AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: MAKING YOUR EVENT STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
Tempus fugit, as those who know the importance of time like to say, and participants certainly don’t want to be spending their own valuable time at boring meetings. Our hypothesis is that in addition to excellent content, events and conferences will also need to offer experiences and create interaction through engagement, otherwise in the future, it’s likely that they won’t survive. This assumption has been nagging at us for some time, so we decided to dedicate an entire segment of this summer issue of Kongres Magazine to practice cases that have actually worked and worked well.
The events set out below aren’t your typical ‘theatre-style conferences’. In fact, their premise has been to turn things upside down, for content to over-power form and to break the hinges what has been considered a unified conference box. They have been elevated by active participant engagement, a creative event space, social responsibility and local inspiration.
The model called Meetovation, created by the Danes is one that’s on the rise, and we hope meeting planners can take some things from it and incorporate them into their own work. What follows are some of the most resounding projects we’ve seen, created by divergent thinking and genuine out-of-the-box ideas.
The most successful event brands have experiential marketing strategies at their core and have been using them for years, mostly in the field of corporate events. Events are one of the best tools to sell experiences and the C2 project brought together some of the brightest minds on the planet. A joint venture between the magical Cirque du Soleil and Sid Lee marketing agency resulted in an astounding event, connected by Commerce + Creativity. A combination of both ideas and parties also created the name of the event, which has been organised since 2014.
The organisers tried to take the conference as far away from regular practices as possible and, by doing so, attracted some of the greatest thinkers and creative minds in the business. The three-day event is based on a combination of socializing, fun, learning and peculiar workshops in completely unconventional environments. A perfect example is their Creativity Boot Camp, molded into an entirely different format. It’s no surprise that Fast Company is part of the event each year, where they announce their scale of the 100 Most Creative People in Business.
C2’s engagement model is based on a convergence of fun, knowledge and different people from different fields coming together. It’s an ecosystem that suits our generation of participants, who are looking for innovation and information in parallel worlds. The atmosphere at the event resembles a street festival and spreads a relaxed vibe, unlike the classical and often morbid conference rooms. Organic socializing and “festivalization” that need no encouragement starts happening, and the Cirque du Soleil masters of engagement know how to address every single sense organ.
In times like these, a combination of technical content and a good measure of fun is key for every event, and not a lot of room for differentiation has been left in our post-modernistic age. What truly counts is experience and personal communication with participants on an emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual level. If there is one thing the C2 team can do really well, it is to tie all of those things together and experiment with new things. In this spirit, this year’s C2 will be organised in Melbourne for the very first time.