Five Fundamentals for Event Success
Events, like personal relationships, need five key elements to ensure that they are a memorable, meaningful and enjoyable experience – they are balance, focus, magic, practice, and respect.
With that in mind – here are our five key fundamentals to ensure event success.
Business Theatre. Strike the Balance.
Events often fail because they are too extreme. They are so fully focused on the business objectives that, let’s be frank – they run the risk of boring even the most committed attendees into a coma. No-one ever got excited about attending a boardroom meeting or worse still – a droning talkfest with no opportunity to interact and contribute.
Don’t do it.
On the flipside, some events are so social, so very theatrical, that it is almost impossible to identify and address any commercial objectives other than perhaps everyone had a good time and they kinda recalled seeing the host’s logo here and there. We often call these parties. Not corporate events.
Seriously, an effective corporate event needs to strike a balance between the two. A strong business event is driven by clear event marketing objectives and is packaged and presented in an appealingly theatrical manner. This is where professional event agencies and studios play a mission critical role – they bring business and theatre together in the same room. As one client told me – we put the special into events and ensure that the Yin and Yang of business and theatre is well balanced. Get the balance right and you ensure the event will be far more engaging and effective at a personal and an organisational level.
Keep it Simple, Keep it Focused
This is the harsh truth. No one will ever know as much about or love your product, service or company as much as you.
Sure, they may well enjoy your passion and perhaps admire your Wikipedia knowledge, but please, ultimately what they really want to know is how your company/product/service is going to improve or add value at some level to their own professional and personal needs. That’s business and that’s okay.
You’ll achieve this mutual satisfaction in an event setting by ensuring that your event messaging is simple, focused and consistent.
Identify the single most important key message you want to share with your guests, and then focus all the event elements, like a laser, into ensuring that this message is effectively delivered. This will not only ensure greater message penetration but will contribute to ensuring that whatever the desired post-event action, such as buying the product or service or elevating the organisation’s profile, is actioned by your guests.
Know Your Audience. Know Your Magic Moments.
Although they may appear so, audiences are never the same and with that, the challenge is always to know them better. To know them is to love them.
This applied market knowledge ensures that a bespoke event experience will be better designed to resonate more effectively with your target audience. This is the business element of business theatre. The good theatre part is ensuring that your event has a number of identifiable “magic” moments that will enchant or thrill or engage. Maybe all three.
Invariably these are moments that connect with people on a more emotional level – part of the human condition. Perhaps it was an impressive product launch mechanism, an unexpected guest speaker, a popular star, a new product range… the list can potentially be endless.
These are the moments that really stick with guests, the moments revisited around the proverbial water cooler, the moments that may well go viral, and in doing so promoting and championing your business, product or service. This is ideally what you want. It’s good business and extends on the event experience well after the event has closed.
The single greatest element that ensures successful event experience
You wouldn’t be far off the mark if you declared that it’s planning. And without question if an event is not well planned and considered you’ll certainly come unstuck.
Yes, but let’s drill down a little further. We’ve all witnessed seemingly well planned events that have suddenly come apart spectacularly like a dropped glass on a tiled floor. Invariably it comes in the form of nervous ill-prepared presenters stumbling about on stage while a team of black clad production crew desperately try to support and second guess the intentions of these presenters.
Take the time to rehearse. Mark it down as a mission critical item. It is.
This will mean ensuring that there is a mandatory block of time set aside between the event installation window and event doors opening to your guests. As a general rule, we’d recommend at least two to three hours minimum for this.
This rehearsal window should see the event flow stepped through from start to finish and specific care and attention placed on physically rehearsing presenters along with any and all entertainment cast with the full complement of production crew and event producers in attendance.
Trust us, this will be good money and good time well spent. No event ever failed because it was rehearsed too much. Ever.
Respect Your Audience
Your guests, your clients, those that form your audience, are incredibly time poor as we arm-wrestle an equitable work-family balance. And let’s be honest – with an increase in our daily electronic chatter, we’ve all developed social media-inspired short attention spans.
The net result is that your potential guests have become much more discerning with their time, how it’s used and for how long, and in doing so have become extremely unforgiving with those that fritter it away wastefully on their behalf.
So with that in mind, your event invitation is going to have to be really appealing to cut through this clutter and stake out a claim on a packed schedule. And of course your prospective guest will also be wading through a deluge of other competing event invitations for the same time and headspace.
So if you do manage to entice your guest to your event, then it had better be memorable, meaningful and engaging or you’ll fall short of achieving your event specific business objectives. Respect for your guests and their time is crucial in ensuring the event works. Worse still – it may well consign your next event invitation straight to the trashcan. And without guests, the live communication platform of events is mute to say the least.
Respect your audience, respect their time – you rarely get a second chance so commit to delivering an event that will translate into a sensational experience that delivers on clear business objectives and “magic” moments. To do this, the event needs to strike an artful balance between business and theatre with a brand message that is simple and focused. And of course rehearse like your professional life depends on it. Ultimately, long term, it does.
Darren Kerr is a partner and producer at FACTOR168 Creative Event Company. He has been delivering creative, strategic, and tactical event services throughout Asia and across Australia for almost two decades for clients as diverse as Amway, Westfields, NCR, The Walt Disney Company, EMC Corporation, Swire, and Oracle. Visit www.factor168.com.
The original published story can be found in the micenet Australia October Issue here.
Editors Note: Micenet have archived this Magazine issue so the links in this piece are no longer live. Sorry gang.
Sensational Events through Powerful Experiences.
FACTOR168 Creative Event Company delivers creative, strategic, and tactical event services across Australia and throughout Asia.