Creating corporate events that participants will remember is essential. Earlier this year, Michelle Lanham, senior lecturer in Events Management at Leeds Beckett University told audiences at International Confex that, “you have to see your audience as co-producers to appropriate the meanings of your event. Sitting back passively is not going to enrich people’s experiences and create high levels of memory.”
Focusing on the issue of passing on a message or theme from an event can take attention away from the way in which people think, concentrate and take in those messages.
Attendees at any corporate event or conference have an optimum concentration level. If they simply have to sit and listen to a speaker for up to an hour, they may only concentrate on what is being said for about half that time. This concentration level will rise significantly if audio visual elements are included as they appeal to a wider range of senses. Instead of just listening, people are suddenly looking as well.
Adding in a practical or audience participation element will ensure that an audience really understands and takes account of the message involved. Unfortunately all too often, speakers and event organisers forget this. As Michelle Lanham points out “How often do you think your events are ‘to’ people rather than ‘with’ them?’
To maximise your chances of success, make sure in advance that the audio visual equipment is of a high standard. Crackling speakers, microphones that fail to work and visuals that cut out at the most important moment will only create an adverse impression in people’s minds.
A good Audio Visual company will have back up systems in place ready for any unexpected problems that occur. Audio visual transmission will be perfect and without any hitches. This will ensure that everyone in the room will be able to hear and take a full part in the event.
Never make it too serious. Immersing audiences in just one subject can get exhausting. Create a variety of approaches, using different forms of presentation including computer images, music, audience participation even though sometimes the activity might not appeal to everyone. As Michelle Lanham indicates “It’s important to add a sense of playfulness within the structure of your event to create a state of flow – this is essential to the experience.’
The playful element always incorporates a touch of relaxation, when people can laugh or take a moment away from pure concentration. It can be as simple as an amusing visual or sound bite – as long as the AV equipment provides perfect clarity every time.
The result is that people leave a corporate event having taken in all the important elements being promoted as well as memorable images and memories.