Home' micenet eMag : micenet October 2018 Contents EVENT CONTENT | PETA MOORE
re you finding it difficult to focus
lately? Do you ever feel like
you’re bouncing from one thing
to the next? I have a theory
about this... The events industry is rapidly
changing and you can’t be a one trick pony
any more if you want to deliver for your
clients or organisation.
That is why it is more important than ever
to set and track objectives on a project by
project basis to regain your focus.
Our job hasn’t just been about table
centrepieces, room blocks and transfers for a
while. We are now responsible for so much
more! So to help me focus and understand
what I am trying to achieve with each aspect
of the project, I have made a list of just a few
roles I play each day...
A psychologist – To create a real connection
with your client’s target audience you need to
know them inside out. What do they see and
say? What do they hear and think? What
frustrates them? What motivates them? With
a comprehensive audience profile you have
tools to develop a compelling program and
An accountant – We need to know our
numbers and be an Excel whizz to know if
the event we’re looking to produce is
financially viable in the first place. You also
need to be realistic. Can you achieve the
event vision and objectives with the budget?
A diplomat – Event managers are
continuously liaising with a variety of
What do a psychologist, accountant and rockstar have in common? At one time
or another during the life of an event, you have to be one, says Peta Moore.
FACES OF EVENT
stakeholders – the client, their clients, suppliers and speakers in some instances. We seek to
understand each stakeholder’s role and responsibilities to ensure the best outcome is achieved
for the desired budget.
A nutritionist – Delegates are more health conscious than ever. As an event manager it is our job
to provide a healthy and inclusive environment for all. We need to source catering that is rich in
nutrients and mindful of the never ending list of dietary requirements.
A sales director – We are often selling something. Whether it be a space on an exhibition floor
plan, sponsorship package or facilitating ticket sales. Everybody including the Event Manager
has a part to play in the sales process.
A risk manager – We have a duty of care to ensure there is a safe environment for our staff,
suppliers, guests and members of the public. We may need to conduct a risk assessment and
develop an emergency plan based on this. If there is an emergency it is our responsibility to
ensure there is a considered process in place.
A travel agent – Event managers more often than not are travel experts. We secure discounted
accommodation and track down the most cost and time efficient flights for our speakers,
clients, delegates. This list could definitely go on.
A data analyst – Data is everywhere and I can bet you are monitoring it, looking for opportunities
and identifying weaknesses. Who is attending a particular session, who is talking to your Gold
Sponsor and who attended the conference.
A procurement officer – We use our networks to attain the best possible price and conditions
for goods and services. It is all about the fine print of venue contracts and multiple phone calls
to ensure that pull up banner arrives when it should.
A marketer – Any self-respecting event manager has a handle on Twitter, Facebook and
everything other platform in between. They can identify opportunities, build FOMO (Fear of
Missing Out) and create relatable content.
A rockstar – Last but certainly not least, we need to be creative. We need to bring ideas to life
and sometimes in creative ways as budgets aren’t what they used to be. Think virtual speakers,
local experiences and digital conversations.
Event management is all about the strategy and good storytelling. We are flexible individuals
who have the logistical expertise and content smarts to ensure our clients’ events are engaging,
efficient and cost effective. I believe one of the reasons event management is considered a high
stress job is because we are having to be so many different things to so many different people.
But by breaking down the roles, I believe we regain control and focus. m
Learn more about Peta Moore and Nectar Creative Communications at www.nectarcc.com.au
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I don’t think it’s new by any
means but it’s certainly picking
up momentum. I saw it in the
US recently, and then back here in Australia.
As a speaker and facilitator, I love it because
it promotes engagement, helps participants
embed information and take ownership of the
conference objective, theme and content.
And it’s a corker.
Give participants plenty of time to talk
about what they’ve just heard. Not a token
few minutes or a quick 30 second chat with
the person next to them, but a good 10 to
20 minutes to digest the content, discuss
what they heard, what they loved about it,
how they can use it, and what they’re not
Let them have a conversation in the true
meaning of the word.
Here’s why it works.
The first few minutes of any conversation
is like a dance. You say what you think
people want to hear, they hold back saying
what they really want to for fear of sounding
stupid, and as a group people generally are
cautious in the first moments of any
discussion. But when those first few
Nigel Collin says planners should give event attendees
time to talk about conference content.
LET’S HAVE A
CHAT – ONLY I’M
NOT GOING TO
moments have been played out (and you need to let them play out) something magical
happens. People start trusting each other and they open up. They start talking about things that
are really important and get into a deeper level of conversation.
Secondly, people need the opportunity to mull over what they have just learned. They need a
chance to think about it and figure out what it means to them. They can’t do that when you
force them from one topic to the next quickly. Especially if the topic is new or provocative.
So why not try this... After a presentation, allocate 10 minutes and have your MC get the
room to have a genuine discussion about what they just heard. Ask them to have a “chat”.
To ramp it up why not set the room up to support this. Get rid of the large table rounds and
have smaller café style tables. (I’ve seen this several times now and have had people tell me
how much they loved the intimacy of it).
Perhaps create a space with a variety of seating styles, lounges, cafe style tables, clusters of
chairs, tiered seating. The ILEA conference (International Live Events Association) in the US
where I was speaking did this recently and it was amazing how it helped the audience connect.
Instead of going straight into Q&A, give everyone enough time to talk about the types of
questions they’d like to ask.
I know participation is a weapon of choice for many and I’m glad it is, but I think we need to
extend the concept and rather than have short token moments of interaction, we need to let
people get really involved and be part of it.
People like to feel included and one way to do that is to let them say their bit. Otherwise, we
risk the word “conversation” becoming yet another buzzword like “journey”, “story” and
“disruption” where its importance becomes diluted by such phrases as “we want you to become
part of the conversation”. Saying it isn’t the same as creating a situation for it to actually occur.
Meetings and events are about changing people’s behaviour through interactions, shifting
thinking and bouncing ideas. So let’s give them the opportunity to do that. m
Nigel Collin is a speaker, facilitator and author of The Game of Inches: why small change wins big
results. Find out more at www.nigelcollin.com.au.
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MEETING DESIGN | NIGEL COLLIN
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