Home' micenet eMag : micenet June 2018 Contents I
n 1996, Bill Gates published an article
titled “Content is King” – a phrase now so
ingrained into our lives and into the event
and meeting planning process that many
are questioning if it is still relevant. So, does
content still play a role in the design of
events? I truly believe so.
While Bill Gates was talking about content
on the internet, he said that although
practically anyone can create content and
distribute it at very low cost, “those who
succeed will propel the internet forward as a
marketplace of ideas, experiences, and
products – a marketplace of content.”
I love the idea that this can also relate to
events. Those who succeed in creating an
event where content is central to every
element will propel their event forward as a
place of ideas, experiences and products.
No longer can an event planner – whether
it be an agency, association or corporate –
rely on a great venue, amazing food or
appealing décor to ensure their event stands
out to their audience.
In our world, where time is a limited and
valuable resource, events need to be relevant
to entice people to attend. It is easy for an
event planner to get caught up in making their
event look good, tasting every item on the
menu and selecting the best entertainment
their budget will allow. But the impact of the
event will be very short lived if everyone goes
home thinking, “I had a great time, but what
was the point of me being there?”
Here are my tips on how to ensure your
event content remains relevant:
In the first of a new series of articles, International Productions’ Megan
Peters explains why we should be giving event content back its crown.
DESIGN BETTER EVENTS
1. Focus on their objectives – not yours.
Event Management 101 tells you to ‘define your objectives’. In 2018, I challenge you to ask not
what your objectives are for the event, but what are those of your attendees?
By focusing on the objectives of the audience, the entire event can be designed with content
that is relevant to them. When this happens, the audience will leave feeling they have achieved
what they came to achieve and much more.
2. Same message – new delivery.
At AIME 2018, the team behind C2 Montreal discussed the issues and trends facing our
industry - and the way they presented it had me thinking long after the event concluded.
It wasn’t what was said – I’ve heard the message many times before – but how it was
delivered that stood out to me. From using colour to split the group into like-minded individuals
who then discussed the topic among themselves to create their own answers (teach a man to
fish and he will be fed for life); through to holding sessions in ball pits or turning off the lights to
minimise inhibitions and encourage sharing – each session they delivered was engaging,
interactive and memorable.
3. Limit the messages.
This might seem like a no-brainer but one common event trap, especially in conferences, is
offering too many concurrent sessions, too many speakers and too many presentations!
By the end of the event, the audience has glassed-over eyes, an over-stimulated brain and
has forgotten the opening keynote in which the conference organiser invested the lion’s share of
their speaker budget! When designing your program, focus on one key message and one solid
take away – which leads me to my last point...
4. Have a specific post-event action plan for your audience.
Many events focus on getting an emotional response from the audience or the knowledge that
keynotes want to impart.
However, to make an event relevant, I believe the focus should be on what change you would
like the audience to make as a result of attending your event; what is your post-event action plan?
And remember to focus the call to action on their objectives, not your own.
If you have read this far, I hope you enjoyed my tips on how to make your event content
relevant. Feel free to reach out to me and say hi – I am always up for a chat, and I take my
coffee white with one! m
Megan Peters is the event director at International Productions and has been recognised as MEA National
Event Manager of the Year. She can be contacted via email@example.com.
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HOW TO | MEGAN PETERS
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