We’ve spoken before about how to make your meetings meaningful, through giving back to the community and taking note of the environmental impact of events. But how do you make sure that your events are making a real difference with your attendees instead of just adding to the noise? How can meetings and conferences help make the world a better place?
Don’t waste their time
A successful event takes an attendees’ time and focused attention, an “extraordinarily precious set of assets” in the words of marketing guru Seth Godin. So you’d better deliver something good! With such gifts handed over, he suggests event planners start looking at meetings and conferences at the same way marketers look at the work they do, as opportunities to make change happen. Through an approach borrowing important elements from marketing (like status roles and industry FOMO – the Fear of Missing Out), he suggests event planners can, “get under people’s skin and […] create experiences that people will remember.”
Using the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) to advantage
While great venues, world-class accommodations and ease of transport all play a part in adding up to an unforgettable experience, there’s more to creating a must-visit event. Convincing attendees that they’ll be missing out if they don’t come (or should do whatever it takes to come next year) can be achieved through expert social media postings and other methods from the world of marketing. Make FOMO your friend!
Change the physical environment
Old school conference set-ups dictate that attendees are seated at large tables that don’t help foster discussion and cross-pollination between strangers. Why not try changing up the way attendees are seated, by placing smaller groups together based on previously-stated interests and keeping these splinter groups together at meals throughout the course of the event. Familiarity and shared interests have the power of taking small talk to Big Talk in a snap.
Make everyone a player at the ready
As seen in the above photo of Chelsea Manning at the 2018 C2 Conference in Montréal, the Catchbox foam box with a microphone inside can keep attendees on their toes and fully engaged in the conversation – you never know when you’ll suddenly have the mic in your hands. By simply talking with as opposed to talking to can elevate a conference from the banal to groundbreaking.
Focus on connection as much as the conference
By bringing like-minded individuals together, conversations started at your event will last the year round and not merely during the days of the conference. And by pulling these people together, an event can play a formative – and altogether unforgettable – part in palpable change. And this forming of community can also bring another win to an event, which is an annual need only in-person attendance can fill.
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