Around the world by virtual rail


Global Bank





A virtual experience to inspire the champions of the future.

Our client challenged us to replace an all-expenses paid trip to an exciting destination for top performing employees with a virtual experience that would inspire the champions of the future.

The digital experience needed to be exciting, valuable and fun whilst providing lots of opportunities for virtual networking and collaboration.

The solution

Taking inspiration from the glitz of The Great Gatsby with the quirkiness of the Grand Budapest Hotel, we invited colleagues to jump on board a magical virtual train to take an exclusive round-the-world trip like never before.

The train took the audience to different continents each day. Every virtual mile and stop were packed full of team building experiences, surprise travel companions and interactive activities.

A charismatic Conductor acted as the anchor of the story. Our writers scripted dynamic dialogue for the Conductor and our actor was filmed using greenscreen over carefully selected stock footage.

The films were used to set-up each day on our train passing by famous landmarks in each continent. Sound design, interactive props and post-production techniques added depth and hyperrealism as you can see in the film below.

We curated a week of globally themed activities to suit individual needs, with the audience choosing their activities during registration. There was a huge logistical task involved in sending out personalized post to delegate homes. This included:

  • A teaser of customized ‘luggage’ including a passport, destination stickers, a leather travel wallet and a golden ticket
  • A package with the elements needed for their selected experiences which for some included fresh food items for cooking classes
  • Branded jackets sent post event as a memento of the experience

The Conductor hosted a daily broadcast introducing each day’s activities.

These activities and broadcasts included:

  • Welcoming messages from the top level executives and first glimpses into what was taking place over the week.
  • A ‘European’ tour with three possible activities: France for wine tasting and water colour painting; England for custom candle making; or Switzerland for chocolate tasting and chunky blanket knitting.
  • ‘Asia’ included either a stop in Thailand for a cooking class, Russia for vodka mixology or China for tea tasting.
  • Team building was carried out in Africa via a Mystery in Ancient Egypt – a virtual scavenger hunt which created team building and collaboration.
  • The last day was all about celebrating. Champions came together and popped the bubbly they had been sent, pouring it into their branded champagne flutes as they watched a live broadcast which highlighted each champion and why they were nominated.

The platform – heddle

The experience was hosted on heddle our fully customisable virtual event platform. heddle gave us total design freedom to apply our creative look and feel across all activities and devices because it is responsive. The platform is also PCI1 accredited which gave our client total confidence around security.

For this type of premium experience, a seamless attendee experience was critical. Registration was carried out on heddle, removing the need for data transfer or the integration of third-party tools minimising the potential for data issues. Conditional logic was also used to take participants’ selections at registration to create personalised agendas and pages on heddle giving each Champion a tailored experience.

Take a tour of the site in the film below.

The journey in numbers

  • 91% of attendees were satisfied or very satisfied with the event
  • 330 minutes of engagement
  • 1,800 minutes of content reviewed and edited
  • 375 custom kits delivered to delegate homes
  • 800 Thai dumplings  made by hand
  • 1,875,000 collective virtual miles traveled

Postcards from the attendees