Celebrating 50 Years of Entertainment at HBO With a BrightCrowd Digital Scrapbook

October 2022 — By T.J. Duane

Over the years, HBO has become a household name for television enthusiasts and movie buffs alike. Established in 1972 as part of WarnerMedia, this premium network is home to hundreds of major motion pictures, original series, and documentaries. Available in nearly 155 countries, the company employs roughly 2,000 individuals and caters to millions of subscribers each year. The sheer size of the organization, as well as its award-winning programming, make it a powerhouse global brand.

Celebrating Success by Bringing 50 Years of Former HBO Employees Together

Hitting a 50-year anniversary is a huge milestone for anyone, but especially a corporation. Large organizations aren’t built overnight, nor do they become successful due to the sole contribution of one individual leader. HBO recognized that it took thousands of employees across many decades to become the world’s most successful paid TV services. To honor its great history and those employees who contributed to its success, HBO decided to throw an epic 50th-anniversary reunion weekend in The Hamptons.

Going Beyond the HBO Employee Directory

As with any company, HBO has had its fair share of employees over the years. Individuals have retired, changed jobs, moved, or passed away. Keeping track of thousands of employees over many decades is an impossible task. Not only does it require the company to maintain regular contact with former employees, but it utilizes valuable resources that could be directed elsewhere. Many companies defer to a directory; however, traditional company directories are very limited. The information included does very little to provide an accurate representation of an individual outside of the office. HBO reunion organizers were trying to create their own digital scrapbook from scratch. However, simply utilizing an HBO employee directory for a 50th-anniversary reunion would not cut it.

They tried using a basic Gmail account to collect alumni notes and updates with email responses and photos as attachments. The photos then had to be moved into DropBox folders, with the responses moving to Word docs or Excel spreadsheets. Overall, it was a heavy administrative burden - costly in time and expenses.

That’s when BrightCrowd’s digital scrapbooks entered the scene.

Harnessing The Power of Workplace Alumni Engagement Tools to Reunite Employees

Instead of a costly manual project, HBO used BrightCrowd’s digital scrapbook to reconnect employees for its 50th anniversary. Using BrightCrowd for their reunion was like having a blank script for their employees to take a well-deserved turn in the spotlight.

HBO customized their book with questions like:

  • When did you work at HBO, and what areas or programs did you work on?
  • Write about your journey since HBO or your plans for the future. Share family milestones or update the group about your career path. Write about anything, it's entirely up to you!
  • When I wasn’t in the office or on the set, you could find me…
  • What were some of your favorite places to hang out?
  • Favorite memories and friends…
  • What experiences and which colleagues do you remember most fondly from our time at HBO? Who have you stayed in touch with over the years? (Type @ to give specific people a mention). If you have a favorite story or two, please share it.
  • The most valuable lesson I learned while at HBO…
  • You'd be surprised to learn...

These questions allowed participants to truly share their experiences as HBO employees and reconnect with those they lost touch with over the years. It took less than an hour to organize and launch their book, with a much better response rate than their manual initiative to create a scrapbook.

Using BrightCrowd allowed HBO’s team to dedicate more time to the reunion itself, rather than stretching resources thin to manually input information that had previously been stored in Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, and Dropbox files.

Though gathering all of HBO’s former employees together for a company reunion was unrealistic, partnering with BrightCrowd allowed individuals who were unable to attend the event the opportunity to still participate. Despite their absence, these employees were still able to create pages and connect with their former colleagues. Additionally, those that were no longer living were paid tribute and remembered for their time at the company.

Through BrightCrowd’s digital scrapbook, HBO saw that employees were not only creating pages but were consistently logging in to view pages created by others. The results were impressive, given approximately 250 reunion participants:

  • 193 pages created
  • 86% of invitations opened
  • Over 240 unique visitors
  • 14,000 unique page views

The reunion’s digital scrapbook became not only a way of connecting with people who were attending the reunion, but a sentimental keepsake that could be looked back on for years to come.

Use BrightCrowd to Connect Your Company

Keeping employees connected can be difficult. But with BrightCrowd, organizing information, sharing memories, and engaging in shared interests has never been easier. Whether you’re looking to commemorate an important milestone, host a team event, or celebrate the holidays, a digital scrapbook is an excellent way to bring people together.

Using a digital memory book from BrightCrowd can eliminate the burden that is often placed on human resources departments or other volunteer committees to drive participation and make meaningful connections at reunions and beyond. It’s the perfect complement to in-person gatherings and milestone celebrations.

Visit BrightCrowd to learn how to make a reunion book and bring your company together in the digital era.

T.J. Duane