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Some moments do mean more...

I came across a few stories recently on the influence of the experiences we provide.


A young man who had been involved in an event that had been poorly organised, it wasn’t what he’d hoped for, he didn’t have the support he needed, and it just ended badly.


He is still talking about it, and he is certainly not going back.


In contrast, another woman had a different experience. She signed up and participated, and the event exceeded her expectations.


She is also still talking about it, she’s already preparing for the next one, and has recruited a few friends to do it with her.

 

There is a bit of detail and context in each story, but I mention these examples to illustrate the weighty impact of the experiences we provide.





Their Journeys


Every participant in a sport or activity experiences a series of moments that collectively form their overall experience. But within these, some moments stand out more than others due to their emotional intensity, or the timing. And it is these ‘influential moments’ that can significantly affect whether participants stay engaged or drift away.


The moments that matter more


These milestones moments play a crucial role in shaping our current attitudes and future behaviours, especially in the context of sports and physical activities. They either motivate or deter us from pursuing certain events, and it’s a powerful reminder of the influence of a positive, or, a negative experience.

 



Think about an event you attended a few years ago. You can probably recall only a few moments.


Or even an event from the last few weeks!


These are the moments that mattered most. They probably influenced how you felt then, what you thought, and how you acted, and these moments are likely to even influence your current behaviour.


The same thing occurs when we talk to participants or volunteers about their experiences. They typically recall only a handful of moments, and these are the moments that were most impactful and memorable.


Psychology helps us understand why this happens. Studies have shown that our recollections of events, workouts, or seasons are often based on a few defining moments rather than the entire experience. These influential moments are more frequently recalled and remembered for longer periods.


Given that we experience around 20,000 moments every day, our minds can't be present in every moment or recall everything. It turns out that we have an 'experiencing self' and a 'remembering self.'


The 'experiencing self' lives through the moment, but the 'remembering self' recalls only a select few moments that stand out, and these are typically the most emotional 'peak moments'.





What are your 'Moments of Impact'?


As organizers and facilitators of sports and activities, it’s essential to recognize and harness the power of these moments.


By creating positive, memorable experiences at critical times, we can ensure participants recall their experiences fondly and are motivated to continue their journey.




Their end-to-end experiences


The typical journey of a participant is marked by various stages:

 

Awareness, Action, Participation, Reflection, and ideally, Re-Action.


Each stage has pivotal moments that can influence a participant’s decision to stay engaged and by understanding and strategically designing these moments, we can enhance their overall experience, ensuring they return and bring others with them.


>>>>>>>>>>>>> Journeys of Aspiration and support >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


We call this a ‘Journey of Aspiration’, where we are providing some sort of aspiration in each of the pivotal moments, whether that is the next step in the prep for that event, within the activity, or after the event day, we know we must be aspirational in some way. We must stand out from everyday life if we want people to stick with us, and so, we must always look to offer something different.


But, if this aspiration is perceived as out of reach, too difficult, or unobtainable, people simply will not participate, or if they do, they won’t maintain it.


So, along with the aspiration, we must offer support.


The capability to attend, to sign up, and to show up — whether that be through providing the information or the tools, helping their capability or motivation, we must deliver the right amount of support to fulfil their aspiration.


How can you use this?


Simply start by considering your participants’ journey and finding the key milestones that can be enhanced.


Whether it’s the initial exposure to your sport or event, the encouragement to participate, or the recognition of their efforts, each moment matters.


By making these moments more emotional, meaningful, and memorable, you create lasting positive impressions that keep participants engaged and motivated.


But we can't influence everything!


Yes so as experience providers we do aim to stand out, create deeper engagement, and foster long-term relationships. But we don’t have the time or moment to provide everything we would like to, and we need to choose what we can control, and where to get the most ROI.

 

So I always suggest my clients apply ‘Pareto's 80:20 rule’ in that we should focus on the most impactful 20% of the experience that drives 80% of the outcomes.


These are your 'Moments of Impact'.


By concentrating on these critical moments, we can enhance our effectiveness and ensure we leave some lasting impressions.





Timing is everything


Never forget the influence of time, those critical milestones and moments of impact, because this is a powerful force across our experiences with your sports and events.


By thoughtfully designing (or redesigning) these experiences, you can create a journey of aspiration and support, ensuring participants not only start but continue their engagement, benefiting them, and you!


You may have this all covered, but it can get complex, so let me know if I can help.


Take care,


Andrew

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