion about the outcomes. Once the two themed blocks were completed, we gathered all the teams in the big conference room and announced the winner of the quiz. This created a great energy that carried through into the rest of the conference, where the storeowners had the opportunity to mingle and have dinner together.
“Thank you very much for this Thursday. It was a pleasure to work with you and your colleagues! We really appreciate the attentive, professional and respectful way your team took care of us!”
Bringing so many of the local retail owners together has had a wonderful impact on the sense of community within ICA Sweden. Another great result was the increase in both quantity and quality of data gathered during the event. Because Green Hat People uses the latest technology to gather input from participants in its active meetings, we can deliver insights that drive organisations forward.
At the ICA meeting, the 129 workshop groups resulted in 1869 answers and comments over the course of the day. This kind of information is invaluable for an organisation like ICA. After the meeting, ICA assembled the answers and comments in a book together with other useful information, which they sent to all the owners that attended. This gave them a tangible reminder of the day their community came together and weighed in on the themes that will shape the future of their sector.