The company tour

This is such a powerful tool. Some organisations have the company tour formalised to a fine art whilst some don’t bother at all.

At Codemasters I started doing these myself. Gradually I polished them, with anecdotes and content built in, so that each was achieving a number of objectives: Giving an idea about the heritage and ethos of the company, the quality of the staff, the scale and complexity of work going into a game, our key brands, the future of the company and so on.

Basically the tour became an opportunity for a grade-A brainwashing without the victim realising! Having been on many company tours myself, mainly in Scottish distilleries, I had a good understanding of how powerful they can be.

Once I had it just how I wanted it I brought my staff along to observe, eventually letting them take over the reins. Then I opened it up as a service which we offered to other departments.

We did a lot of these tours. The obvious tourists were journalists, because it gave them an overview before they saw what they had specifically visted for. The tour alone got us many pages of coverage in game magazines from all over the world, which was fantastic coverage to get.

We also showed round local politicians, city people, suppliers, customers, developers and anyone else the company had a relationship with.

So do you give company tours? Have you worked out your objectives and how to achieve them during the tour? Are senior people involved in ensuring the quality of the tour? Have your say by making a comment.