2020: the year everything went online – including our Korporativ.

Gathering together, having fun, making a lot of noise, and dancing a jig – it’s what we do; occasionally ). But around the end of every year, we do so with extra aplomb. Normally that means bringing K-folks from all over the planet to Moscow and fitting them into a suitably large venue for our festive bash. (With every year we’ve had fewer and fewer options re the venue, as we’re getting so big: we’re now able to fill the largest indoor venues of the capital – for example, Luzhniki (think – where Rammstein, among others, has played), or the Olympiysky stadium (Depeche Mode…)). We’d sum up the year, present awards to our best and brightest, and then party… like it’s 1999, if that’s still a thing, bubbly in hand.

(photo from 2016)

Gathering together literally all our K-team in one place is of course impossible: there are the 24-hour threat-monitoring and user-support folks who need to be at work, for example. Still, most of the Moscow office would normally be at our yearly Christmas bash, plus plenty of K-ambassadors from our overseas offices – from the Americas to Australia. Our guests would be fed, watered (!), then treated to our traditional variety show-extravaganza put on by the more Kreative among us. Add singing and dancing for good measure – and a few measures of something else while you’re at it – and it all adds up to a gala bash-blowout that’s fun for all and the perfect way of seeing off the outgoing year properly.

Here are a few of my reports on previous year-end shindigs: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.

And some photos:

Eventually, the inevitable happened: we became too big to fit into any venue. And we could hardly start having it outside (comfortably) given the sub-zero temperatures at this time of year. So, alas, for the last two years, we simply haven’t had our New Year Korporativ. Boo! And then… 2020 happened…

Now, you know the phrase ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, right? Well, it turns out that even this year’s cloud ghastly crowned biovirus has brought at least one silver lining bit of good news – at least for us K-folks. It’s enabled the rebirth of our New Year party! It – like many other things this year – simply moved over to the online format!

Ok, it wasn’t quite fully online – it was a hybrid of online and offline. Sure, without proper planning and precautions taken it could have been a dangerous undertaking, but… you guessed it – it was planned most properly, and all the necessary precautions were taken, and… (can you guess again?!) it was a resounding success! Hurray!

Despite the format change, still featured were the traditional variety show put on by the K-performers and the awards ceremony for our best-of-the-bests, but a novel new aspect was added…

Basically, we took the following ingredients: (i) Russia’s most humorous, witty and popular national TV presenter, Ivan Urgant; (ii) Father Christmas; (iii) around a hundred of our most talented performing artists; and (iv) nominees for the Annual Kaspersky Awards. Then we added a great many rehearsals (and a great many COVID tests). And the result? A top-notch festive online event for a full 2400+ employees in Russia and around the world all sat at home!

Father Khristmas was also sat at home, beamed in via telelink:

As is becoming a bit of a tradition, herewith – event stats:

– 22 minutes of the main performance
– 57 outfits
– 19 impossibly talented singers
– 30 pairs of dancing feet
– 10 make-up artists
– 19-person production-direction crew, including: director, choreographer, singing teacher, sound producer, costume artist and supervisors, seamstress, props supervisors…
– 45 hours of singing lessons
– 33 hours of rehearsals
– 13 hours of dummy runs on-site
– 600 COVID-19 tests over three days
– 386 centimeters of hosts’ height (Ivan Urgant + Alexander Ilin)!

– 2400 viewers
– 100+ employees on-site
– Three hours, 18 minutes – the show’s duration

– Number of caviar sandwiches eaten by Ivan Urgant: 0
– 20 meters of hamburgers (if placed in a line)
– 200 hotdogs
– 100 liters of coffee
– 50 liters of mulled wine (from BarKas)
– 300 kilograms of food
– One million calories
– 1838 promo-codes for Yandex Food, each for 2021 rubles, given out to employees

38-meter studio, 231 units of network equipment, 10 cameras, one 15-meter screen
Three-hour transmission provided by 40 (!) technicians

A special thank-you goes out to those who supported the charitable part to the festivities. Thanks to 594 donations, we collected nearly half a million rubles (more than 6000 dollars) for the Zhivi charity fund, which helps create comfortable conditions for child patients in hospital. The Kompany will increase that sum up to one million rubles. And if you haven’t already and would like to donate, there’s still a little time (till the end of this week); go here.

So what can I say? I’ll say that our first ever hybrid Christmas/New-Year show was a great success! Hurray! Thank you to all those who took part. Also, here’s a big thank-you to everyone in the company for their hard work during this very trying of years. I’m sure next year will also have its surprises, but as ever we’ll meet them head on and come out on top!

// And finally, finishing on an arithmetically optimistic note…: 

2020 = 2*2*5*101. Complicated; indeed it was!
2021 = 43*47. Straightforward; nice! More of that please )… 

The rest of the photos from the online show are here.

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