So, here’s the thing… our world – especially over the last couple of years – is changing. Okay, perhaps that’s not news to anyone. And if it is news… well, I hope your stay on that deserted island had fantastic sushi, and you became lifelong friends with a volleyball (Castaway fans, that one was for you).
Change – obviously – is not new. However, with all the sweeping transformations within our industry, I’ve come to a somewhat controversial conclusion: NOTHING HAS REALLY CHANGED when it comes to designing and executing successful internal meetings and scaled corporate events.Since the dawn of communication (there are cave paintings illustrating this), successful messaging and events are rooted in 3 time-tested formulas:
1. Emotion + Resonance = Connection:
More than ever, your employees want to know you care – about your business, about your products and most importantly, about them as people… Increased isolation can bring a crisis of confidence. Personalization and outreach inspires dedication and growth.
(nothing new here. It’s human nature to work harder when you are valued and feel like an important member of a consequential team. Instilling excitement about the future is a universal connection point. Find unique ways to share your passion.)
As my 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Stupke, used to say, “sharing is caring.” (she also said eating 13 packets of Fun Dip would kill me and I’m still typing, but that’s not important right now…) To effectively share your message – whether it’s in-person or virtual – find the universality of emotion unique to your company and allow it to resonate through creative execution.
Mrs. Stupke’s message on sharing, and caring, still resonates with me to this day. Imagine if she’d had a trusted production team expanding her horizons beyond crayons and paste? Trust me, there’d be a lot more sharing and caring in the world.
2. Critical Messaging/(why isn’t there a better “divided by” symbol on my keyboard???) Inconsistent Execution = Lost Opportunity:
This one is easy. Mixed messaging can destroy the most well-intentioned and well-thought-out presentations.
(this idea has been a tenet of our industry since, “Let there be light!” and “Don’t eat that apple!”)
The only thing really new here is circumstance. With at-home work and global partnerships, connection with employees is key – and complicated – especially when it comes to critical messaging.
That’s why your execution has to be brilliant and consistent. Say it in millions of memorable ways, but make sure you’re always saying the same thing. Thus, the importance of video and interactive illustration.
Consistency – and creative personalization – is a golden opportunity to hammer your message home with an engaging feather, rather than a primitive club.
3. Agency + Production + Technology/Platform = Success
When cavemen and women (see the cave drawings I mentioned earlier) needed to get the message out about a new product launch – something called “the wheel” – they required strategic thinking, well-conceptualized creative, graphic designers and CAD design. Not easy to come by in the Paleolithic realm – especially with relatively-limited neo-cortexes, uneven cave walls and no common language. But they persevered…
(as you can see, nothing has really changed. The need for specialization has only grown; as has the need for accessible, universal language…)
Once the cave creative was sufficiently developed, they needed Producers, Logistics and Production Management, whose responsibilities included the protection of the wheel-based message, as well as the client’s literal survival (hey, there were Velociraptors out there).
(again, nothing new… Every business needs an event producing champion for critical messaging, expansion and – in this increasingly competitive marketplace – survival…)
To effectively launch the wheel in a memorable fashion (Neanderthals had notoriously short memories and attention spans), the next steps should have included: Sound, Lighting, Set Designs and Fabrication, Video Production, Editors, IT, Technologists, Developers and Software Engineers. All in service or making “the wheel” a game-changer for Cavepeople and the world…
Sadly, cave-dwellers didn’t have a one-stop-shop where every expertise is an integral part of the overall concept. They lacked access to a fearless oasis employing all the high-end talent, owning all the latest equipment and handling everything in-house – from initial creative to wrap-out – thereby saving time, aggravation and whatever Neanderthals used for money.
Sadly, they didn’t have an ADM… so they died.
(Don’t become a fossil. Adapt, pick a TRUSTED, ALL-INCLUSIVE PARTNER, survive and prosper. Timeless advice that will last until the next ice age…)