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Principle-led Events

Getting bums on seats (and getting sponsors) can be challenging. Industry research shows it’s the most consistent thing to keep us awake at night.

But we can have the impact we need, to get sales or sign ups, by applying 4 Experience Design principles.



  3. VALUE


‘Principle-led leadership’* was made famous by Stephen Covey… and it works. Like foundations for a building, principle based decisions are the best place to build from.

(Covey *emphasised that principled-centered leadership occurs when one’s internal values form the basis of external actions).

“Master the fundamentals” – Nike Maxim #9

Creative and content. Facebook or Insta? Email or Video? More Influencers or Info? Are all important tactical decisions. There are many tools and tactics, channels and content strategies, so starting with principles is good place to start.

1. People – after all we are all human.

And, in events the purpose of our services is for people to come together.  To experience life.

Design Thinking, Service Design, and Agile are the leading methods to guide projects in today’s world, and central to each is, people. Human centered, User, Customer, whatever you call us. It’s about us. And these methods are all far more applicable for us today, than the old school event management processess. Today the goal posts have shifted, and will shift tomorrow. Expectations are up, lead times are shorter, so it is time to adopt the modern philosophies behind these methodologies.

2. Purpose

Our events must connect with the purpose of an audience. A shared interest, ideally a shared passion. You need to lead a tribe by offering some value. As our gut knows, and research shows, a primary motivator for people, of all ages, cultures, and interests, is purpose. And, make sure your event links back to the purpose of your organization.

3. Value

In todays world people constantly seek, and expect, value. Yes we look cost, in money, and time, but we are so irrational our actions mostly come back to our basic perception of value. Whether functional value or social status, the emotional experience, whatever the currency. Yes some industries need to wage a war based on price, but that’s not the primary game we are playing in ‘experiential products’ such as events and entertainment, our customers decisions are based on currencies of personal experiences, social and emotional status, sense of self. With ‘Elements of Value’, we can enable our people to do more, belong more, feel more, and be more. Whatever the element of value it is they are seeking.

4. Impact

What influence are you seeking to have? In who? To Inform? Entertain? Inspire? The value we offer must provide impact. It must move our audience from ‘experiential state to state’. Awareness to Action. Reflection to Sharing. And, to repeat Action. Gaining attention is insignificant, we need a reaction, we need to influence. With Moments of Impact we create the change we seek to have.

So with 4 simple principles, we can make better decisions.

Guiding Principles, help make sense of the data.

And yes, it’s not all easy. Events can be hard to sell. It is hard to win attention, let alone hearts and minds. But these 4 principles are a great place to start.

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