Socializing is an intrinsic part of the human experience. People gather, communicate, and share, not simply for enjoyment, but out of necessity fundamentally linked to our survival instinct. We need each other, for security, and emotional support, and through this need we often discover the age-old wisdom, that two heads are better than one.
The technological revolution of the 21st century brought rapid changes to the ways in which not only individuals, but nations communicate and interact with one another. Friends can talk or message each other easily from opposite sides of the globe. Unsurprisingly, the advent of the internet and the information age has transformed business, and the ways in which professionals network and market themselves.
In spite of these changes, hosting events remains a tried and proven means to grow one’s business or professional practice. Thus, it’s not surprising that according to the ICCA report for 2017, the number of international conferences in the last fifty years have doubled every ten years.
- Events Are Always a Shared Experience
Events, be it a business conference, professional workshop, or even a rock concert or a private party, all have one thing in common: they stimulate our senses. Through this stimulation, events have the power to evoke powerful emotions, activate both sides of the brain, and connect different people through a common experience.
- AHA Moment: Triggering Change
I’ve spent fifteen years creating a wide variety of events, as well as moderating panel discussions with various experts on multiple topics. This experience has given me the eye to quickly recognize the ingredients that coalesce to make a successful event that has a powerful effect on its attendees, as well as, the mistakes and missed opportunities that can lead a host to feel as though they’ve just provided nothing more than a wasted experience. Successful events can create circumstances between people, or even within the individual, that trigger revelatory and unexpected change. These instances are often referred to as the “AHA” moment. However, even when these moments do occur, most speakers and host fail to capitalize on this opportunity.
It’s this capacity for an event to change a person’s mind that I’d like to examine more closely for a moment. After all, sales are at the heart of every business, and changing the customer’s mind, is at the heart of every sale. The ability to help a client or customer recognize a need or a problem that previously evaded them, and that you or your company is uniquely qualified to provide a solution for. Thus, successful events reach out and change the way customers think, often allowing them to recognize problems, or find solutions to problems they were already aware of. Most importantly, a successful event can assure any client in attendance, that you can bring the essential assistance to overcome these challenges.
Events can provide opportunities to experience new points of view, thus changing attitudes, and creating the proper environment to initiate action in participants.
- Events: The World’s Greatest Marketing Tool
In the age of social networking and constant floods of information, events retain the capacity to accomplish several fundamental goals often left unfilled by newer digital marketing tools. They can address numerous potential customers, while also establishing a sense of intimacy with them. Intimacy of course, is essential in building trustful relationships.
- Interactive Relationships: The Benefit of Having Active Participants
One unique aspect of events that host often fail to fully utilize is the potential to establish a two-way line of communication with participants. Events provide the perfect opportunity to retrieve feedback from different customers. This information can often prove invaluable when attempting to grow one’s company or practice. Furthermore, responses from participants often provide insight on how to develop and improve products and services.
- Why Waste Time on Meetings?
Meeting with individual customers can take up a substantial amount of time, and as anyone in business can tell you, time is money. Events have the unique capacity to provide the same sense of assurance and intimacy found in individual meetings yet save countless hours by targeting numerous clients at the same time. As I stated before, events stimulate multiple senses, which in turn, activates powerful emotions. Therefore, the information provided in an event, is far more likely to have a lasting and meaningful impact on a client, than if they are simply by themselves reading that information in promotional material.
- Customer Relationship
Events are one of the best ways to connect with existing or potential customers. Whether an event leaves the audience inspired or unimpressed, depends largely on the organizer, as well as the speaker. Nevertheless, every event certainly has the potential for nurturing our business connections.
One of the major benefits of events is that it allows business or professions to present their products or services in a way that doesn’t feel intrusive, rather, the intimacy inspires confidentiality, which in turn, inspires trust and loyalty.
- Four Gifts of Business Events
Events have the power to connect, educate, and inspire participants, thus making it easier for business and professional to progress towards their own unique goals.
- Have a Clear Objective
Planning is essential for creating successful events. Outlining a clear goal, as well as the structure and objective of each activity is cruical for maximizing the impact of an event. Always begin by asking yourself “what do I want to achieve,” from their you can work out whether it’s better to have a speaker, a workshop, or an interactive presentation.
We should allow ourselves to boldly gather experience and take a step away from the comfort zone each time we are creating a relationship and a community with participants. Even so, our event, performance, or planned networking will not always be perfect. Practice makes perfect.
Photo credit: Vlado Habjan
Mojca Černelč Koprivnikar is CEO of Prosperia, and moderator of events. She helps organizations and individuals with creating, implementing and moderating memorable business events and performances that generate added value for participants, and therefore, clients.