There are a thousand things you could invest in when developing your event, even a closed event for your staff. There ae the basics like location, venue, hotel, food and travel. The venus needs a stage, and you’ll probably want a screen or three to show off your slides. Thos slides will need some sort of theme to help presentations from all about your organization coalesce around a single idea or a common goal. All those slides will need some polish by a speech writer and a designer. Special guests, motivational speakers, and maybe even entertainment needs to be included. Let’s not forget all the cool tech you could get your hands on, like custom tents and interactive stage elements.
Every single one of those decisions costs money and resources. They can either be inexpensive, or they can come dear (do you want a local juggling troupe as your entertainment, or maybe you have your eye on Shania Twain). And when you add it all up, it turns into a tidy sum.
But are you investing in the most important part of your event? Have you planned out your message?
Of course you have a message. That was a silly question. Your message is defining your event.
I think probably the best; the initial investment should go towards developing and shaping the message would be number one. Then I think the second thing would be brining that message to life through either traditional or nontraditional means, creative, media, and ideally some type of experience that the attendees could have that helps bring your message to life for them versus investing in gear or technology necessarily.
I think they’re probably investing quite a bit in messaging, but I think that most corporations, most leaders simply don’t have the time or the capacity to devote to shaping a message with an agency like FLIRT. So, it’s not always they don’t make the investment, its typically they don’t make the time that it takes to really think through a strategy, pressure test it, and wordsmith and practice delivery. It’s more about the capacity and lack of availability to do so, than it is investment. I’ve known clients that have spent with other agencies quite a bit of money on that process, but didn’t really commit to it from a timing standpoint. And quite honestly it’s more and more difficult now because those key messages are evolving so quickly and changing so rapidly that it’s difficult. So you have to create a process that honors that complexity that corporate leaders are under.
I think attendees are really smart, and they expect it. They’re listening really hard, and it’s important leaders understand that and that when they present that they are really buttoned up. And like I said the messaging has been pressure tested, there’s proof, it’s measured, it’s exactly conveying the reality of what’s happening in the marketplace, the point of view of the attendee, and so planning in advance and spending a lot of time on that topic is valuable because many times it uncovers an opportunity or it uncovers an inconsistency that you otherwise wouldn’t catch. And you know, what’s more important than that?
I would say in designing some type of activity for attendees; an activity that embodies a core message or an expectation of the organization that allows them to physically and mentally engage with a coworker or another attendee. I think activity-based communications are critical. So I would spend that dollar in developing an activity to bring the message to life (reinforce the message).