Best of East and West Events
The following article was published in the April 2010 edition of the CEI Magazine.
How to achieve balance with events
Having produced events within Australia, the UK, US, and across Asia for the past two decades, there is no question that there are two very distinct event production styles at work within Asia – an Eastern and Western style.
In keeping with good contemporary event marketing practices, each style strives to create memorable, meaningful and engaging event experiences that are on-brand and on-message.
They operate from similar good event production and management processes – it’s just that their outlook in practice is, well, very different.
The Eastern event is the king of the experience. Practiced throughout Asia, this event style is almost exclusively focused on generating memorable experiences – done largely through tactile interaction on a personal level anchored off very broad-stroke event identities.
Unfortunately this is often at the expense of consistent branding and the clear delivery of an uncluttered message.
The Western event is a very sophisticated affair. This style can’t be beaten in terms of strong strategic event marketing, sharp brand management and a great depth of business theatre.
The flipside is that the focus on the event’s strategic and tactical mechanics can often lose the Eastern focus on the experience.
This is not helped by input from a corporation’s feared ‘branding police’. When their guidance strays into broader programming, a potentially fabulous live communication experience becomes ‘plain vanilla’ super quick.
The secret to a great event is recognising what style you’re operating with and then attempt to achieve a balance by drawing across from the other style. Easier said than done but have no fear, it can deliver spectacular results.
Darren Kerr is a founding partner of Factor168 Creative Event Company, www.factor168.com
FACTOR168 Creative Event Company
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