Case Studies

Developing Leadership and Connecting


One leadership summit grew into multiple annual learning opportunities.


A Federal client requested help planning a leadership summit. A three-day learning event in a different format than originally planned was so productive that annual leadership summits were established and supplemented with virtual learning. Executives and managers learned from each other and gained skills to lead more effectively.

The Challenge

Executives in a group of a federal agency were grappling with leadership challenges exacerbated by extended time working virtually during the pandemic and limited in-person time for collaboration. The client asked Evans to organize a 3-day in-person summit for their management team. Faced with budget constraints, Evans pivoted away from one location to a hybrid event connecting three in-person locations.

The Solution

Evans consultants prepared a hybrid summit across three locations with facilitators in each location and a virtual “master“ facilitator. The agenda focused on key elements of leadership success, including communication, managing vs. leading, emotional intelligence, building trust, employee engagement, and fostering accountability, as well as organizational strategy and exploring their leadership journeys. The agenda built in energizers and time to connect without screens.

The Approach

A well-planned leadership summit can enable valuable dialogue and equip leaders with important capabilities to face challenges. When approached to support a leadership summit for a federal agency team, Evans convened a planning committee to structure the logistical planning and identify the priority topics so the event would be beneficial to all.

We offered our Federal client a customized plan based on client input and modified it for subsequent leadership programming. Our adaptable approaches included:

Flexible format

Pivoted from an in-person to a hybrid event across three locations using remote technology to connect the sites to meet a tight budget. This enabled most benefits of an in-person experience while reducing costs substantially.
The second summit was successfully held in person.

Based on adult learning principles

Focused on real-world examples and applications.
Employed an engaging, interactive learning approach leveraging peer learning.
Nurtured interpersonal connections.
Engaging materials including slides and daily participant guides to support reflection and activities; completed on paper to support “screen free” expectations.


Participants used printed materials to support session activities to minimize the distraction of screens and improve human connection.
A “master” virtual facilitator and on-site facilitators in each location kept structure through the hybrid event and ensured productive discussions to achieve goals.

The Impact

Leaders walked away from the summit equipped with new and stronger capabilities and valuable time connecting with each other. Participants were very pleased with the successful hybrid event, managing costs while allowing for in-person connections. The clients contracted Evans to support a full year of leadership programming, including three virtual workshops and an in-person summit. A third annual summit along with virtual workshops throughout the year are planned for 2024.

Summit participant feedback:

“Thank you to the great support to make it happen. First class!”

“Best meeting of this type in years.”

“You make it look and feel easy. Great flow.“